By Jessica Martini
TIMONIUM, MD – A filly by Into Mischief turned in the fastest quarter-mile breeze of the opening session of the under-tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in Timonium Tuesday, covering the distance in :21 3/5, while seven juveniles shared the fastest furlong time of :10 1/5.
After a night of thunderstorms and heavy rain, the three-day under tack show began Tuesday morning under sunny skies, with temperatures in the low 70s at the 8 a.m. start and rising steadily to near 90 degrees as the final of five sets was concluded around 1 p.m. With more cushion to the training surface, consignors estimated preview times were likely to be slower than last year’s results, which produced a bullet furlong time of :10 flat and a quarter time of :21 2/5.
Hip 62 was the fastest of the 23 juveniles to work a quarter-mile Tuesday, covering the distance in :21 3/5. The bay filly is the first foal out of Alert Cat (Empire Maker), a half-sister to stakes winner Golden Hurricane (Gold Fever) and from the family of multiple Grade I winner Fly Till Dawn (Swing Till Dawn). The bay is consigned by Brick City Thoroughbreds on behalf of the Venezuelan-based Global Thoroughbreds headed by Rafael Celis, who purchased the youngster for $125,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.
“We knew she was going to be within one tick of the fastest breeze today, so we were very excited,” said Brick City Thoroughbreds’ J.R. Boyd.
Boyd, who worked under his stepfather Robbie Harris of Harris Training Center for many years, ventured out on his own under the Brick City Thoroughbreds banner two years ago.
“It was just the time for me to start [the consignment],” Boyd said. “Mr. Celis gave us the opportunity and we’ve done well for him ever since we started.”
Once the Global Thoroughbreds team picked out the Into Mischief filly from last year’s September sale, Boyd was quick to add his approval for the youngster.
“We loved the sire and the Empire Maker mare,” he said of the filly’s appeal. “She had a nice, long body. And then we loved her when we saw her on the farm.”
Boyd agreed the track at the Maryland State Fairgrounds seemed slower than in recent years.
“I would think the track would be about two ticks off from last year,” he said. “That’s what I’m reading, comparing our horses from the farm that came here last year.”
Consignor Cary Frommer sent out one of the seven 2-year-olds to share the furlong bullet time of :10 1/5 Tuesday, and while Frommer is known for her pinhooking prowess, hip 144 is a product of the South Carolinian’s small broodmare band. By Tritap, the gray Maryland-bred filly is actually a third-generation Frommer-bred. She is out of Cheers Darling (Cuvee), who is a daughter of stakes winner Bragadocious (Salem Drive).
“We knew she was very quick,” Frommer said of the filly. “We worked her in Aiken and we ran her in the trials. She got kind of annihilated coming out of the gates in Aiken, but she has always been quick. So I knew she would work well, but that was surprising.”
The Aiken Trials, which were run Mar. 17, have already produced a first-out 2-year-old winner. Gallanor (Redeemed), who won the first race of the 2018 trials, went on to graduate in her official racetrack debut at Laurel in April.
Frommer, based in the historic South Carolina town, said the Trials provide a great foundation for the juveniles.
“There are 10,000 to 12,000 people at the Aiken Trials,” Frommer said. “The horses have to go in the paddock and they go in the gate and break from the gate. So it’s like having a race under their belts. This filly has her gate card and she’s ready to go.”
Cheers Darling is one of three horses in Frommer’s broodmare band.
“I keep them in Maryland to try and cash in on the Maryland-bred incentives,” she said. “My oldest are these 2-year-olds–this filly here is one of my first tries.”
Hip 144 is from the first crop of Tritap (Tapit), who was beaten just a head by Fed Biz when second in the 2013 GII San Fernando S. The stallion, who stood at Heritage Stallions in Chesapeake City, Md, passed away in 2016.
Four horses got loose during Tuesday’s session of the under-tack preview, with three loose horses during an adventurous 10 minutes in the first set of the morning. In the most serious incident, hip 78, a colt by Uncle Mo, bolted to the rail as he was completing his furlong breeze under Ali Rice of RiceHorse Stables. He dumped Rice before galloping into the barn area. The colt came out of the incident with only scrapes, but Rice was in the hospital Tuesday afternoon after sustaining a broken wrist in the mishap.
The under-tack show continues Wednesday and concludes Thursday, with both sessions commencing at 8 a.m. The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale will be held next Monday and Tuesday, with sessions beginning at 11 a.m.