A strong renewal of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale was propelled forward in part due to hot demand for yearlings by Lane’s End sires.

First-year sire QUALITY ROAD, the multiple-track-record-setting son of Elusive Quality, was among the standouts. His two yearlings on offer at Saratoga sold minutes apart. First, hip 128, a half-brother to SW Fastongrass, sold to Ingordo Bloodstock for $300,000. Hip 135, a son of SW Storm Minstrel, then realized $275,000 from Redwings and Phase II.

QUALITY ROAD is currently the third-leading first-crop sire by yearling average (with 2 or more to sell), with four of six sold for an average of $162,250. Last year, the first weanlings from QUALITY ROAD hit the market in 2012, and buyers were eager to acquire prospects by the four-time Grade 1 hero and triple track-record setter. At the Keeneland November Sale, Quality Road was the leading freshman sire of weanlings by gross.

The leading first-year covering sire in 2011 was the second-leading sire of sales weanlings/short yearlings from his class, with 17 sold for an average of $122,353.

That puts QUALITY ROAD well ahead of the likes of Lookin At Lucky (14 sold for $89,286), Eskendereya (8 sold for $73,625), Super Saver (30 sold for $49,317), etc.

Speaking to the depth of his first crop, QUALITY ROAD was also the second-leading sire by weanling/short yearling median. His median of $90,000 was far in advance of Lookin At Lucky ($57,500), Eskendereya ($52,500), Super Saver ($40,000), etc.

This year, his first yearlings will hit the marketplace and they are getting rave reviews:

“We have four QUALITY ROAD yearlings and a foal by him. The yearlings are all big, strong, forward types with the scope and athleticism of their sire; the best of them is one of our ‘top 5 physical’ colts. The foal is an ‘A’ in every way and well above average in height and weight. If his offspring run the way they look, Quality Road is sure to ring some bells as a sire.” – Chris Baker, WinStar Farm Manager

“Our QUALITY ROAD colt is the best yearling we have. He is great looking with great size and scope and is such a smooth mover. If all the Quality Roads are like him, he’s going to be an excellent sire. We are definitely breeding back to him.” – Greg Goodman, Mt. Brilliant Farm

“We have two yearlings by QUALITY ROAD that were so athletic and correct we bred three mares back to him in 2012. His 2013 foals are three of the best foals we have on the farm.” – Tony Holmes, Marula Park Stud owner

“Our QUALITY ROAD yearling has been a superstar since day one. He is a clone of his sire – tall, very correct, a two-turn looking colt. He is just a beautiful horse with a great mind.” Mike Palmer, CandyLand Farm Manager

In all, QUALITY ROAD weanlings at Keeneland November grossed $1.72 million, more than any other first-crop sire, including Blame, Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky.

QUALITY ROAD’s November weanlings included:

• $410,000 colt out of Charming Tale, a half-sister to KINGMAMBO’s Classic winner Rule of Law. Shadwell purchased the eye-catching youngster

• $270,000 half-brother to Grade 2 winner Frolic’s Dream who sold to Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock

• $170,000 Lane’s End-consigned daughter of SW & GSP Double Scoop purchased by John and Martha Mulholland

• $135,000 colt from the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Storm Minstrel who sold to WEF Stable

• $120,000 colt out of a young 3/4-sister to GISW Cat Moves who sold to Winding Oaks Farm

• $100,000 colt acquired by BG Stable, a 1/2 to MSW and $530,000 earner Mr. Pursuit from immediate family of Grade 1 winners Live the Dream, Kicken Kris, etc.

At Keeneland January, short yearlings by QUALITY ROAD included:

• $160,000 colt from the family of MSW Smarty Deb (SMART STRIKE), Shampoo (GULCH), etc., who sold to Foxtale

• $120,000 1/2-brother to American Sugar, the 3yo filly who just won Oaklawn’s Dixie Belle S., who sold from the Fares Farm dispersal handled by Lane’s End to McMahon & Hill

Needless to say, bloodstock agents have enthused about QUALITY ROAD’s first foals. The Daily Racing Form asked Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock’s Donato Lanni about the QUALITY ROAD youngsters he saw. “There’s a lot of bone, a lot of size,” said Lanni. “They all seem pretty athletic. I’m sure he was bred to some nice mares, and he’s going to get some nice foals.”

Keep an eye out for QUALITY ROAD’s yearlings later in the year!

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