First-Crop Sires Set to Debut at Fasig-Tipton


Shanghai Bobby | Horsephotos

By Jessica Martini

The juvenile sales season will open at Gulfstream Park Mar. 1 with Fasig-Tipton’s Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale and the season’s inaugural catalogue features offerings by 17 first-crop sires, with a pair of GI Kentucky Derby winners and an Eclipse champion juvenile among 15 Grade I winners.

Leading the way by number of entries and with plenty of pre-sale hype is Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday). A $105,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2011, the dark bay won the 2012 GI Champagne S. and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before being named that season’s champion 2-year-old colt. The Coolmore stallion has eight juveniles entered in the Florida sale.

“Shanghai Bobby is the talk of the town around here,” admitted consignor Eddie Woods. “There will be a lot of them, but so far, so good. They are very nice. The couple that we have go back to the Harlan-kind of look, only maybe not as short-legged and they look like they are quick.”

Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables is responsible for four of the eight catalogued juveniles by Shanghai Bobby, but the consignor confirmed only one will make the trip south to Gulfstream Park next week.

“The filly unfortunately had a bit of a setback, which is why she was scratched,” Dunne revealed. “And then, at entry time we couldn’t figure out which of the colts we wanted to take there, so we just entered them all, always with the mindset that there was only one that was going to go.”

The lone Shanghai Bobby in Wavertree’s consignment at Gulfstream will be hip 158, an Irish-bred colt out of Thousandfold (Giant’s Causeway). The dark bay’s second dam is multiple group-placed Salut d’Amour (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). He was a 240,000gns purchase at last year’s Tattersalls October Yearling sale.

“He’s a beautiful horse,” Dunne said of the juvenile. “He has a big, long walk. He’s done really well since we got him.”

Dunne said he has been impressed by the Shanghai Bobbys.

“As a group, we really like them,” he confirmed. “There is a lot of Harlan’s Holiday in them. They are good, honest horses who like to train. They are very, very straightforward and, touch wood, they’ve been very sound. They are horses with a bit of quality and they look like they are quick.”

Orb (Malibu Moon) has four juveniles catalogued for the Florida sale and Wavertree will offer a colt by the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner as hip 144. Out of stakes winner and Grade I-placed Spring Awakening (In Excess {Ire}), the youngster is a half to graded stakes winner Walk Close (Tapit). He was a $185,000 Keeneland September yearling.

“Obviously, the Orbs were very popular at the yearling sales,” Dunne said. “We tried to buy several and didn’t get it done. We did manage to buy this horse in partnership with Kinsman and he has been a really nice horse for us. He is out of an In Excess mare and the Shackleford we sold in April last year for quite a bit of money was out of an In Excess mare. This colt reminded us a lot of him–which is a big selling point for us.”

Wavertree will offer another colt (hip 427) and two fillies (hip 240 and hip 247) by the Claiborne stallion at the OBS March sale.

“The Orbs come in all different shapes and sizes, in our limited experience,” Dunne said. “It seems like they might draw a lot from the mare, which is something I like. I can really see the mare in them. But they all move really well. I’m not sure how quick they are. I think they might want to go a little further. They are plenty quick enough, but they’re not sprinters.”

Woods consigns the only juvenile in the Fasig catalogue by 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}).

“I like the Animal Kingdoms quite a bit,” Woods said. “They all move beautifully. I don’t know how quick they’ll be, but they are beautiful movers. They are big, elegant horses. They all cost some money, but they deserved to. They were big, nice horses.”

By the Darley stallion, hip 65 was a $175,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling purchase and is out of Golden Mean (Mt. Livermore), a full-sister to Canadian champion Peaks and Valleys.

“He’s beautiful,” Woods said of the bay colt. “He’s a big, strong horse.”

Woods is also bullish on a pair of juveniles he is selling at Gulfstream by 2013 GI Preakness S. winner Oxbow (Awesome Again).

Hip 60, a $220,000 Keeneland September purchase, is out of Freedom Come (Lit de Justice) and is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Harlem Rocker (Macho Uno).

“The colt is magnificent,” Woods said of the bay. “That’s the only way to describe him. He’s a wonderful horse, a well-made, big, handsome colt.”

Of hip 101, a daughter of the Calumet stallion out of graded stakes placed Mexican Moonlight (El Prado {Ire}) and a $125,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, Woods added, “She’s a big, elegant filly.”

Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds has catalogued four juveniles for the Florida sale and three of the group are by first-season sires. In a catalogue packed with sire power, Venosa said his approach is more about matching the individual, rather than the pedigree, to the sale.

“Last year, we went to Gulfstream with a first-year sire and he was very well-received,” Venosa explained, referring to a $300,000 Stay Thirsty colt purchased by Mark Casse. “We really don’t have a problem bringing a first-year sire down to the sale if we feel that he can perform. The reason that these horses are going down there is that we feel that they fit in with that sale and they will perform well there.”

SGV Thoroughbreds will offer hip 32, a colt from the first crop of GI Alfred Vanderbilt H. winner Justin Phillip (First Samurai). The juvenile, a $90,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling, is out of multiple stakes winner Catch My Fancy (Yes It’s True) and is a half to the dam of graded stakes winner Cocked and Loaded (Colonel John).

“I am excited about our Justin Phillip,” Venosa said. “He’s trained forwardly since day one and he has a great disposition on him. He loves to train and does everything right.”

Of his overall impression of the 9-year-old Justin Phillip, who stands at Castleton Lyons, Venosa added, “Looking at all the yearlings by Justin Phillip, they all had a lot of quality. They look like they’ll be early and they look like they’ll all run very fast for a very long time.”

Also in the SGV consignment is hip 117, a colt from the first crop of 2012 GI Haskell Invitational winner and WinStar stallion Paynter (Awesome Again). Out of Perfect Wave (Boston Harbor), the bay colt is a half to multiple graded stakes placed La Rocca (Toccet) and was a $170,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling purchase.

“He is a beautiful horse,” Venosa said of the juvenile. “He stands over a lot of ground and he’s very impressive. He is a legitimate horse, there is nothing but quality about him.”

Asked about other first-season sires to watch out for, Dunne mentioned GII Fountain of Youth S. winner Soldat (War Front), who stands at Woodford Thoroughbreds in Florida.

“We have a couple of Soldats,” Dunne said. “They are really pretty, good movers–very War Fronty and kind of square Danzigy horses.”

Looking ahead to the Barretts March sale, Dunne has a juvenile by the well-under-the-radar Anthony’s Cross (Indian Charlie). The 2011 GII Robert B. Lewis S. winner who stands at Pleasant Acres Stallions has only 17 registered 2-year-olds.

“We bought him at [OBS] August (hip 186) for $40,000 and he is an absolutely beautiful horse,” Dunne revealed.

The under-tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale will be held Feb. 27 beginning at 10 a.m. The auction will be held Mar. 1 in the Gulfstream paddock with bidding commencing at 4 p.m.

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