By Jessica Martini
TIMONIUM, MD – A filly by Arrogate (hip 552) and a colt by Catalina Cruiser (hip 568) set the fastest furlong and quarter-mile times, respectively, during the final session of the under-tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Thursday.
Both juveniles were stabled in Barn A, with the filly consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds and the colt in the L.G. consignment of longtime Hartley/DeRenzo employee Luis Garcia.
Hip 552 became the sixth juvenile of the under-tack show to work a furlong in :10 flat in the day's second set Thursday.
“I knew she was going to go fast,” Randy Hartley said. “I was hoping for a :9 4/5. It just depended on the track. But she's been the best filly on the farm all year. And when she prepped here, my kid said she was ready and she felt the best of all of them.”
Out of Twixy (Mutakddim), the chestnut filly is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Twixy Roll (Roll Hennessy Roll) and is from the family of multiple Grade I winner Caleb's Posse.
The filly was purchased by Hartley and Dean DeRenzo for $255,000 out of Book 1 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
“To me, she was the best-looking horse in Book 1,” Hartley said. “Her pedigree was a little lighter for Book 1 and I think that's probably the reason we were able to buy her. It wasn't a big, Grade I mare or anything, but we just loved the filly. She's just a gorgeous filly. She looks like a colt.”
Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni purchased Faiza (Girvin) on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen for $725,000 at last year's Midlantic May sale and Thursday, a day before that undefeated filly goes postward in the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. at Pimlico, Lanni and Petersen stopped by Barn A specifically to look at the speedy Arrogate filly in Barn A.
Hip 568 matched the quarter-mile bullet set by a Hartley/DeRenzo consigned son of Justify Wednesday when he covered the distance in :21 2/5 during the first set Thursday morning.
The chestnut colt is out of Wicked Speed (Macho Uno) and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Freedom Speaks (American Freedom). Wicked Speed is a half-sister to Canadian champion Fatal Bullet (Red Bullet).
Garcia and partner Gina Fennell purchased the colt for $70,000 at Keeneland last September.
“I liked his body. He is a beautiful horse,” Garcia said of the colt's appeal last fall. “And I like Catalina Cruiser. I have a couple of them this year. They are really smart. They relax and they do everything perfectly.”
The colt will be making his second trip through the sales ring this year. He RNA'd for $85,000 following a :10 2/5 breeze at the OBS March sale.
“He worked in March, but he wasn't really ready for that,” Garcia said. “I took him out and brought him here. He is a big horse and kind of heavy. So I gave him more training and more time. And now he's doing everything on his own.”
Of the decision to go a quarter-mile Thursday, Garcia explained, “We had him in that sale in March and he was kind of a heavy horse. So I trained him more, gave him more two-minute licks, and he was ready to go a quarter.”
Garcia is just a few months short of his 16-year anniversary of working for Hartley/DeRenzo.
“If I left them, I'd feel lost,” he said with a laugh.
While the under-tack show's second session Wednesday featured a significant tailwind throughout the day, Thursday's session was held amidst an intermittent headwind, which seemed to increase throughout the day.
“The track seems all over the place,” Hartley said. “I think [Thursday] is a mixture between the first day and second day. I think it's not quite like the first day, and with the tailwind yesterday, today is kind of somewhere in between those two days.”
The fifth set of Thursday's session was briefly halted when hip 536 got loose on the track prior to his work for Two Oaks Equine. The gray colt began running up the track as hip 421, a filly by Connect, was finishing up her furlong work in :10 4/5.
Eventually corralled by the outriders, hip 536 returned to the track during the session's seventh and final set and worked a furlong in :10 2/5.
After a pair of strong, if top-heavy, juvenile sales in Ocala earlier this spring, Hartley is hoping to see a broadening of the middle market when bidding opens in Timonium Monday morning.
“It's like we are missing the middle–we are missing that $150,000 buyer,” Hartley said of the 2-year-old market this year. “It's all or nothing, it seems like this year. Maybe people, like Linda Rice, are doing more claiming and getting their horses like that. The purses are really good, but it just seems like we need that guy to spend $150,000 or $200,000. I don't know if his wife is telling him, 'Oh, no. We're not buying a horse right now.' But we are missing that market and I don't know if it's going to be here or not. I hope it's going to be here. I hope we have more New York people coming down to this sale. The Maryland people will be here–I don't know if they will be in that middle market. They seem to shop to try to find nice racehorses for $100,000 or less, although there are a couple who step up and spend a little bit more. But we need the guys from California to come.”
The Midlantic May sale will be held Monday and Tuesday with sessions beginning each day at 11 a.m.
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