By Jessica Martini
The under-tack show for next week's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training reached its midway point Wednesday, with a colt by Blame (hip 430) and a filly by Bee Jersey (hip 495) sharing the session's quarter-mile bullet time of :20 3/5.
Hip 495 was among the first horses to work Wednesday morning when she turned in her bullet quarter-mile drill. Consigned by Triple J Equine Sales, the chestnut filly is out of Tale of La Comete (Tale of Ekati). Her third dam is La Comete (Holy Bull), who is the dam of Munnings.
Bred by Charles Fipke, the filly RNA'd for $4,500 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Hip 430, who also turned in his :20 3/5 work early in Wednesday's first set, is consigned by Wavertree Stables. The dark bay colt is out of Soul Spirit (Quality Road), who is a daughter of multiple Grade I-placed Soul Search (A.P. Indy) and a half-sister to graded winner Journey Home (War Front).
“We expected he would work really well, but I can't say we were expecting :20 3/5,” said Wavertree's Ciaran Dunne. “It was a really good work because on the backside, clocking it, it wasn't like he threw in a really fast sixteenth and then just kind of found his way home. He was even the whole way and kind of kept at it around the turn, which is what he is going to be. He's going to go long. The fact that he has that kind of speed makes you think he could be really dangerous going long.”
Of the decision to work the colt a quarter-mile Wednesday, Dunne explained, “I find if you go an eighth in June, you spend the next week explaining why he was only ready to go an eighth. Especially with this horse, he's not supposed to go an eighth of a mile. We wanted to give him a bit of room to get himself uncorked and into a rhythm.”
Dunne admitted the June sale wasn't his first choice for the juvenile.
“April would have been ideal, but he just had a few bumps in the road,” he explained. “Nothing serious, but more growing pains than anything else. Given that he was so big, we just backed off and took our medicine and figured we would wait for here. The general consensus was if he's a nice horse, he'll be a nice horse in June, too. Hopefully we will be rewarded for our patience.”
The June sale has become less a liability and more of an attractive option for horses who needed the extra time.
“I think the same guys that shop all of the other sales will shop June,” Dunne said. “There are horses in here that were in March and April and maybe caught an unfavorable racetrack or just something didn't go to plan. If there are legitimate reasons why they are here, I don't think there is any negative to them being here.”
Dunne purchased the Blame colt for $210,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
“The trend, I think, in the 2-year-old market is they want big, two-turn horses,” Dunne said. “If you can get a horse who looks like he will go long and shows the kind of speed that he's got, then you're going to get paid. More so than with the ready-made spring 2-year-old types. So it was a lot of money for him [as a yearling], but he was a beautiful horse. He's always been a beautiful horse.”
The proliferation of high-power partnerships in search of those two-turn type colts at the yearling sales last year pushed most pinhookers out of that segment of the market. That has led to a dearth of those well-pedigreed colts at the 2-year-old sales this spring.
“The most common thing we heard when we were in Timonium [at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale] was that there was a lack of two-turn colts,” Dunne said. “It seemed to be that it was strong on fillies, but light on colts. Hopefully those guys that were shopping colts there and couldn't find them will be here [at OBS].”
Dunne continued, “Some of the colts that were bringing the bigger money [at previous 2-year-old sales this year] were by stallions that the majority of yearling buyers would have turned their noses up at,” Dunne said. “Whereas the fillies that were selling well, by and large, had pedigree. There is just been a shortage of good colts. If you were lucky enough to have one, you got paid.”
A filly by Kantharos (hip 431) turned in Wednesday's fastest furlong of :9 4/5. Consigned by Brayhan Cruz's Cruzin' Thoroughbreds, the bay filly is out of Souper Colket (Ghostzapper) and from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Blofeld. She was purchased for $17,000 by Laura Kelton at last year's Keeneland September sale.
The under-tack show continues through Saturday with sessions beginning daily at 7:30 a.m. The June sale will be held next Tuesday through Thursday. Bidding commences each day at 10 a.m.