Demand Strong at the Top of the Gulfstream Market

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Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Topper by Bolt d'Oro | Fasig-Tipton

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A diverse buying bench vied for a select offering of juveniles during a rapid-fire three hours under the sunshine at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale Wednesday afternoon. A filly from the first crop of Bolt d'Oro brought the day's highest bid when selling for $1.2 million to Spendthrift Farm. Consigned by Tom McCrocklin, the youngster was one of two to bring seven figures during the auction. Jamie McCalmont, bidding on behalf of Coolmore's M.V. Magnier, went to $1.1 million to acquire a colt by Justify from the Wavertree Stables consignment.

“We have been doing this a long time and today was indicative of a typical 2-year-old sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “The horses that worked well and vetted well, sold really, really well. There was a lot of interest in them. There was a diverse buying group. For the horses that missed the mark on one of those elements, it wasn't an easy day.”

Of the 103 juveniles catalogued to the boutique auction, 52 went through the sales ring Wednesday and 35 sold for a gross of $13,155,000. The average was $375,857 and the median was $300,000.

Spendthrift Farm purchased three of the day's top 10 lots and Magnier acquired another two. A strong domestic buying bench included the partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds and Lane's End Farm, as well as Frank Fletcher, Zedan Racing, Robert and Lawana Low and Repole Stable.

“I was pleased with the group of buyers that was in attendance and the level of activity,” Browning said. “It is no secret that we wish we had more horses here. We will work really hard to try and remedy that going forward.”

Last year, 67 juveniles sold for $25,360,000, an average of $378,507 and a median of $300,000.

“Overall, the market was very similar to what we experienced in 2021, which is healthy,” Browning said. “I think if we could lock in this market across the Thoroughbred industry through the rest of 2022, we would all say yes. It is a solid market with no real surprises.”

McCalmont agreed demand for the top offerings was high in Hallandale Wednesday.

“I think the right horses are making the right money,” he said. “There aren't as many horses as there normally are here, but if you've got the right horse, it brings plenty of money. I hope the sale will be here next year because Miami is a great destination for people to come to in the horse business, especially this time of year.”

The Fasig-Tipton team remained busy with post-sale transactions even as the auction stand in the Gulfstream paddock was being disassembled Wednesday.

“Post sales have been very active,” Browning said. “It is so hard to judge the value, particularly of a 2-year-old. It is not easy to set reserves. Sometimes sellers are optimistic, then reality sets in. Sometimes buyers get shut out and then circle back around to buy a horse. So there were no real surprises. No euphoria, no despair. We are looking forward to our next 2-year-old sale at Timonium with a 600-horse catalogue and a different feel. It will be the best catalogue we've had there.”

Bolt Filly Electrifies Fasig Gulfstream

For the second time this week, a filly from the first-crop of red- hot freshman sire Bolt d'Oro (hip 48) wowed the crowd at Gulfstream Park when bringing a final bid of $1.2 million from Spendthrift Farm. The sale-topping result came just two days after the filly zipped a quarter-mile in :20 2/5 during the auction's under-tack preview Monday.

“We have been hearing about this filly for a while,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said after signing the ticket on the juvenile. “She prepped beautifully for the sale and Tom McCrocklin, we've already bought one from him, and he does a great job.”

The filly's bullet work was not a complete shock to the Spendthrift team.

“We'd been hearing good things and on game day she delivered,” Toffey said. “That was as good a breeze as we've seen in quite some time.”

The bay filly is out of Rich Love (Not For Love), a daughter of multiple stakes winner Richetta (Polis Numbers) and a half-sister to stakes winners Concealed Identity (Smarty Jones) and Peach of a Gal (Curlin).

“She's a big, imposing filly,” Toffey said. “She's classy and athletic looking and good minded. Nothing ruffled her feathers. She got shown constantly and never seemed to turn a hair and her energy level stayed good the whole time. So she had all the intangibles that you want to see, as well as the obvious things that she showed everybody.”

The sale topper continued a strong sales season for Spendthrift's Grade I-winning Bolt d'Oro, whose standout results at the OBS March sale included a $900,000 colt.

“I think they tend to look like the sire, which isn't necessarily important, but I think is a good thing in general,” Toffey said of his early impressions of the stallion's offspring. “They are just athletic and very good minded. We spent a lot of time looking at his first crop as weanlings and we were impressed right away. We got great feedback from breeders and we saw for ourselves–we bought a couple privately. In terms of what we've seen of his offspring from day one, it's just been really encouraging. I know that [Spendthrift founder] Mr. [B. Wayne] Hughes was really keen on landing some Bolts. So that is going to clearly continue.”

Spendthrift purchased three juveniles Wednesday at Gulfstream, going to $800,000 for a colt by Uncle Mo (hip 21) and $475,000 for a son of Curlin (hip 57).

The sale topper was consigned by Tom McCrocklin on behalf of Solana Beach Sales. Solana Beach, the pinhooking division of Little Red Feather Racing, purchased Rich Love, with the filly in utero, for $70,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January sale. Part of a foal share, the filly was sold for $80,000 as a weanling at that year's Keeneland November sale, but Solana Beach got her back when paying $85,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September sale.

“We bred the horse, we sold her as a weanling as part of another partnership,” explained Solana Beach's Gary Fenton. “Tom called us from Keeneland in September and said he wanted to buy her back. We said, 'If you want to buy her back, buy her back.”

McCrocklin was high on the filly all winter, according to Fenton.

“Tom did a fantastic job,” Fenton said. “He called us in late December and said, 'You have a really special horse.' This horse has not turned a hair and showed she was a special horse for a long time. And she went through all the progressions.”

Of the filly's lights-out work Monday, Fenton said, “It was the second work of the day and you could just hear everybody stop. We knew she was going to be fast, but we weren't expecting that fast. It was pretty great.” @JessMartiniTDN

Coolmore Secures Regally Bred Justify Colt

With undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify as his sire and GISW and producer Appealing Zophie (Successful Appeal) as his dam, it was no surprise when Hip 84 summoned $1.1 million in Gulfstream's paddock Wednesday. It was also no surprise to see bloodstock agent Jamie McCalmont signing the ticket on the striking bay on behalf of Coolmore's M.V. Magnier.

When asked what the Coolmore team liked about Hip 84, McCalmont said, “Everything.”

He continued, “We have seen a lot of Justifys. The word seems to be getting very strong on them. This one looks like more of a precocious type than some of them look, so you'd hope he'd be running in the summer. I have watched him train here for the last week and he hasn't put a hair wrong. He stood up to the sale well and we wanted to buy the horse.”

Bred by Barronstown Stud, hip 84 RNA'd for $290,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale last summer. The colt breezed in :10 flat for consignor Ciaran Dunne of Wavertree Stables despite a few antics.

“He jumped two shadows and still managed to go :10 flat and stay on his feet. That shows a lot of athleticism,” McCalmont said.

Len Riggio's My Meadowview purchased Grade I winner Appealing Zophie for $1.1 million at the 2007 FTKNOV sale. Her first black-type winner was Tapwrit (Tapit), who summoned $1.2 million at the Saratoga Sale and went on to win the 2017 GI Belmont S. The following year she produced MGSW & GISP Ride a Comet (Candy Ride (Arg), a $375,000 OBSAPR purchase. Two years later came SW & GSP 'TDN Rising Star' Inject (Frosted), $390,000 KEESEP buy. Sent back through the ring at FTKNOV in 2018, Appealing Zophie brought $1.2 million from Barronstown Stud, carrying a full-sister to Tapwrit now named Teasing, who was most recently third in a Gulfstream maiden special weight Mar. 13.

Towards the end of Wednesday's sale, McCalmont went to $575,000 on behalf of Magnier for hip 96, a son of Ashford Stud's Uncle Mo that was also offered by Wavertree. The bay, produced by a winning half-sister to leading sire Tapit, breezed an eighth of a mile in :9 3/5 Monday.

Acting as agent for Magnier, McCalmont signed the ticket at a sales-topping $2.6 million for a Wavertree-consigned son of Nyquist at last year's Gulfstream sale. —@CDeBernardisTDN

West Point, Lane's End Team Up Again

Always on the lookout for future stallion prospects, West Point Thoroughbreds and the Farish family's Lane's End Farm teamed up to purchase a strapping son of Medaglia d'Oro (hip 88) for $900,000 from the Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consignment at Gulfstream Wednesday.

“He is by Medaglia and has a super pedigree, being a half to Constitution,” Bill Farish said of the juvenile's appeal as West Point's Terry Finley signed the ticket. “We saw him as a yearling on the farm and we graded him highly there. We were surprised he didn't bring more as a yearling, but he's a May 11 foal, so he has a lot of maturing to do. Terry and I loved him. It's exciting to get him.”

The dark bay colt was bred by Don Alberto Corporation, which bought out partner Bridlewood Farm on Baffled (Distorted Humor) with him in utero for $1.8 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Baffled is the dam of GI Florida Derby and GI Donn H. winner Constitution, as well as multiple group winner Boynton (More Than Ready).

“Absolutely,” Farish said when asked if the colt was bought for his stallion potential. “And he certainly fits that bill with his pedigree and his conformation. It's a fun partnership that we have on him. We'll see. Hopefully he will be a runner.”

The colt, who worked a furlong in :10 flat, was purchased by Hoby and Layna Kight for $225,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September sale on behalf of Marvin Boyd and Charlie Allen.

“That's getting up there for me,” Hoby Kight said Tuesday of the colt's yearling price. “That's a lot for me. And they have to have all the right parts when I stretch.”

The youngster will be trained by Shug McGaughey. @JessMartiniTDN

Spendthrift Strikes Early for Uncle Mo Colt

Spendthrift Farm is typically seen among the list of top buyers at auctions of all types throughout the year and the Kentucky-based operation made its presence felt early at Gulfstream, going to $800,000 for a colt by Uncle Mo (Hip 21).

“He is a nice colt and did everything right,” said Spendthrift's Ned Toffey after signing the ticket. “He is tremendously talented and looked the part. [Consignor] Tom [McCrocklin] does a great job getting them ready. He will go back to Spendthrift and get 30 days and go from there.”

The bay colt breezed in a snappy :20 3/5 for McCrocklin during the under-tack show.

“He is obviously very fast and he carried it well past the wire,” Toffey said. “He is a good mover and was well within himself.

Bred by Parks Investment Group, hip 21 was purchased by McCrocklin, who was acting on behalf of Champion Equine, for $250,000 at the the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale. His GSP dam Lady Tapit (Tapit) is a half to GISW Gozzip Girl (Dynaformer), as well as the dam of Argentinian Group 3 winners Gallileo's Town (Speightstown) and Gianella (Lizard Island). The deeper female family also includes Lotus Land (Point of Entry), a two-time winner at group level in Japan and narrowly runner-up in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen Mar. 27. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Zedan Returns to the Well for Nyquist Colt

During last year's renewal of this auction, bloodstock agent Gary Young went to $1.7 million to secure a colt from the first crop of Gun Runner for Amr Zedan's Zedan Racing. Now named Taiba, that colt earned the 'TDN Rising Star' nod for his ultra-impressive debut at Santa Anita Mar. 5.

Young and Zedan were back in action at Gulfstream this year, going to $700,000 for a colt by Nyquist (hip 62). The colt will go to trainer Bob Baffert, who conditions Saturday's G1 Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer (Tonalist) for Zedan, WinStar and Commonwealth Thoroughbreds, as well as Zedan's late GISW Medina Spirit (Protonico).

“I thought we'd have to give more for him than we did,” Young said. “I hope I feel the same way about six months from now.”

Classic Bloodstock bought the bay colt for $275,000, the third-highest price at Fasig's California Fall Yearlings and Horse of All Ages Sale, on behalf of Sasulito and Breckenridge. He breezed an eighth in :9 4/5 Monday at Gulfstream.

“I really liked his work,” Young said. “His push off behind and extension with his front legs was pretty faultless.”

Bred in California by Bud Petrosian, hip 62 is a half to stakes-placed There Goes Harvard (Will Take Charge). His dam Soul Crusader (Fusaichi Pegasus) is a half to Turkish champion Hakeem (Harlan's Holiday) and the dam of GISW Killer Graces (Congaree) and MGSW Chocolate Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}).

“I like this horse a lot,” Young said. “I don't think what you see right now is a finished product. We will give him time to fill out and I think he will fill out and become a beautiful horse.”

He continued, “We will discuss it with Mr. Zedan and Bob Baffert. He is the kind of horse that if everything went right, you'd want to get him to the races towards the end of the Del Mar meet or during the Santa Anita fall meet.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Sharp Far From Unhappy

George Sharp refuses to call himself a pinhooker, but the owner was able to enjoy a profitable resale Wednesday at Gulfstream when selling a colt by Runhappy (hip 64) for $700,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Frank Fletcher. Sharp purchased the colt for $125,000 during a 12-yearling buying spree at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“There's nothing wrong with pinhooking, but for me this was just paying off the ones I am keeping,” Sharp, who entered 2022 with a class of 23 juveniles, explained. “I am ecstatic with this result and I would do this again next year where I buy a bunch and then try to sell a few off to pay for the ones I am keeping.”

While the $700,000 didn't complete Sharp's quest to pay off the 2-year-olds he is keeping this year, he still has more opportunities at upcoming sales.

“This was a nice sale, but it hasn't paid for the all the ones I've bought yet,” he said. “But I am selling a couple at OBS and probably at Timonium.”

The colt, who worked a furlong in :10 1/5 Monday, is out of Sue's Good News (Woodman) and is a half to Grade I winner Tiz Miz Sue (Tiznow). He was consigned by Niall Brennan.

“We were seriously considering pulling him from the sale,” Sharp admitted. [Trainer] Caio Caramori absolutely loved the horse. He actually asked me not to sell him. But part of this is a business and to achieve the goal of selling enough to pay for the other ones, we needed to sell.”

Lanni said the colt jumped through all the hoops this week in Florida.

“It's a 2-year-olds in training sale and these horses are under so much pressure to perform and come back and act like nothing happened,” Lanni said. “He had a really great breeze visually. He looked like a pretty laid back horse and he came back from the breeze really well.”

Lanni purchased maiden winner Happy Boy Rocket (Runhappy) for $490,000 at last year's OBS April sale on behalf of Fletcher.

“I like the sire,” Lanni said. “I think he's going to be really good. We bought a Runhappy for Frank last year that turned out to be a nice horse.”

Lanni continued, “When we try to buy one for Frank, Frank is the best. He is so game. He is an amazing guy to work for. He loves the action. He's game. He puts his money up and never complains. Not a lot of people know him, but he's an amazing human and he helps a lot of people out.” @JessMartiniTDN

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