$1.25M Bolt d'Oro Filly Leads Lively Midlantic May Finale

Hip 401, the $1.25-million topper by Bolt d'Oro | Fasig-Tipton 

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TIMONIUM, MD – The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale concluded its two-day run at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium Tuesday with a lively session of bidding led by a $1.25-million daughter of Bolt d'Oro. Through two sessions, 343 horses sold for $32,766,500. The average of $95,485–up 2.9% from a year ago–just ticked up from the sale's previous record average of $95,391 set in 2022, while the median of $50,000 tied the sale record set in 2021 and equaled again in 2023.

“I thought we had two very good days of horse sales,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “Our average was up slightly from last year and the median is the same as last year. There was very encouraging activity–maybe not at the absolute start–but throughout both sessions.”

The Midlantic May sale was topped by a seven-figure juvenile for the ninth straight year when trainer Steve Asmussen, on the phone with owner Ron Winchell, bid $1.25 million for a filly by Bolt d'Oro.

Buyers from the Middle East continued to be active at the top level of the market with Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz's Najd Stud purchasing the second-highest priced offering of the day, a $650,000 son of Maclean's Music.

“The sale received a significant boost and bolster from the international participation, particularly from the Gulf region,” Browning said. “We all should be knocking on wood that next year American exported horses have a lot of success in the Middle East because it will continue to drive more and more interest in our marketplace.”

Wavertree Stables consigned three of the auction's top five juveniles, including the million-dollar topper.

“We have had a good sale,” Wavertree's Ciaran Dunne said when asked about the market in Timonium this week. “It's like anything, if you have a bad sale, you see the bad end of the market. If you have a good sale, you see the top end. The horses that performed well and vetted good, have sold well. We've sold a couple on the lower end, but they were some that we figured it was just time to move them on. And yeah, they didn't bring a lot of money, but the fact that there is someone there to take them, is a big deal.”

Bolt d'Oro Filly Shines in Timonium

A filly by Bolt d'Oro (hip 401) turned in a flashy :10 flat work during last week's under-tack show and duly delivered in the sales ring Tuesday when selling for $1.25 million. Trainer Steve Asmussen made the winning bid on behalf of Ron Winchell. The juvenile was consigned by Wavertree Stables.

Steve Asmussen and Greg Pachman | Fasig-Tipton

“She stood out on the data,” said Winchell Thoroughbreds' Greg Pachman. “We do a lot of work with Equine Analysis–Dr. David Lambert, Matt Weinmann, and Andreu Solis. They did a great job finding her. She was a standout on the data and Steve obviously liked her. We don't do anything without Steve being involved. It's not that often that we land on horses that happily together.”

The filly is out of Werewolf (Arch) and is a half-sister to graded-placed Howling Time (Not This Time) and multiple stakes-placed Air Recruit (Air Force Blue).

Of the filly's seven-figure price tag, Pachman said, “Ron stretched to buy her. We thought it was going to be close to that. It's good when you know a little bit in advance because you get mentally ready for it.”

Ciaran Dunne purchased the filly for $335,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale and, even after Tuesday's result, the horseman maintained he had overpaid for the yearling.

The Midlantic topper | Fasig-Tipton

“She was then what she is now,” Dunne said. “She was absolutely beautiful. We had been getting run over left, right and center and I was probably a little punchy. It was early in the morning and we felt like we hadn't bought anything. To be honest with you, I overspent. Even now. It was way too much money for her, but when they look like her, that's what they cost. She had a bit of pedigree. I overspent on her and I spent the rest of the day scrambling trying to put her together. Thankfully, a lot of people supported me and kind of helped me out. And they got their reward today.”

The filly had originally been targeted at the OBS April sale.

“We were obviously devastated in the spring when we missed our first target,” Dunne said. “But we had faith in her.”

Dunne continued, “She is going to a great home. For as great a day today is, you really hope she goes and is everything that we all think she is. That's the ultimate goal.”

Maclean's Music Colt to Saudi

Saud Al Qahtani, who watched Forever Young (Jpn) (Reel Steel {Jpn}) sweep the G3 Saudi Derby and G2 UAE Derby before coming agonizingly close in the GI Kentucky Derby, has similar hopes for the colt by Maclean's Music (hip 379) he purchased for $650,000 on behalf of Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz's Najd Stud Tuesday in Timonium.

Saud Al Qahtani and Eddie Woods | Fasig-Tipton

“We have the Saudi Derby as our target, so we wish, inshallah, he will do the job,” Al Qahtani said after signing the ticket on the colt, who was consigned by Eddie Woods. “The Japanese horse was third in the Kentucky Derby. He won the Saudi Derby. And he won the UAE Derby and then he came to the Kentucky Derby and he almost win.”

Asked if he had a similar goal for hip 379, Al Qahtani said, “I hope so.”

The bay colt, who was bred by George Krikorian, is out of the unraced Two Faced Moon (Malibu Moon) and is a half-brother to graded-placed Big Switch (Mr. Big) and Hollywood Hills (Hoorayforhollywood). He worked a furlong last week in :10 1/5.

“First of all, he has a very good pedigree,” Al Qahtani said of the colt's appeal. “He's a very good individual with good conformation, a good breeze and also he is from a very good consignor, very well known. So, from A to Z, he looks good. I hope I am not wrong.”

Al Qahtani continued, “The market is good, so I had to go for this horse because I think he was one of the good ones. I tried twice yesterday, but this is the first one we bought. He is what we are looking for. I am so happy to get him.”

Al Qahtani was busy at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale last fall, buying 18 head for $1,230,000 and followed up with the purchase of two horses of racing age at Keeneland in November on behalf of Najd Stud.

Prince Faisal purchased an interest in GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner White Abarrio (Race Day) prior to this year's G1 Saudi Cup.

Hip 379, Maclean's Music colt | ThoroStride

“I was at Keeneland last November,” Al Qahtani said. “HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz has already had good results in Europe. We started this year in America. I was at Keeneland last November and this was the first time at a breeze-up in America.”

Fasig-Tipton has made a concerted effort to court Middle East buyers to its sales and reaped the benefits of those efforts during the two-day Midlantic May sale. In addition to Najd Stud, other Middle East buyers active included Dubai-based trainers Michael Costa and Bhupat Seemar, as well as Qatar's Wathnan Racing.

Pedro Lanz purchased Monday's session-topping daughter of Bernardini and returned Tuesday to acquire a colt by Justify for $425,000 and a colt by Volatile for $200,000 on behalf of the Saudi-based KAS Stables.

HRH Prince Saud bin Salman purchased a pair of juveniles by Good Magic during the auction, going to $180,000 for a filly and $120,000 for a colt by the stallion.

“There was very strong Middle East participation from a number of countries here,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said after Monday's first session of the sale. “We made a real push over the last 24 months to try to increase our footprint there because of the increase in activity. The dirt racetrack certainly lines up as they are racing more and more on dirt surfaces. It seems very logical to us. And, as we talk to buyers and representatives from that region, it's a good fit calendar-wise. It's after the Dubai World Cup. It's a growth area. So it's been an area of concentration and intention. We have a Middle Eastern representative, Michael Adolphson, who has been working for us for about 18 months. Anna Seitz made a trip to Saudi and to Dubai this year around the Saudi Cup. It's about making introductions and developing confidence and educating people about what we have on offer here. We saw those results today and we will continue. It's a long-term process.”

Curlin Colt to Imagine

Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni went to $500,000 to acquire a colt by Curlin (hip 429) on behalf of Marne and Margaret Fauber's Imagine Racing Tuesday in Timonium. The colt, consigned by Hartley/de Renzo Thoroughbreds, is out of America's Starlet (Concord Point), a full-sister to Grade I winner American Gal.

Hip 429, Curlin colt | Fasig-Tipton

“He is by Curlin and he has a great female family,” Lanni said of the colt's appeal. “It's a fast female family. I know it well. He is a big, two-turn type of horse.”

In action for the Faubers at last year's May sale, Lanni purchased subsequent stakes-placed Snead (Nyquist) for $325,000. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the gray colt was second in the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds last December.

“They want a horse that could possibly take them to some Classic races. And he kind of fit that mold. He looked great,” Lanni said.

No trainer has yet been picked for the colt, Lanni said.

An active buyer at the OBS April sale last month, Lanni said he still saw demand for horses at the May sale.

“If these young horses do it and do it the right way, they are good horses,” he said. “That's why people buy 2-year-olds. They are tested and you get to see what you are getting.”

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