Bright Spots As Unusual Yearling Season Kicks Off at Fasig-Tipton

|

Session-topping hip 232 | Fasig-Tipton photo

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY–The Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, a hybrid of the company’s July yearling sale, Saratoga sale and New York-bred yearling sale brought about by COVID-19- induced rescheduling, kicked off the 2020 yearling sales season Wednesday with signs of life for the market.

A total of 172 yearlings changed hands for gross receipts of $27,166,000–good for an average of $157,942 and median of $100,000. The RNA rate was 34.4%.

“At the outset, we had no expectations for the statistics,” said Fasig-Tipton president and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “It was impossible to know how to compare this sale to 2019 results. What we hoped to achieve was to have a viable marketplace, to have commerce be conducted amongst buyers and sellers and to create an environment which would help to restore some confidence in the marketplace and to provide it some stability and foundation for the 2020 yearling sales. We are only halfway through, so I am going to be cautious in my overall analysis at this point, but I am very encouraged. These sales grounds have been jam-packed with buyers since Sunday. They bid pretty enthusiastically. I think any time you start a sale, there is a little bit of trepidation and it takes you a little bit of time occasionally to find its way to get a little confidence. I think that was certainly the case today, but I think as it progressed through the day, people gained more confidence. The bidding was very competitive. We are only halfway through the catalogue, but I would say we are very encouraged by the level of participation and the enthusiasm that people participated in the sale and the enthusiasm of the people who came to attend the sale.”

Watch our complete interview with Boyd Browning below.

Hip 232, a regally bred Quality Road filly from a potent Coolmore family, was the lone seven-figure seller from a $1.5-million bid by Robbie Medina on behalf of Joseph Allen. The bay filly was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.

The sale began with a section of 164 New York-breds, and that group seemed to struggle a bit more than the open horses, with a significant percentage failing to find new homes as fewer New York-based connections were on the grounds than would be in Saratoga.

“Traditionally, if you look over the last 10 years, the New York sale has had probably the highest RNA rate of any of our major sales because there are so many racing opportunities for the New York breeders,” Browning said. “There is less pressure on them to begin with. Certainly the group that got dealt probably the toughest hand in terms of the marketplace was the New York breeders. Saratoga has a wonderful environment with the race meet going on and all of the interest and enthusiasm with so many folks that participate in the marketplace, both owners and trainers, who are used to being in Saratoga that are engaged. So they have probably been the most impacted of any segment of the market, not being able to have the sale in Saratoga. It was unrealistic to have a meaningful Thoroughbred auction in Saratoga in the summer and fall of 2020, so those breeders certainly had to adapt. And we have adapted with them and tried to have the best possible alternatives, but there were no perfect alternatives in the environment that we were dealing with in 2020.”

What They’re Saying…

“[The market] is extremely selective, which is nothing new, but I think this year is probably going to be more so. People are all landing on the same horses. They work it very thoroughly. They know what they want. They know what they like. There is competition for, as Boyd Browning says all the time, perceived quality, but below that is tough.” –Agent Mike Ryan

“I thought when you measure the sale today, factoring in the crazy world we are in, I thought the folks at Fasig should be reasonably comfortable. There was enough buying power where people could get out. It could be worse, let me put it that way.”  –OXO Equine’s Larry Best

“Those horses have sold on an island, so to speak, up in New York. Then they come down here and start knocking heads with Into Mischiefs and Curlins and Tapits and Medaglia d’Oros and sires like that–they can still be nice horses, but your eye is going to gravitate to something that’s fancier. At the end of the day, these breeders–Fasig-Tipton has done an incredible job offering this right now in the times that we’re in–but the breeders are kind of hampered, a little bit, by not having those middle-of-the-road trainers here to buy those horses. They couldn’t travel in for whatever reason. When they’re in Saratoga, it’s a little different–they just have to go across the street. It’s a little different getting on a plane and coming down here. Hopefully, everybody made it through, and now it looks like the sale has picked up a little bit with these open-session horses. Hopefully, it just means that tomorrow it’ll be stronger and for all the breeders’ sakes we’ll go into Keeneland [September] and it’ll be strong.” –Agent Jacob West

Allen Strikes For Quality Filly

A daughter of Quality Road ignited a fury of bidding at Newtown Paddocks Wednesday, jumping into the seven-figure range in a matter of seconds and dropping the hammer at $1.5 million, which was the highest price of the day. When the smoke cleared, it was trainer Robbie Medina left signing the ticket on Hip 232 on behalf of longtime owner and breeder Joe Allen.

Watch our post-sale interview below.

“She had the best pedigree in the book, so Joe wanted her,” said Medina, who worked as an assistant to Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey for years before taking over training duties at Blackwood Training Center. “I have known Joe for 25 years when I worked for Shug. Joe had a team here and he asked me to go look at her and she is a beautiful filly. You can’t get a better pedigree than that. There is plenty of horse there and, as you can see she is a late April foal, so there is plenty of horse still to come.”

Bred by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt, hip 232 is out of Group 1 winner Marvellous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who is also responsible for SW & MGSP Fort Myers (War Front). Out of GSW You’resothrilling (Storm Cat)–a full-sister to Giant’s Causeway–Marvellous is a full-sister to multiple Group 1 winners Gleneagles (Ire) and Happily (Ire), as well as MGSW & GISP Taj Mahal (Ire), GSW & GISP Coolmore (Ire) and Vatican City (Ire), runner-up in this year’s G1 Irish 2000 Guineas.

“She is a wonderful, lovely filly,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale, who consigned the youngster. Coolmore owns the best mares in the world with the top pedigrees, so, for the long term, this is great value. Wonderful, classy filly with pedigree full of black-type, just a fantastic page that is still productive. We have a couple of really well-bred fillies, but she was the pearl of the group. For collectors like Joe Allen, who race and breed internationally at the highest level, that is what they seek. It is rare that you find those fillies, but when you do, you have to bid with authority and that’s what he did. I wish him the best of luck with a wonderful filly.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Lanni, Baffert Buy Curlin Filly for Petersen

Agent Donato Lanni and now six-time GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert teamed up to secure a $700,000 Curlin filly (hip 285) Wednesday on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen. She was consigned by her breeder, Bonnie Baskin’s Blue Heaven Farm.

Lanni purchased the Baffert-trained and Petersen-owned GI Longines Acorn S. and GI Longines Test S. heroine and recent GI Kentucky Oaks third Gamine (Into Mischief) for a sale-topping $1.8 million at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale last year; and bought Petersen the $1.1-million Uncle Mo colt topper at that auction this June.

“I’ve seen this filly at the farm before, and she just keeps getting better and better,” said Lanni, who bid from the press box alongside Baffert and his wife Jill. “She’s a really sweet, fast-looking, athletic filly by I’d say the top sire in the country–one of them, at least. Bob and I thought she was just a real classy filly that would fit in his barn. You never know what they’re going to bring, but the price was plenty.”

Blue Heaven paid $600,000 for hip 285’s graded stakes-winning dam Our Khrysty (Newfoundland) in foal to Tiznow at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Our Khrysty is a half to GSIW Bullsbay (Tiznow).

“They raise a good horse, [Blue Heaven vice president and general manager] Adam [Corndorf] and [farm manager] Jamie [Corbett],” Lanni said. “It’s a mom-and-pop farm–they own all their own mares and they raise them all. I feel good about how we did, and having Bob here with me makes my job a lot easier. It’s fun having him here. He’s the best.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

O’Byrne Hangs Tough on Into Mischief

Demi O’Byrne was determined when Hip 274 came into the ring, winning a furious bidding war with trainer Kenny McPeek to take home the son of red hot Into Mischief for $700,000. He was one of four yearlings purchased by O’Byrne, who was bidding on behalf of Peter Brant throughout the day. The colt was bred by Jeff Lewis, son of Bob and Beverly Lewis.

“That was the true market value,” said Conrad Bandoroff of Denali Stud, where the colt was born and raised. “It is what two guys said the horse was worth. Who is to say if in a normal year he brings more. He is a nice horse and we are happy with the price. We are thrilled for Mr. Lewis and we are thrilled for Demi.”

Hip 274 is out Night and Day (Unbridled’s Song), who is a daughter of the Lewis family’s Hall of Fame mare Serena’s Song (Rahy), as well as the dam of MGSW Made You Look (More Than Ready). Serena’s Song’s resume on the racetrack and in the breeding shed speaks for itself. An Eclipse Award winner and 11-time Grade I victress, she produced Group 1 winner Sophisticat (Storm Cat), who was also purchased by O’Byrne; GSWs Grand Reward (Storm Cat), Harlington (Unbridled) and Schramsberg (Storm Cat); and SW Serena’s Tune (Mr. Prospector), who is the dam of MGISW Honor Code (A. P. Indy).

“That is a special horse to us,” Bandoroff said. “He was born and raised on the farm for Jeff Lewis, who has continued on the family legacy. He is from the family of Serena’s Song out of a graded stakes producer. That is home team. It is obviously a family that has meant a lot to us. He is a horse that from the day he hit the ground, we always liked him and thought pretty highly of him. It is nice when a judge like Demi O’Byrne, one of the top judges of horse flesh, agrees with you. It is a testament to the team and to Serena’s Song legacy, which is something near and dear to us.”

Watch the complete interview with Conrad Bandoroff below.

Into Mischief has been getting hotter by the minute with his most recent success coming this past Saturday when Authentic became the Spendthrift sire’s first GI Kentucky Derby winner. His offspring proved exceptionally popular Wednesday, topped by this $700,000 colt. Eight yearlings by Into Mischief changed hands Wednesday for a total of $3.25-million and an average of $406,250. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Sondereker Hits a High with War Front Filly

John Sondereker usually plans to spend around $500,000 to buy yearlings for his West Coast-based racing stable, but he blew past that budget to acquire just one filly for $625,000 Wednesday at Fasig-Tipton. The yearling (hip 248), a daughter of War Front and out of Miss Chatelaine (Pulpit), was consigned by Brookdale Sales, as agent for her breeder Highland Yard LLC.

“I didn’t plan to spend that much money, but you get caught up in it and it’s so much fun,” Sondereker said. “Instead of buying two or three horses, maybe I’ll just buy one.”

Multiple graded placed Miss Chatelaine is a half-sister to graded winner Big Bend (Union Rags).

Asked what he liked about the yearling, Sondereker said, “Everything. She is a beautiful filly, she’s so correct. She had great movement. She was a really easy horse to buy–it’s not hard to buy those kind, you just have to have the money, right?”

Sondereker’s involvement in racing began several decades ago, but his foray into ownership started in the early 2000s.

“I was mucking stalls at Thistledown in 1959,” he said. “And then I worked for 40 years in the financial industry at Wells Fargo. I retired and I started buying racehorses on the West Coast in 2003.”

Sondereker has about 20 horses in training in California with Eric Kruljac. His 3-year-old Kiss Today Goodbye (Cairo Prince) was third behind Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) in the Aug. 1 Shared Belief S. and was fifth in the GII Del Mar Derby Sunday. In partnership, he campaigned last year’s GIII Santa Barbara S. winner Causeforcommotion (Americain).

“We’ve always had fun,” Sondereker said. “And this filly is going to be my best one. I’m counting on it.” @JessMartiniTDN

Lows Get In on the Mischief

Prominent owners Robert and Lawana low got involved in Wednesday’s frenzy for progeny of red-hot Into Mischief as their bloodstock advisor Jacob West stretched to $600,000 to secure hip 268. The bay colt was consigned by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Bred & Raised.

“We thought he was in the $500,000 to $600,000 range and we had all the right people [on him],” said Francis Vanlangendonck. “These guys, they’re sharp, they know what a good horse is. That was in the ballpark that we thought.”

The Feb. 15 foal is out of speedy GSW and GISP My Wandy’s Girl (Flower Alley), who Stonestreet bought for $700,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

“He’s a really good Into Mischief,” Vanlangendonck said. “He’s correct, he’s got a good body on him; a good mind. Those horses are easy to sell. I’m just blessed to have Stonestreet give me horses like that. He’s a nice horse.”

West, like the other buyers who landed Into Mischiefs Wednesday, said hip 268’s sire power was obvious.

“Obviously, the stallion doesn’t need any introduction,” West said. “He’s out of a mare who could run; a cross that has worked before; and he comes from in incredible nursery in Stonestreet. We have a lot of faith in buying off of them; they raise incredible horses. They brought an incredible horse here to sell in support of Fasig, and they ended up getting a good result.”

Hip 268 is bred on a version of the same Into Mischief–Distorted Humor cross that produced Grade I winner and buzzed-about young sire Practical Joke.

“He’s the hottest stallion in the world right now, so you know you’re not going to steal one,” West said of hip 268’s price tag. “He was a beautiful horse; obviously, he was well sought after by a lot of other buyers, I’d assume. So, we just feel lucky to get him.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Crawfords Take a Shance

Al and Michelle Crawford enjoyed graded stakes success at Saratoga last summer with the speedy Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby) and the couple went back to that family to acquire a filly by Speightstown for $600,000 at Fasig-Tipton Wednesday. The bay filly is out of multiple graded placed One True Kiss (Warrior’s Reward), a half-sister to the GII Amsterdam S. winner. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, who purchased her for $325,000 at the Fasig-TIpton November sale just days after their Mitole (Eskendereya) defeated Shancelot in last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“What was there not to like about her?,” Michelle Crawford asked after signing the ticket on hip 283. “We were one of the underbidders when she was a weanling. We bid up to maybe $280,000 or $290,000 and were very sad not to get her.”

The Heiligbrodts maintained a half-interest in the yearling.

“We are going to partner with Bill on her–new partnerships are fun,” Al Crawford confirmed. “We are using Steve Asmussen–he has all of our horses now. To go in with Bill and using Steve on a filly with the Shancelot connection, it seemed like everything came together. But I’ll let you know in two years.”

Of the yearling’s final price tag, Al Crawford admitted, “It was our top. Right there. We watched it and, if it had clicked again, we were probably out.”

Hip 283 was bred by Geoff Nixon’s Tolo Thoroughbreds and Ryan Conner, who purchased One True Kiss with the filly in utero for $250,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

Shancelot has not raced since last year’s Breeders’ Cup, but returned to Steve Asmussen’s barn earlier this week.

“He had a little injury back in February and we’ve been ultra-conservative with him,” Al Crawford said. “Hopefully we will see him in early 2021. Obviously his speed is there, it’s just a question of being ultra-conservative with that little injury.”  @JessMartiniTDN

Perfect Note Rewards Blackstone

When Perfect Note (Elusive Quality), a daughter of MGISW Music Note (A.P. Indy), went through the ring at Keeneland September in 2016, she was not as perfect as her name suggests, hammering for just $17,000 to Blackstone Farm. The commercial Pennsylvania nursery, which is a partnership between Christian and Douglas Black and Mark Weissman, took a chance on the filly despite her issues, buying her as a future broodmare and she rewarded their faith in a big way Wednesday when her first foal, a colt by Nyquist, sold for $510,000 to Mike Ryan.

“I actually bought the filly as a yearling,” Christian Black said. “She had some issues so I bought her as a broodmare prospect. I fell in love with her and we bought her for a very small amount, turned her out and let her be a mom eventually. This is the first foal. We put her in foal to Nyquist because we liked his race record and the way he looked. He was a great physical fit for our mare.”

As for the price, Black said, “It is difficult to put that kind of money on a foal or any horse that you have. He has been special from the beginning. I know a lot of people say that, but he has. He has a great mind set, very easy to be around and he showed it here at the sales too. He has been out over 200 times and he never missed a beat. If you saw him here in the back ring, he has been acting the same as he has the last three or four days.”

The breeder, whose farm also produced MGSW & GISP Tom’s Ready (More Than Ready), added, “The timing was also good with Nyquist’s recent success and Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) winning. It is a live family.”

Perfect Note is a half-sister to last Saturday’s GII Jim Dandy S. victor and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Mystic Guide. On Sunday, freshman sire Nyquist was represented by his first Grade I winner in Vequist and was also responsible for the third-place finisher in that Saratoga staple, Lady Lilly.

Ryan is a big fan of Nyquist and is very familiar with the stallion. The bloodstock agent purchased Hip 297 from the South Point Sales Agency consignment on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“I am very partial to Nyquist,” Ryan said. “Niall Brennan and myself pinhooked him as a yearling, so obviously I followed him with great interest. I have been a big fan since he went to stud. I have bred multiple mares to him. I knew he was an exceptional colt and he had a great pedigree. The second dam produced the Jim Dandy winner the other day.”

He continued, “He looks like a horse that is hopefully going to be a top horse on a Saturday. He looked like he would get two turns and he has a stallion’s pedigree to carry him, so if he is a good horse, there is plenty of residual there. He is a lot like his father. The sire had the first and third in the Spinaway the other day and has two stakes winners already. He is one of the horses who can get you a Classic horse.”

Nyquist, whose first stakes winner came at Woodbine last month in Gretzky the Great, was another stallion who proved quite popular Wednesday. Seven youngsters by the Darley stallion summoned $1.84-million and averaged $262,857.–@CDeBernardisTDN

McPeek Active at All Levels of the Market

Trainer and highly regarded judge Ken McPeek was active in all segments of the market Wednesday at Fasig–he took home a total of 10 yearlings for a combined $2.145 million at prices ranging from $35,000 (the same price he paid for Peter Callahan’s GI Alabama S. heroine and GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up Swiss Skydiver {Daredevil}) to $500,000.

McPeek’s priciest buy was a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to GISW and young sire Cupid (Tapit) consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent L as hip 305. Bred by Turner Breeders, hip 305 is a half to a number of horses who cost big money as yearlings–Cupid was a $900,000 yearling, and his unraced 4-year-old full-sister topped the 2017Keeneland September sale at $2.7 million.

“A Medaglia d’Oro filly? With that female family? What’s she worth as a broodmare? There’s enough residual value there–she’s probably worth $250,000 if she never ran,” McPeek said, noting that hip 305’s principal owner would be Paul Fireman’s Fern Circle Stable but that he could take on additional partners.

As for prices in general, McPeek said before leaving with his  better half: “I thought they were reasonable. I thought they might be stronger. I bought a couple horses for a lot less than I thought they’d bring. Now I can afford  to buy my wife dinner.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

OXO Saves the Best for Last

Larry Best of OXO Equine had been quiet throughout Wednesday’s auction, but he snuck in late in the day to snap up the last yearling through the ring, a $500,000 daughter of Jimmy Creed.

Hip 330 is a half-sister to last season’s champion juvenile filly British Idiom (Flashback). Their multiple stakes-winning dam Rose and Shine (Mr. Sekiguchi) is also responsible for SW Parade of Roses (New Year’s Day).

“She was a great-looking filly with a decent pedigree,” said Best. “It was worth a shot. As usual, a little higher than I thought based on how the sale went. She is the only one I bid on all day.”

He added, “She will get a lot of good care. She will head to Eddie Woods in the next month and we will see how she does.”

Consigned by Warrendale Sales, Hip 330 was bred by Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm. Sexton and her late husband Hargus purchased Rose and Shine for $21,000 with British Idiom in utero at the 2017 Keeneland January Sale. British Idiom brought just $40,000 from Liz Crow at the Fasig-Tipton October sale and Steve Landers bought the mare’s 2018 foal, a colt named Royal Prince (Cairo Prince), for $70,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Sale. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Spendthrift, MyRacehorse Shopping for Next Authentic

Just days after their colt Authentic (Into Mischief) ran away with the GI Kentucky Derby, Spendthrift Farm and MyRacehorse.com went back to the well for another son of the nation’s leading stallion. Hip 217, consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent XXV on behalf of breeder Don Alberto Corporation, cost $450,000.

“He’s a little cold, but we thought we’d take a chance anyways,” Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey quipped in reference to Spendthrift’s super sire. “What’s left to say about Into Mischief, right? He’s done all the talking. We thought this was a really nice example of one; a big, scopey, rangy, athletic colt–we’re very happy to have him.”

Toffey received congratulations from MyRacehorse team members Nick Hines and Joe Moran after singing the ticket, and confirmed that hip 217 would be campaigned in partnership with the quickly growing micro-share syndicate in which Spendthrift is invested.

“We’ll try to do it all over again,” he said.

Hip 217 is out of an unraced Empire Maker daughter of GSW La Reina (A.P.  Indy) and is a half to last year’s $650,000 KEESEP purchase by Juddmonte, Mayan (Uncle Mo). That colt had been breezing at Los Alamitos this summer. Their third dam is champion Queena (Mr. Prospector), who produced GISW Brahms. This is the deep female family of highest-level winners Chic Shirine, Verrazano, Somali Lemonade, et al. Don Alberto paid $240,000 for hip 217’s dam Lost Empire at the 2014 Keeneland November sale while she was in foal to Giant’s Causeway.

Spendthrift and MyRacehorse also teamed up to acquire hip 173 for $300,000 after he RNA’d. A fellow Paramount Sales offering, the son of American Pharaoh and GSW juvenile Just Louise (Five Star Day) was bred by Paramount partner Gabriel Duignan’s Springhouse Farm.

“He’s a really stout, athletic-looking guy,” Toffey said. “[Some of the American Pharoahs] have been a little bit turfy, but this guy looks a little more American dirt speed. He looks like a really athletic horse, so we’re really excited to have him as well.”

As for the market, Toffey said: “It’s a little spotty–we’ve sold some we’ve been really happy with. We had one we RNA’d who we thought we were reasonable with our reserve, so we were a little disappointed not to get that one [sold], but we’ve also sold  some very well and thought the prices were fair on the two that we bought. I think it’s solid.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

 Popular Into Mischief Filly Marks Emotional Sale for Brogden

Carrie Brogden was overcome with emotion, battling through tears as she thanked bloodstock agent Liz Crow for purchasing her homebred Into Mischief filly for $425,000 Wednesday.

“When I moved here in 2001, Dennis Lynch [Fasig’s beloved late Senior Account Executive] was my advisor for Fasig,” said Brogden as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “When we looked at this filly at the farm with [Fasig’s Recruiting and Marketing Manager] Evan [Ferraro], I said, ‘I know Dennis would have looked at this one and said, Car, Car, you know we want this one.’ So when she came up here, I just pictured him giving me a big bear hug. He is a big, bright shining light for our farm and our relationship with Fasig.”

The horsewoman added, “I am thrilled and delighted. Liz is a rising star in our industry. She knows I cheer for her in everything,”

Kicking off the open portion of the sale after the New York-bred contingent, Hip 165 was the first homebred through the ring for Carrie and Craig Brodgen’s new Machmer Hall Sales venture. Out of the unraced mare Jazz Flute (Unbridled’s Song), the bay hails from the family of European Highweight Sleepytime (Ire) (Royal Academy). She is bred on the same cross over Unbridled-line mares responsible for dual champion Covfefe.

“When she came in the back ring, Frank Taylor was like, ‘Oh my God, what is that,'” Brodgen said. “That is the way she has always presented herself. I am thrilled to bits. There are two things I love in the Thoroughbred industry, which everyone knows, and that is Into Mischief and Unbridled’s Song. They have produced in the sales ring and out on the track. I think that is what everyone wants right?”

The Into Mischief over Unbridled’s Song pedigree were big attractions for Crow, who was acting on behalf on undisclosed clients.

“I really like buying off Carrie,” Crow said. “I think they do a really good job. Whenever I see Machmer Hall as the breeder, it gives me a lot of confidence that they were raised the right way. She looked like an Into Mischief who could carry her speed around two turns and I loved Unbridled’s Song on the bottom side.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Classic Empire Rewards Investors

Classic Empire had a pair of first-crop yearlings break through the $300,000 barrier Wednesday at Fasig-Tipton, with bloodstock agent Liz Crow striking late in the session to secure a son of the 2016 champion 2-year-old for $375,000. Out of stakes placed Rever de Vous (Distorted Humor), the bay (hip 323) was consigned by Gainesway. He had been purchased by the En Fuego pinhooking partnership for $185,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

“He was a beautiful horse and a great-walking horse when we bought him,” Davant Latham, part of the partnership, said of the yearling. “Like most young horses, they go through stages, but we knew we had something special early this summer.”

Classic Empire, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, won the 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the following year’s GI Arkansas Derby and was second in the GI Preakness S.

“They were consistently good as weanlings and I think they’ve proven here as yearlings, they are consistent physicals and they are good physicals,” Latham said of the champion’s first crop of horses. “You don’t have a lot of variation in physicals, they are all nice horses.”

Of the return on his investment Wednesday, Latham said, “I am very happy with the price. You think about what that would be in another year and it’s $100,000 more, maybe. But I am thrilled with the price. We bought him for $185,000. That’s a great return, especially today.” @JessMartiniTDN

Classic Empire Colt a Score for Gladwell

Tori Gladwell, regularly successful in the pinhooking arena in which she sold $1.35-million OBS Spring sale topper and now Grade I winner Princess Noor (Not This Time), had success sending a homebred through the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton Wednesday. Through Scott Mallory’s consignment, Gladwell sold a colt by Classic Empire for $325,000 to Ben McElroy as agent for Kaleem Shah. The yearling is out of Just Parker (Forest Camp), a mare Gladwell purchased in partnership for $57,000 at the 2018 Keeneland January sale.

Gladwell was familiar with the mare’s family when she made the purchase two years ago.

“Foxy Posse (Posse) was one of the first foals out of the mare and we trained her and sold her and there are a couple other horses in that family that we knew were really fast and precocious. And that’s why we bought the mare,” Gladwell explained.

Just Parker was in foal to Vancouver (Aus) when she was purchased, but Gladwell thought champion 2-year-old Classic Empire would be a good fit for the mare.

“I liked Classic Empire as a racehorse and I thought he would help put some leg on her,” Gladwell said. “Forest Wildcat mares are really speedy horses, but she needed a little more leg and that’s what we got when we bred to Classic Empire.”

The yearling’s final price was well above his reserve.

“That was about double what we were thinking,” Gladwell said of the result. “The market is kind of scary because there were a lot of RNAs earlier, so I was really worried we wouldn’t get him sold for what the reserve was, which was below $200,000. So we’re really happy with that result.”

Gladwell has 12 broodmares, with the Kentucky band boarded with Scott Mallory and a group in New York.

“I love the mares,” Gladwell said. “I have a couple in New York at the McMahons and the rest of them stay here in Kentucky. I have multiple partners on them with me. We’ve been really blessed this year.”

After the standout result Wednesday, Gladwell was asked if she would be selling more homebreds in the future.

“My husband just told me to sell more of them,” she said with a laugh.

Just Parker produced a filly by American Pharoah this year and was bred back to Good Magic.

Ben McElroy has been successful buying 2-year-olds for Kaleem Shah, most recently this year with Sunday’s Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. winner Madone (Vancouver {Aus}) and impressive maiden winner Vittorio (Ghostzapper).

“I told Kaleem this was the type of horse we’d buy at a 2-year-old sale and, if he breezes :10 flat, we are talking $700,000 or $800,000,” McElroy said of the rare yearling purchase for Shah. “[Shah] is more of a 2-year-old buyer and we’ve been very successful at the 2-year-old sales, but if we can keep an eye out for a top horse, we’ll take a shot.”

McElroy admitted he has been impressed by the first-crop offspring of Classic Empire.

“I’ve been around a few of the farms before the sale and he has been one of the freshman sires who certainly stood out,” McElroy said. “They are very well balanced. They are great movers. They seem like they have really good attitudes. The horse we bought was just one we decided we had to have.”  @JessMartiniTDN

Team ‘Tiz’ Gets a Tiznow

Sackatoga Stable, fresh off its second-place finish in the

GI Kentucky Derby this past Saturday with Tiz the Law (Constitution), added another high-class New York-bred colt to its roster Wednesday in the form of a son of Tiznow, who just happens to be Tiz the Law’s broodmare sire. The $300,000 purchase, the priciest lot during the all-New York-bred portion of Wednesday’s session, was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm as hip 135. He had previously been acquired for $120,000 as a Keeneland November weanling.

Sackatoga operating manager Jack Knowlton bid while accompanied by trainer Barclay Tagg and Tiz the Law partner Eric Kordsmeier.

“Barclay’s our bloodstock advisor and and liked him better than any of the other New York-breds we looked at,” Knowlton said. “We only had two that we bid on–we got outbid on the first one, but luckily we got this one.”

Knowlton said hip 71, the $295,000 Candy Ride (Arg) colt purchased by Demi O’Byrne, had been Sackatoga’s other target. They had looked at Tiz the Law’s Mission Impazible half-brother (hip 73, $245,000), but he did not make it on to their short list.

“We’re just looking for athletes,” Knowlton said of hip 135’s appeal. “We look at families; we like stakes winners; and [Tiznow’s] a sire who we think can get a good horse. Physically, he’s a great-looking horse.”

The Mar. 4 foal is out of stakes-placed juvenile Eternal Grace (Gilded Time), who has already produced GSW Bye Bye Bernie (Bernstein) and two other stakes horses.

As for the price and market, he said: “It’s soft except for the real good horses, and we’re hoping he’s one of the good ones. Physically, we really like him a lot, and we really like the pedigree. We’re hoping he’s really going to turn into a runner for us.”

“This is the only one we’re buying–we’re done,” Knowlton said. “Now I can head out and be happy we got a horse. You never know; we’re very particular. Barclay’s very particular in what he advises us to buy, and his vets are even more particular. So, we’re really happy when we can find one.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Tiz the Law Half RNAs

The half-brother to MGISW and recent GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Tiz the Law (Constitution) will remain with breeder Twin Creeks Farm to race in his home state of New York after leaving the ring unsold at $245,000. Hip 73 is by Mission Impazible and was consigned by Becky Thomas’ Sequel New York, where he was foaled and raised.

“They priced him at what they thought was a fair price, but unfortunately, we are in COVID times,” Thomas said. “So, they will keep him and race him. They really like the 2-year-old full-sister Angel Oak, who they plan to race themselves, and obviously Tiz the Law is magnificent.”

Tiz the Law, a $110,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s New York-Bred Sale, scored ultra-impressive wins in both the GI Belmont S. and GI Runhappy Travers S. Heavily favored to carry his win streak into the Run for the Roses, the flashy bay finished second to a gutsy Authentic (Into Mischief). —@CDeBernardisTDN

Candy Ride Colt Stars in New York Section

Veteran bloodstock agent Demi O’Byrne, who recently launched O’Byrne and Grassick International Bloodstock Agency with agent Sean Grassick, signed the ticket to secure a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) for $295,000 on behalf of Peter Brant’s White Birch during the opening New York-bred yearlings section of the Fasig-Tipton Showcase Wednesday. Consigned by Eaton Sales, hip 71 is out of the unraced Sweet Love (Any Given Saturday), a full-sister to graded winner Adventist. He was bred by Joe Fafone.

“He was a great mover and a nice colt. That’s about it,” O’Byrne said of the yearling’s appeal.

Of the colt’s final price, O’Byrne added, “I thought he was a little high, but he was a nice horse.”

Sweet Love’s first foal is a colt by Brody’s Cause who sold to Curragh Racing for $170,000 at this year’s OBS Spring sale.

O’Byrne said he would continue to shop for Brant at the sale and later in Wednesday’s session purchased an Into Mischief colt (hip 274) for $700,000. @JessMartiniTDN

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.