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Jalen Journey Tops Fasig-Tipton HORA Sale


Jalen Journey | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Jessica Martini

LEXINGTON, KY–Current form proved profitable once again at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale Monday as recent GIII Smile Sprint S. runner-up Jalen Journey (With Distinction) topped the auction on a bid of $510,000 from agent Raymie Lightner, acting on behalf of Rockingham Ranch.

Out of 204 catalogued horses, 136 went through the ring and 95 changed hands for a gross of $6,548,500, good for a median of $45,000 and an average of $68,932. Forty-one horses failed to meet their reserves for an RNA rate of 30.1%. Twenty horses summoned six figures from 19 individual buyers.

“The market is exactly what you would expect,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr.

“There was great competition on what were perceived on the higher quality offerings and not as much competition on what were perceived as the lower quality offerings. The competition in a Horses of Racing Age catalogue changes dramatically from year to year. I thought the market was fair tonight.”

Two of the more fancied entities, ‘TDN Rising Star’ Fierce Lady (Competitive Edge) and undefeated More Roses (Uncle Mo), were among the group that left the ring unsold. The former, an impressive debut-winning juvenile at Belmont, RNA’d for $725,000, while the two-for-two 3-year-old filly More Roses failed to sell at $485,000.

“We obviously missed on a couple of the more expensive horses,” said Browning. “The owners have options. I am sure we will see some of the higher-priced RNAs tonight running in high-quality races in the near future and we wish those connections the best of luck. Hopefully, we get an opportunity to sell them somewhere down the road.”

A total of 100 horses found new homes at last year’s renewal of this sale for a gross of $9,318,000. The average was $93,180 and the median was $50,000. The 2018 edition was topped by stakes winner My Miss Tapit (Tapit), who summoned $700,000 from Breeze Easy and was sold by Elite Sales.

The horses of racing age sale continued to prove popular with buyers looking to restock ahead of the busy summer racing schedule.

“I think the sale serves a real purpose in the calendar, with Saratoga and Del Mar and other opportunities for people wanting to get in and have a nice horse,” said Tony Lacy of Four Star Sales, which sold the topper.

“I think it’s fantastic and I think Fasig has done a fantastic job putting it together over the last couple of years. It’s really gained momentum. For that reason, I think these type of horses gain probably a premium. But it’s difficult to find them. The private market is obviously absorbing a lot of horses who are viable, but in saying that, this is a very viable place to bring a horse like Jalen Journey. I think it allows a lot of people to fight over him.”

The Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale gets underway Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Jalen Journey to Rockingham Ranch

Jalen Journey (With Distinction), fresh off a runner-up effort in the June 29 GIII Smile Sprint S., will be joining the barn of trainer Peter Miller after Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch paid $510,000 to acquire the 4-year-old gelding from the Four Star Sales consignment Monday evening at Fasig-Tipton.

“He’s just a hell of a nice racehorse,” bloodstock agent Raymie Lightner said after signing the ticket on the bay. “He looks like he’ll be any kind of a horse. Gary was excited about the horse from the start and that’s what I was sticking around for. We’re happy to get him bought.”

As for plans for Jalen Journey, Lightner said, “He’s going to Peter Miller and it’s Pete call from here on out.”

Jalen Journey (hip 494) graduated against $50,000 maiden claimers at Gulfstream in his second start Mar. 8. He returned to win back-to-back optional claimers in Hallandale Mar. 30 and May 30 and was making his graded stakes debut for Commonwealth Stable and trainer Kathleen O’Connell when second behind Diamond Oops (Lookin at Lucky) in the Smile Sprint.

Out of Petunia Face (Congrats), the gelding is a half to stakes winner Derek Adrian (In Summation). His dam is a half to graded stakes winner Yara (Put It Back).

Asked if he was surprised to pay that much for the gelding, Lightner said, “We’ve had a lot of good geldings.”

Rockingham Ranch campaigns a pair of Eclipse champion geldings; Roy H (More Than Ready) is a two-time sprint champion after winning the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2017 and 2018 and Stormy Liberal (Stormy Atlantic) was tabbed champion turf male last year and captured back-to-back renewals of the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in 2017 and 2018.

“Jalen has been a superstar,” said Four Star Sales’ Tony Lacy. “He’s proven a lot on the track over the last few months. He’s a real professional and he loves his racing. It’s a lot of money, but it’s difficult to find a horse who can run like that, so consistent and genuine. He’ll be a great Saturday horse for the new owners.” @JessMartiniTDN

Orbolution Returns to Her Birthplace

Stakes winner Orbolution (Orb) is headed back to familiar territory after selling to her breeder Hinkle Farms for $325,000 at Newtown Paddocks Monday. Henry Hinkle signed the ticket seated alongside his niece Ann Archer.

“Well we really loved her as a foal and a yearling and she proved herself on the track,” Archer said of Hip 521. “We didn’t know if we would have a shot to buy her back today, but we were happy to. We love the family.”

As for the price, Hinkle said, “It was higher than we intended. We think in the long run, it is a good decision.”

Archer added, “If we get a foal out of her that is as nice as she was as a yearling, I think we will be fine.”

Hinkle continued, “She was a beautiful yearling herself and she should throw beautiful foals. We will evaluate her but our main long-term interest is a broodmare.”

Orbolution is out of GSP MY Rachel (Horse Chestnut {SAf}), who is a half-sister to GISW Jack Milton (War Front) and GSW Peace Preserver (War Front). The Hinkles purchased My Rachel for $125,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November Sale, carrying her first foal by Arch. The resulting foal was MSP Firehouse Red, who in turn produced GSW Draft Pick (Candy Ride {Arg}). My Rachel is also responsible for MSP Rachel’s Ready (More Than Ready). All five of her foals to race are winners, including the 3-year-old colt Pep (City Zip), and the 17-year-old mare has a juvenile filly named Wexx (Declaration of War) and a yearling colt by Honor Code.

“The mare is getting a little bit older,” Hinkle said. “We still have the mare, My Rachel, and she has thrown nothing but runners. She has one daughter who is already a graded stakes producer. We just love the family and want to stay in the family. This filly proved herself on the track, so we are really glad to have her back on the farm and in the broodmare band.”

Orbolution was purchased by Jack Wolf’s Starlight Racing for $370,000 at Keeneland September and raced as part of the group’s all-female arm known as StarLadies Racing. Trained by Todd Pletcher, who also conditioned her dam on behalf of Steve Young’s A1A Racing, the bay broke her maiden at third asking at Saratoga in 2017 when switched to the turf and stretched to two turns. She followed suit with a win in that term’s P.G. Johnson S. at the Spa and was third in the GIII Miss Grillo S. Off the board in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies that year, Orbolution was benched for all of 2018 and returned at Belmont May 9 of this year, finishing second in an optional claimer, and was third last time at Monmouth June 8.

When asked if he was happy with the sale, Wolf said, “Absolutely! That is who we bought the horse from. The Hinkles are involved in the family. I’m really excited they got the horse back.”@CDeBernardisTDN

Fierce Lady a High-Price RNA

Fierce Lady (Competitive Edge), tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ off an impressive debut win at Belmont Park, was led out unsold at Fasig-Tipton Monday off a final bid of $725,000, but owners Nice Guy Stables and Steve Hornstock are taking the night to consider a private offer on the juvenile filly.

“There is an offer on the table and they are going to think about it overnight,” said consignor Archie St George. “There is huge upside to her. She’s a very fast filly and we’ll just have to see.”

Doug Cauthen was bidding out back and, after the filly went through the ring, huddled up with St George and trainer Dermot Magner. The bloodstock agent confirmed he had made a post-sale offer on the filly.

Asked if he was surprised the filly hadn’t reached her reserve, St George said, “Yes and no. The number they wanted was obviously big, but they race and she came here with the idea that if she brought what they wanted, great. If not, they can race her. There are plenty of options out there–there is a $200,000 stakes next week.” @JessMartiniTDN

Phoenix Buys Out Partners for Kisses

Phoenix Thoroughbreds campaigned Splashy Kisses (Blame) in partnership with ERJ Racing, LLC and Dave Kenney, but the operation bought out those partners Monday at Fasig-Tipton to add the multiple graded stakes placed filly to its broodmare band. Denali Stud’s Craig Bandoroff made the winning bid of $240,000 to secure the 3-year-old filly.

“She’s going to go back to the farm. She’s done racing and we’ll figure out who she is going to be bred to,” Bandoroff said. “We keep a couple of mares for Phoenix [at Denali] and when [Phoenix’s] Tom [Ludt] told me he was interested, he’s not here, he asked me to take care of it.”

Splashy Kisses (hip 548) is out of Indian Valley (Cherokee Run), a half-sister to multiple graded stakes placed Convocation (Pulpit) and from the family of multiple Grade I winner Colour Chart (Mr. Prospector).

Purchased by ERJ Racing for $100,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale, the filly was second in the 2018 GII Pocahontas S. and third in this year’s GIII Sweet Life S.

While the focus Monday night was mainly on racing prospects, Bandoroff said astute buyers had the opportunity to pick up outstanding broodmare prospects.

“I don’t know that people are totally focused on broodmares here, but you don’t steal anything,” he said. “Everybody is sharp and everybody is paying attention.”

On the other side of the ledger, Denali Stud sold the 3-year-old filly Summer in Saratoga (Hard Spun), most recently third in a Monmouth Park maiden special weight, for $165,000.

“She sold well, a little above projection, but we weren’t surprised,” Bandoroff said. “This filly [Splashy Kisses] was big and pretty and our filly was big and pretty and that takes them a long way.” @JessMartiniTDN

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