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Thumb_russo Nicole Russo , 2017-09-09 - DRF Breeding Live Posted : Sep 9, 2017, 8:58 AM

KeeSept: Value play Flatter comes in with momentum

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For being a graded stakes-performing and Grade 1-siring son of the great A.P. Indy standing at historic Claiborne Farm, Flatter can sure be underrated. The stallion sires ultra-tough runners, such as multiple Grade 1 winner Flat Out, millionaire Lucy's Bob Boy and the brilliant Taris, but he's never really broken into that 'glamour' group of elite stallions who are commercially popular.

But consider what a value proposition Flatter is. Let's compare some of his progeny statistics to two more well-regarded sons of A.P. Indy, both of whom stand for more than double his advertised fee:
Flatter ($35,000) - 77 percent winners from starters; 17 percent stakes horses from starters; average progeny earnings $82,622.
Bernardini ($100,000) - 58 percent winners from starters; 11 percent stakes horses from starters; average progeny earnings $68,550.
Malibu Moon ($75,000) - 73 percent winners from starters; 16 percent stakes horses from starters; average progeny earnings $80,024.

Flatter is in the midst of an outstanding season, led by West Coast, who has won four consecutive races, including a victory over a star-studded field in the Travers Stakes. Also out there on the track for the stallion are Grade 2 winners Favorable Outcome and Flatlined; stalwart Kobe's Back; and multiple graded placed Petrov, who recently looks to have gotten his confidence back on track with a four-length allowance score at Saratoga.

With his recent results, could Flatter's commercial popularity be on the upswing? After hitting a low point with his third crop of sales yearlings - a normal bottoming-out point for a stallion - the stallion's season average has been on a steady upward climb, and his yearlings sold last year averaged $140,417. His career average sits at $58,386.

Flatter's highest priced yearling is a colt sold for $550,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale - and it's entirely possible he could raise the bar for himself this year. He is represented in Monday's Book 1 by Hip 85, a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner and juvenile champion Nyquist. The colt is pictured above. In all, he has 33 lots cataloged at the marathon sale, including, in Book 2, a half-brother to Group 2 Godolphin Mile winner Second Summer, and half-brothers to Grade 2 winners Arklow and Skipalute.