Scat Daddy Colts Top F-T Turf Sale

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Hip 84 | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

‌LEXINGTON, Ky – Yearlings from the final crop of Scat Daddy took center stage during the inaugural edition of the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Selected Yearlings Sale, with the late Coolmore stallion represented by three of the top four lots, including the two $250,000 co-toppers Sunday at Newtown Paddocks in Lexington. The first turf sale proved to be highly polarized, with 71 of the 145 offered yearlings failing to find new homes. In all, 74 horses sold for $5,035,000. The average was $68,041 and the median was $52,500.

“We really didn’t know what to expect coming into tonight and I think we learned some things–both positive and some areas that need improvement,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “You hate to have an RNA rate in the 40s, we were certainly disappointed in that. I think we learned a lot of things throughout the evening, both in terms of physical inspections and we figured out some things on the pedigree.”

Fasig-Tipton had hoped to capitalize on the presence of a large contingent of European buyers in town for the Keeneland September sale, but Browning admitted he was disappointed by the lack of foreign buyers on the final sales sheets.

“I was very pleased with the level and the number of Europeans that were on the sales grounds the last three days and I was disappointed by the amount of horses that we sold to European buyers,” he said.

Browning continued, “There is not a lot of forgiveness in a select market. This was a select market and in a select market, you better be selective in selecting horses. We were probably–not probably–we were too lenient on some physicals. And we may have had some stallion overload in a few spots from North American-based stallions that we thought the world would accept and, despite the success that those stallions have had in the United States, it doesn’t necessarily translate as we thought it might. So we learned a little bit on the pedigree aspect also.”

Taylor Made Sales consigned one of the sale’s co-topping Scat Daddy colts (hip 84), as well as four of the top 10 lots.

“We had a decent sale,” said Taylor Made’s Duncan Taylor. “It wasn’t great, but it was good for the first go-around. I think the market in America for turf horses, if you have a really good turf horse, you can sell it. If you have an average to below-average one, it’s tough to sell it.”

Of the sale’s high buy-back rate, Taylor added, “I don’t think there was a lot of participation from Europe. So that wasn’t pushing the demand and the Americans got to buy what they wanted. So there were quite a few buy-backs. I think that a lot of those horses probably would have been bought back spread out through the other sale because they are turf horses and below average and they are hard to sell in America.”

Taylor agreed the selection process for a future turf sale would have to be more stringent for the auction to become viable long-term.

“It’s a good first shot,” Taylor said. “I think what they will have to do is be more select and then see whether you can get enough of them. I think the Americans stepped up here and bought what they liked. We will have to regroup and see what to do next year. I think it depends on if they could be more select next year. They sort of did it at the last minute, so if they can get a more select group, I think it could be. But if it’s the exact same kind of horses that we sold this year, I don’t think it would be sustainable.”

Ocala horseman Nick DeMeric signed the ticket on the other co-topping colt (hip 84), as well as a son of Animal Kingdom (hip 74) for $185,000.

“I think it is an innovative idea and I give the sales company the greatest credit for always thinking outside the box, which they do routinely,” deMeric said. “I hope it is successful for them. I know it is a tough assignment, breaking into a new date and a new format. I think turf racing is gathering momentum in America and, of course, in Europe, Japan and Australasia, there is no explanation necessary. It has got a future. Like a lot of things, it probably just has to find its legs, but when it does, it will have a place in the calendar.

 

Lothenbach Strikes for Scat Daddy Colt

Bob Lothenbach had a big weekend on the racetrack and celebrated with a $250,000 co-sale topping purchase of a Scat Daddy colt at the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase sale.

“We thought he was a very nice individual,” Lothenbach’s racing manager Drew Nardiello said after signing the ticket on hip 50. “Mr. Lothenbach had a very big weekend. He had a homebred run second in a stakes and one that we bought at Saratoga last year won a stakes. The guy is excited. He wants to buy quality racehorses and run on Saturday afternoon. We hope this horse will get him there.”

Bet She Wins (First Samurai), a $230,000 purchase at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sales, carried Lothenbach’s colors to victory in Sunday’s Arlington-Washington Lassie S. and his homebred Captivating Moon (Malibu Moon) was second in the same day’s Arlington-Washington Futurity.

Lothenbach has a racing stable of some 100 runners, but the Minnesota native has been particularly busy in the sales ring over the last year after selling his printing company Imagine Print Solutions last winter.

“He has always been in the game,” Nardiello said of Lothenbach. “He got into it early at Canterbury with [trainer] Clint Goodrich. He had a lot of success early on with Saint Ballado. He enjoys it. He takes his kids and his family and goes to the races.”

In addition to the Scat Daddy colt, Lothenbach also purchased a colt by Distorted Humor (hip 130) for $90,000 Sunday in Lexington.

The first Fasig Turf Showcase sale took place in the shadow of the marathon Keeneland September Yearling Sale and Nardiello admitted the auction might have suffered as buyers took a wait-and-see approach to bidding.

“I think it was a great concept,” Nardiello said of the turf sale. “I always thought that people might come to this sale and dip their toe in and see what is going on and sit back and watch instead of diving in. Tomorrow night is going to be pretty stiff [at Keeneland September Book 1] because of the pedigrees–those are stallion kind of horses–and it’s going to be difficult this week if you look at the Saratoga market, the select sale and at the New York-bred sale, we couldn’t raise our hand–that was a hell of a sale. The turf angle is a neat angle, but I also think they’ve got a difficult challenge because people are waiting. I think this was a unique idea and hopefully a lot of good horses will come out of this sale.”

Consigned to the Fasig sale by Vinery Sales on behalf of breeder Spendthrift Farm, hip 50 is the first foal out of stakes winner Harbingerofthings (Rockport Harbor). Spendthrift purchased the mare, with this foal in utero, for $150,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November Sale.

“I thought he was a horse that might appeal to the Europeans, though it wasn’t Europeans that actually bought him,” Spendthrift’s Ned Toffey said of the decision to send the yearling through the ring at Fasig-Tipton Sunday. “Being by Scat Daddy, we thought he fit here and we like supporting Fasig-Tipton and what they are doing. He’s not a big, big horse, but he was a late foal [May 8], so we thought we would give him the time and bring him here. Again, best laid plans, we thought the Europeans might forgive the size a little bit more than some other buyers. We initially thought we would take him to Keeneland, but we made a late switch and came here. We thought he’d be a little more of a big fish in a smaller pond here. I think you could take a Scat Daddy to any sale you want to right now and they would sell well, but obviously the Scat Daddy makes you think turf. The pedigree overall made sense here.”

 

Scat Daddy Momentum Continues at Fasig

The final yearlings by the Scat Daddy proved quite popular Sunday night and hip 84 was no exception, selling to Nick deMeric for a co-sale topping $250,000. He shared top billing with another son of the late Ashford sire, hip 50.

“I didn’t expect to get him for a lot less and we weren’t going to go a great deal further,” deMeric said of the price after signing the ticket in the back corner of the pavilion. “The two that we bought tonight are for an end user. We bought an Animal Kingdom colt [hip 74] a short while earlier and they will hopefully be going straight to the races.”

Consigned by Taylor Made Sales on behalf of his breeder Don Alberto Corp., hip 84 is the first foal out of the Danehill Dancer mare Luvly Rita. He hails from the family of Irish Highweights and Group 1 winners Yesterday (Ire) and Quarter Moon (Ire). “First of all, I just love the sire,” deMeric said. “They are running everywhere, Europe, America, Australia. He is just a fabulous sire and, of course, as we all know, they are not making anymore of them. This is his final crop. He is a powerful, good-moving colt. He is an April foal. He just looks like a tough, rugged, competitive individual, who can run on any surface, and we are happy to have him.”

Five Scat Daddys went through the ring Monday night, four colts and one filly. The filly (hip 98) RNA’d on a final bid of $120,000, but all four colts sold for a total of $840,000. In addition to hips 50 and 84, hip 85 summoned $200,000 from Hunter Valley Farm and hip 78 brought $140,000 from Tom McCrocklin, agent for SBS Sales.

@CDeBernardisTDN

 

Dobson Sets the Early Pace at Fasig

The Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase sale was only 11 hips old when Everett Dobson became the first bidder to the $200,000 mark when he signed the ticket at that price under the name of his Cheyenne Stables for a filly by Kitten’s Joy.

“To be honest with you, I just saw her for the first time 30 minutes ago,” Dobson said. “She was on a short list that was prepared by [bloodstock agent] Gatewood Bell. She was very high on his list.”

Bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, hip 12 is out of Brushwork (Discreet Cat) and is a full-sister to multiple stakes winner and graded stakes placed Kitten’s Cat. Her second dam is multiple Grade I winner Manistique (Unbridled). The yearling was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

“Obviously, she’s by an incredible turf sire and she’s a full-sister to a multiple stakes winner,” Dobson said. “Her second dam is a Grade I winner. So she had all the qualities that I like to see in a race filly.”

The Ramseys purchased Brushwork for $9,500 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton February sale. Kitten’s Cat is her first foal. The mare sold in foal to Kitten’s Joy for $150,000 at this year’s Keeneland January sale.

Asked if shopping at a sale specifically attracting horses with turf pedigrees indicated he had an increased interest in turf racing, Dobson said, “From my perspective, it’s not turf or dirt. It’s American racing. We are racing more stakes races on the turf than we have in the past. To me, if you’re going to be in the game, you’ve got to look at that kind of filly. She’ll obviously be pointed more towards the turf, but it’s American racing.”

Of the inaugural turf sale, Dobson added, “I think the concept of bringing turf buyers and turf sellers together is a good idea. I’m not sure if it’s the best day for the sale, in all honesty. It crowds all the work I’m doing over at Keeneland. But I love the concept, I think it’s here to stay.”

 

Stinson Over the ‘Moon’ With New Purchase

Michael Stinson came out on top of a spirited round of bidding late in the sale to take home a colt by Malibu Moon (hip 168) for $200,000 from the Darby Dan consignment.

“[Bloodstock agent] Tom McGreevy liked him so I liked him,” a very pleased Stinson said, listing McGreevy as agent when signing the ticket. “He was just a nice horse. Tom thought he was the best horse in the sale, so that was good enough for me.”

Stinson continued, “He was a lot more expensive than I thought he would be, but they always are. We are happy with him.”

A $170,000 RNA as a weanling at Keeneland November, hip 168 was bred by Three Chimneys Farm and is out of Article Rare (El Prado {Ire}), who was a Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed in France. This is also the family of French GSW Android (Riverman) and GSP Art Moderne (Woodman).

This is not Stinson’s first foray into ownership. He was one of the partners in the new ownership group Taylor Made formed for two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. He also bought into the broodmare career of New Mexico’s champion Pepper’s Pride, who was undefeated with 19 career victories, and campaigned MSW Proceed (Desert God).

“If you have more than one, you have too many and I have more than one,” Stinson joked. “We will run him. I’m not sure, who will train him yet.”

As for his thoughts on the inaugural Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase, Stinson said, “I think it’s terrific. We will try this horse on the dirt, but I think the sale is wonderful.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

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