TDN Weekend

Five Share Bullet at Fasig Gulfstream

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James & Torie Gladwell watch breezes | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Jessica Martini

HALLANDALE, FL – Five juveniles shared the one-furlong bullet time of :10 flat during the under-tack preview of the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale, held Monday under a brilliantly sunny sky but with persistent heavy winds throughout the day.
“All in all, I thought it was a very successful day,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “I think we saw a really nice group of horses that presented themselves very professionally. The consignors brought a quality group of horses, both in terms of physical athletes and pedigrees, and they performed well today.”
Browning acknowledged the high winds were a concern, but added he thought conditions had remained largely consistent throughout the show.
“It wasn’t the easiest circumstances–it’s never a good thing when some of the local trainers are tweeting in the morning about how the conditions are going to be with the wind, but I thought, all in all, the conditions were pretty consistent throughout the day. There was definitely a headwind from start to finish, 15-20 miles an hour, but it was pretty much the same conditions for everybody.”
The breeze show attracted a large number of trainers, including Chad Brown, Steve Asmussen, Todd Pletcher, Shug McGaughey, Brian Koriner, Mark Casse, Wesley Ward, Eddie Kenneally, Ralph Nicks, Ian Wilkes and Scooter Dickey. Among the prominent owners in attendance were Everett Dobson and Peter Brant, as well as West Point Thoroughbreds’ Terry Finley, Centennial Farms’ Don Little and Hill ‘n’ Dale owner John Sikura. Darley’s John Ferguson, Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride were in attendance, as were WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden and Stonestreet Stable’s John Moynihan. Among the many bloodstock agents were Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, Donato Lanni, Steve Young, Pete Bradley, Hubert Guy, Chris Brothers, Jamie McCalmont, Jason Litt and Patti Miller.
The McKathan Brothers shipped three juveniles down from their Ocala base and came away with two bullet workers; hip 66, a daughter of Into Mischief out of Greer Lynn (Speightstown) was the first of the day to hit the :10 flat mark, while hip 118, a colt by Bodemeister out of Pink Diamond (Mineshaft), was the final bullet worker of the preview.
“I thought if everything went as planned, [hip 66] was going to come down here and be hard to outrun,” Kevin McKathan admitted. “It all worked out well. She had a good week down here and everything just set up perfectly. She did her job. She went out there and laid it down. The Bodemeister was the same thing. We brought three horses down here and I thought all of them could do :10 flat. When I prepped them, you could throw a blanket over all of them time-wise. You never know, with it being the first breeze show of the year and over this track, I didn’t know if they would go in :9 4/5, :10 flat or if :10 1/5 would be the fastest, but I figured they would be right there. I thought all three of them would come down here and perform well and they did.”
Rounding out the McKathan Brothers trio was hip 41, a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) who worked in :10 1/5.
Kevin McKathan said the biggest factor the wind may have played on the breeze show was on how quickly the Gulfstream track, watered in between each of the day’s five sets, dried out.
“The wind is always a factor,” he said. “I think it’s a negative for us when we’re in a drag race, really, and a lot of these young horses aren’t used to running into it. The biggest thing down here is how fast the track dries. It dries so fast and it only gets water every break, so it only gets water on it every two hours and it takes it 15 minutes to dry. So if you’re in a later break, like my Candy Ride was right at the end of the fourth, it’s just hard to keep the track with the moisture in it. And the wind is obviously a huge factor in drying out the track.”
A son of Bernardini (hip 135), consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, turned in the second bullet furlong breeze of the day. The visually impressive work was as expected for Dean DeRenzo, who had watched the youngster mature over the last few weeks.
“It was amazing, but it wasn’t a surprise,” DeRenzo said of the breeze. “We knew he was one of our top colts. He came down here and bloomed and really went in the right direction. It’s wonderful and pleasant, but we really knew when we came down what he was and he showed all the traits that he showed us at the farm. He is pretty special.”
Out of Winner (Horse Chestnut {SAf}), the bay colt is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense). He was purchased by Hartley/DeRenzo for $350,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
DeRenzo acknowledged the colt’s price tag was representative of the game plan he and Randy Hartley had going into last year’s yearling auctions to compensate for a polarization in the marketplace and what has seemed like a demand for only top quality offerings.
“We have always had very deep pedigrees in all of our horses, but this year we actually made a bigger jump into better pedigrees and distance horses with deep female families,” DeRenzo explained. “We bought a lot fillies and colts with really deep pedigrees. They cost a lot more, of course, but they also perform a lot better as well.”
The third horse to post the :10 flat bullet time Monday was hip 35. From the consignment of Top Line Sales, the dark bay colt is by Spring At Last out of Celadon (Gold Halo) and from the family of French Group 1 winner Creator (GB).
Crupi’s New Castle Farm sent out 16 horses to work Monday at Gulfstream Park and hit the bullet furlong mark with hip 126, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile out of Ribbon Taffy (Hard Spun).
“She’s a good horse,” confirmed consignor J J Crupi. “She breezed really well, like we expected her to. And she galloped out really well. She went in :10 flat, :22, :34 4/5. So she is the real deal.”
Crupi added all his horses appeared to come out of their works in fine shape, a tribute to the condition of the Gulfstream oval.
“I think they did a real good job [with the track], considering the wind and everything else, they really did a nice job. We’re X-raying and so far we’ve X-rayed eight or nine of the 16 and they are all clean. And that’s a good indication that the track was ok.”
Two horses worked a quarter-mile, with hip 146, a colt by Super Saver consigned by Crupi’s New Castle Farm, earning the fastest time of :22 1/5. One horse worked on the turf. Hip 131, a colt by Smart Strike consigned by Kings Equine, opened the breeze show with a furlong work over the lawn in :10 1/5.
As buyers seek more long-term success with 2-year-old sales graduates, Browning thinks there might be less emphasis put on time.
“There were an awful lot of impressive breezes and an awful lot of impressive breezes from two-turn horses who don’t necessarily have the bullet works, but who went really, really well,” Browning commented. “I think we are seeing more and more a trend in 2-year-old sales of buyers looking for horses that can win important races down the road. They’re not necessarily looking to capture a race with a 2-year-old sales graduate immediately coming out of the gate. They are looking for, and the market is telling these consignors when they buy at the yearling sales, to buy horses who are two-turn type of horses. It has changed the game a little bit in that the fastest horse is not always the most valuable horse. There is a great awareness in the buying group that there are a lot of ingredients to a good work and time is just one of those elements. The videos are crucial, the way they did it and the way they come out of it.”
The under-tack show had to be halted briefly early in the day Monday when hip 28, a colt by Into Mischief, appeared to take a bad step while changing leads nearing the wire. The juvenile was quickly pulled up and vanned off the track in the horse ambulance.
The Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale will be held Wednesday in the Gulfstream Park paddock beginning at 4 p.m.

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