$650K Bernardini Filly Leads 'Encouraging Start' to F-T Midlantic May Sale

Monday's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic topper, a filly by Bernardini | Fasig-Tipton

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TIMONIUM, MD – The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale opened with a steady session which gained steam throughout the day Monday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

“It was a very good start to the May 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “The results were basically identical to last year, from a statistical standpoint. We were very encouraged.”

A total of 142 horses sold Monday for a gross of $13,162,000. Monday's average was $92,690, and the median was $48,500. Monday's figures where on par with last year's total sale median of $50,000 and average of $92,788.

From a catalogue of 275, 191 horses went through the ring with 49 failing to meet their reserve for a buy-back rate of 25.7%.

Bloodstock agent Pedro Lanz, bidding on behalf of the Saudi-based KAS Stables, acquired the day's highest-priced offering when going to $650,000 for a filly by Bernardini late in the session.

The KAS Stables purchase punctuated a deep buying bench from the Middle East, which also featured Dubai-based trainers Michael Costa, who purchased a colt by Vekoma for $400,000, and Bhupat Seemar, whose two purchases were led by a $325,000 son of Medaglia d'Oro.

Bloodstock agent Case Clay, bidding on behalf of Qatar's Wathnan Racing, paid $500,000 for a filly by Justify.

“There was strong international participation today, which I think really helped bolster the results,” Browning said. “We've seen a little weakness in the earlier 2-year-old sales compared to last year and I thought the international participation really helped reinforce [the market] and get us consistent to prior year levels.”

Expectations are high for Tuesday's second and final session of the auction.

“From the conversations on the sales grounds, the quality of the horses tomorrow might be a little more consistent overall than it was today,” Browning said. “So that bodes well for another strong day tomorrow.”

The Midlantic May sale concludes with a session Tuesday beginning at 11 a.m.

Bernardini Filly Provides Late Sparkle

With just a few hips left to go through the ring in Timonium Monday, bloodstock agent Pedro Lanz, acting on behalf of KAS Stables, made the day's highest bid when going to $650,000 to acquire a filly by Bernardini (hip 276) from the Crane Thoroughbreds consignment. The filly is out of the unraced Rubies Are Red (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-sister to Tapit. She worked a furlong in :10 flat during last week's under-tack show and continued on with a head-turning gallop-out.

Lanz called the work, “Maybe the fastest workout of the sale,” before adding, “And when you see the pedigree, the second dam Tap Your Heels. She's a million-dollar filly. We are happy to get her. There is no better filly in the sale.”

While Lanz has been active buying horses to send to KAS Stable's Saudi base, he said this filly might be staying in the U.S.

“We are starting some operations here in the U.S.,” Lanz said. “We have two colts here. I don't know yet, but it's possible the filly will stay here. I have to talk to them. We are still in shock.”

The filly, who was bred by Walmac Farm, is one of a group of 2-year-olds Crane Thoroughbreds is offering on behalf of Robert Garrett and his agent Rusty Roberts. She was purchased privately after RNA'ing for $200,000 at Keeneland last September.

“I am thankful that Rusty Roberts and Robert Garrett gave me a chance to bring a group here and it was great,” Clovis Crane said. “I am just thankful for the opportunity. The filly just did what we thought she would do and it's very exciting.”

Of the juvenile's appeal, Crane added, “She's just outstanding. What a crackerjack. She just allowed us to do everything that we wanted to do with her and it turned out great. I am just so thankful for the opportunity.”

Another Bernardini Score for Garrett

Robert Garrett is in just his second season of pinhooking, but the Oklahoman who began buying horses after selling his power line company in 2021 admitted he is hooked after watching his filly by Bernardini (hip 276) bring a session-topping $650,000 late in Monday's first session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale.

Garrett, through agent Rusty Roberts, acquired the filly privately after she RNA'd for $200,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

Hip 276, a filly by Bernardini | Fasig-Tipton

“Rusty Roberts is my agent–he's been doing it since he was 18 years old and he's really good at it,” Garrett said. “That's how we came to find her. They RNA'd her and we bought her off the farm at Walmac Farm. She RNA'd for $200,000 and we gave a little less than that.”

The yearling was sent to Bobby Capps, a professional bull rider in northern Oklahoma, to be broken and from there was sent to Clovis Crane for sales prep in Pennsylvania.

“Bobby does a great job with breaking the horses,” Garrett said. “And Clovis gets them ready–he swims them and everything. He and his family do a lot of hard work. And that's the result.”

Asked about his expectations coming into the sale, Garrett said, “We didn't know she was going to go that fast and we darn sure didn't know she was going to gallop out that fast.”

While the filly was in the ring Monday, Garrett admitted, “It was nerve wracking. We were expecting north of $500,000. It will pay the bills for the rest of them we got selling tomorrow. We have three selling tomorrow.”

Garrett's first pinhooking results last year included a colt by Bernardini, who had been purchased for $110,000 as a yearling and sold for $300,000 at the OBS March sale.

“The Bernardinis have been pretty good to me, even though it's the tale end of them,” Garrett said. “I think he's smiling down on my family right now.”

With Monday's profit in his pocket, Garrett is looking forward to a productive season at the yearling sales this fall.

Good Magic Colt to Shah

Kaleem Shah, flanked by trainer Steve Asmussen and bloodstock agent Ben McElroy, signed the ticket at $525,000 to acquire a colt by Good Magic (hip 168) for $525,000 during Monday's first session of the Midlantic May sale. The chestnut was consigned by Wavertree Stables.

Steve Asmussen, Kaleem Shah, Ben McElroy | Fasig-Tipton

The colt, who worked a furlong last week in :10 2/5, is out of Mellonbrook (Discreet Cat). The mare is a half to stakes winners Trooper John (Colonel John) and Sky Haven (Sky Mesa).

Among the horses Asmussen currently trains for Shah is Bellamore (Empire Maker), who won the GIII Houston Ladies Classic S. in January and was second in the GII Azeri S.

“This is the first 2-year-old purchase of his that I've received,” Asmussen said.

Asked what Shah was looking for in his 2-year-old purchases, Asmussen smiled and said, “It's as simple as fast. Sometimes we try to make it difficult, but it is a race.”

Ron Fein's Superfine Farm purchased the colt for $220,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale.

Wathnan Makes American Strike

Bloodstock agent Case Clay signed the ticket at $500,000 to acquire a filly by Triple Crown winner Justify (hip 171) on behalf of Wathnan Racing, the operation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“She's a beautiful filly by Justify who worked well,” Clay said of the filly. “She will stay in the U.S. and run here.”

Wathnan Racing scored a pair of high-profile victories at last year's Royal Ascot meeting with Gregory (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}) winning the G2 Queen's Vase and Courage Mon Ami (GB) (Frankel {GB}) taking the G1 Ascot Gold Cup.

From a limited number of U.S. starts, the Wathnan colors were most recently carried stateside by Crimson Advocate (Nyquist), winner of Saturday's Roar S. at Gulfstream Park. Also this spring, Immensitude (Fr) (Lawman {Fr}), a 4-year-old group winner in France was third in a Keeneland allowance for Bill Mott Apr. 21 in her first start in the country.

Clay purchased Edgartown (Quality Road) for Wathnan for $350,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale. The 3-year-old, fifth in the GIII Kitten's Joy S. at Gulfstream in February, is trained by Graham Motion.

As for a trainer for Wathnan's newest acquisition, Clay said, “Not yet. We will just get with the team and make a decision from there.”

Consigned by Steve Venosa's SGV Thoroughbreds, hip 171 is out of Puerto Rican champion Mia Karina (Jazil). She worked a furlong last week in :10 2/5. The filly was purchased by a pinhooking partnership for $230,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton July sale.

“She was originally in the March sale and we just felt she wasn't ready,” Venosa said. “We decided to give her the extra time and we were rewarded for our efforts. It was a team effort with everybody back at the barn and we are blessed by what she brought her.”

 

MyRacehorse Strikes for Bolt d'Oro Filly

The MyRacehorse team, fresh off a win with Seize the Grey (Arrogate) in Saturday's GI Preakness S., kicked off the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale with the purchase of a filly by Bolt d'Oro (hip 26) for $450,000 from the De Meric Sales consignment Monday in Timonium.

Hip 26, a colt by Bolt d'Oro | Fasig-Tipton

“She was very athletic,” MyRacehorse  racing manager Joe Moran said of the filly's appeal. “She had a great presence to her. And she came to the sale and performed. She kind of checked all of the boxes for us. She was one early on that we were hoping to strike and get on the board early. And everything went to plan.”

Shortly after going through the ring, the team added a new partner on the filly when Ramiro Restrepo's Marquee Bloodstock joined the ticket.

“He was actually the direct underbidder on her and he loved her,” Moran said of Restrepo. “We decided it was a great story to team up with them. We have never partnered up with Ramiro. He's a great guy and we've always talked about it. So it was great to get that done.”

Restrepo has had success buying out of the Midlantic where he and trainer Gustavo Delgado and assistant Gustavo Delgado, Jr. purchased future GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) for $290,000 in 2022.

“She is going to go to Gustavo Delgado,” Moran said. “She is one that we think will be early and be a Saratoga type. We will give her a little freshening and get her to Gustavo and get his opinion on her. This will be the first horse we have with Gustavo. We thought it would be a great story with them winning the Derby last year and us coming off the Preakness win.”

Hip 26 is out of Final Reward (Arch), dam of graded-placed Yatta (Yoshida {Jpn}). Her third dam produced champion Kitten's Joy.

Asked if the excitement of the Preakness win carried into the sales ring Monday, Moran said, “Oh absolutely. It gets you excited, but you have to stay disciplined and stay focused. She was just one that was high on our list.”

Of the filly's final price, Moran said, “We thought she would sell well. It maybe took a tick or two more than we wanted, but she was just one that we felt if we brought her home, she would be a good one. So we were willing to stretch a little bit.”

The juvenile, who RNA'd for $170,000 at the Keeneland September sale last fall, sold to De Meric Sales for $135,000 at the OBS October sale the following month. She worked a furlong at last week's under-tack show in :10 2/5.

“She was a beautiful filly,” Tristan de Meric said of the filly. “She trained great all year. We actually brought her up here because she had a turfy pedigree and she always trained so well at home on the dirt that I thought people would appreciate her a little bit more up here. And it all came together.”

My Racehorse came back later in the session to purchase a colt by Practical Joke (hip 234), in partnership with Peter Leidel, from the Wavertree Stables consignment for $300,000.

 

Vekoma Colt Heads to Dubai

Trainer Michael Costa secured a colt from the first crop of Grade I winner Vekoma (hip 137) for $400,000 Monday in Timonium. The dark bay, consigned by De Meric Sales, is out of Lightning Twice (Malibu Moon), a full-sister to graded winners Winding Way and Kauai Katie.

“He's a very athletic horse,” Costa, who is based at Jebel Ali Racecourse in Dubai, said. “We looked at a few by the stallion at earlier breeze-up sales, but it just wasn't there. This is one that stood out. He breezed really well (:10 2/5). He looks like one that will do well to follow a Derby campaign in Dubai.”

Costa was busy buying yearlings at Keeneland last September, where he purchased 12 head for $3,505,000, and was looking to fill out the roster with some juveniles this spring.

“We purchased a good bunch of yearlings from Keeneland earlier in the year and this colt was just one that we thought fit in the mode of what was left of what we needed,” he explained. “We had to pay a little bit for him, but a bit of competition shows you might be on the right one.”

The De Merics purchased the colt for $17,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“He was an unbelievable horse when we bought him,” Tristan De Meric said. “I was surprised when we were able to get him for what we did. He had stifle surgery and it cleaned up beautifully. He was a miniature horse at the sale–he's a May 31 foal–but the angles were all there and he moved like a really good horse. And it all came together for him.”

 

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