Bernardini Colt Lights Up Fasig Midlantic

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Hip 385 | Fasig-Tipton

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A colt by Bernardini (hip 385), who advertised himself with a :9 4/5 work last week, ignited a bidding duel between West Point Thoroughbreds and bloodstock agent Gary Young in the Midlantic sale ring Tuesday. Young, doing his bidding out back while standing alongside advisor Charlie Boden and trainer Bob Baffert and on the phone with Saudi businessman Amr Zedan, answered every bid from the West Point team doing its bidding at the back of the pavilion to ultimately secure the colt for a sales-record $3.55 million.

“Obviously we thought he was a standout and other people did as well,” Young said. “Mr. Zedan was on the phone with me. Originally, we were going to go to $2.5 million, but he just kept answering. He said, 'Up to $2.5 million, it's yours. After that, you've got to have me on the phone.' I kept asking and he kept answering.”

The juvenile was consigned by Becky Thomas's Sequel Bloodstock on behalf of his breeders Chester and Mary Broman. He is out of G Note (Medaglia d'Oro), a daughter of graded winner Seeking the Ante (Seeking the Gold) and half to stakes winner Mineralogist (Mineshaft), as well as to the dam of this year's GII Rebel S. winner Un Ojo (Laoban).

“He did everything,” Young said. “He went :9 4/5 and in the videos, sometimes horses when they straighten up the backstretch they are pretty well spent, but he just kept firing up the backstretch. His third furlong was super.”

On behalf of Zedan, Young purchased a son of Uncle Mo (hip 206) for $2.3 million and a colt by Justify (hip 11) for $600,000 at the OBS Spring sale last month. At the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream, Zedan purchased a colt by Nyquist (hip 62) for $700,000.

All four purchases reflect Zedan's desire to get back to the GI Kentucky Derby, where he was represented last year by the ill-fated Medina Spirit (Protonico).

“You don't think of Bernardinis as :9 4/5 horses, as much as he's been a good sire for a long time, you think of horses that run longer,” Young said. “And that's what Mr. Zedan wants. He has Derby fever. That's his main focus. We will know in about five or six months how this turns out.”

Young said Tuesday's acquisition would likely conclude Zedan's 2-year-old purchases this year.

Hip 385 is the most expensive Thoroughbred sold at public auction in the state of Maryland, surpassing the $1.8 million set by Gamine at this sale in 2019. It was the eighth consecutive year that a horse selling at the Midlantic 2-year-old sale sold for seven figures.

Longtime New York breeders, the Bromans began selling select offerings as part of an estate planning program four years ago. The planning got a jump start with the $2-million Chestertown (Tapit), who topped the 2019 OBS March sale and is campaigned by a partnership that includes West Point Thoroughbreds and the Bromans themselves. Chestertown's half-brother by Into Mischief sold for $1 million at this year's March sale.

“It's huge,” Sequel's Carlos Manresa said of Tuesday's record-setting result. “It just goes to show how much the Bromans can be rewarded for the time that they have put into breeding these mares and keeping these families. It's especially wonderful to have Mr. Broman here for the sale. Whenever we feel like we have something that we think is really going to be exciting, he likes to be here for it. This was certainly an event that called for him to be here.”

Describing the colt's progression, Manresa said, “He's always been really calm around the barn. He is really well behaved and really well mannered. He gallops so calmly, but when we asked him to go fast, he went really fast.”

The colt became the first horse in a decade to shade :10 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds when he worked during last week's under-tack show.

“We knew he would go fast, we just didn't know he'd go quite that fast,” Manresa admitted. “We never expected a :9 4/5, but we were very pleased that he gave it to us.”

Manresa said the result was gratifying for the entire Sequel team.

“Any time you can be part of a horse that brings seven figures, it's really special,” he said. “Not just for me, but for everyone at the farm. Everyone is watching from home and they are all texting me and congratulating us, from the grooms, to the guy who does our track, to the blacksmith that does his feet every month. It's a wonderful team.”

 

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