F-T Midlantic Opener Builds Up Steam With $800K Mendelssohn Filly on Top

Monday's session topper at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic | Fasig-Tipton

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TIMONIUM, MD – The opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale got off to a tepid start at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Monday morning, but momentum built throughout a session which ultimately produced figures ahead of the auction's record-setting 2022 renewal.

“It was a strong start to the sale,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said at the close of business Monday. “There was significant increase in average price compared to the first day and the overall sale last year. It was certainly an acceptable RNA rate. The median increased 20% from the first day last year and a little more than that overall.”

During Monday's session, 161 horses sold for $16,975,000. The average was $105,435–up 15.1% from last year's opening session and up 10.5% from the 2022 record-setting overall average of $95,391. The session median was $60,000, up 20% from the opening session figure a year ago.

From 300 catalogued lots, 215 horses went through the ring Monday. With 54 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 25.1%. It was 25.5% last year.

“It's an interesting marketplace,” Browning said. “There is dramatic competition on the 'more expensive' horses in a sale of this nature. You can see the pavilion fill up when a horse is going to bring a couple of $100,000 or more. You see the people come in and you know they are going to bid, and they are going to bid, and they are going to bid. But when a horse is going to bring $25,000, you can see the auction team working their tails off to try to get bidders on those type of horses. So it's an interesting marketplace. It's very, very healthy at the upper end–it's the same trend that we've seen at the other 2-year-old sales this year. We saw it to a lesser extent at the yearling sales last year, with the competition really focused on the upper end. So it's healthy, but it's not euphoric.”

A filly by Mendelssohn brought the session's top price when selling for $800,000 to Speedway Stables. Consigned by Paul Sharp, the session topper was one of 23 to sell for $200,000 or more. Nineteen juveniles hit that mark during last year's opening session.

The Midlantic sale concludes Tuesday with a session beginning at 11 a.m.

Ciaran Dunne, 2023 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2 Y-O-in Training Sale | Fasig-Tipton

Speedway Strikes for Mendelssohn Filly
Speedway Stables' Peter Fluor went to a session-topping $800,000 to acquire a filly by Mendelssohn (hip 245) during Monday's first session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale. The gray filly, who was consigned by Paul Sharp, worked a furlong in :10 1/5 during Wednesday's second session of the under-tack show last week.

“We thought she was a great physical,” Fluor said of the filly. “We loved her breeze, as everybody else did. She is just a standout. Mendelssohn is on the move, but she just looked like a tremendous athlete to us.”

The juvenile is out of stakes-placed Lady Hansen (Hansen).

“We loved the filly before I even got here for the Preakness,” Fluor said. “[Bloodstock agent] Marette [Farrell] had seen her and had seen her breeze. We just thought she had a huge amount of potential. And we loved her demeanor.”

Sharp, along with pinhooking partner Liz Crow, purchased the filly for $125,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“I really liked her and she carried herself well,” Sharp said of the filly's appeal last fall. “She looked like the type of horse that would do well at a 2-year-old in training sale.”

Of her progression through the winter, Sharp said, “She just did everything we could have asked for. She was one of my favorite fillies that we had on the farm all year. She's just done everything right.”

Hip 245 was the second purchase of the afternoon for Fluor and K.C. Weiner's operation, which went to $500,000 to acquire a colt by Not This Time (hip 198) from the Pick View consignment.

“He had a nice breeze (:10 3/5), not an incredible breeze, but a great physical and his mind is in the right place,” Fluor said. “We liked the way he handled it. He's a young horse–I think he's a May foal–so we will give him a little time and maybe shoot for maybe September, October for the races.”

Both juveniles will be trained by Bob Baffert.

Fluor admitted Speedway has been targeting fillies who might join the operation's fledgling broodmare band after their racing careers.

“We are predominately looking for fillies, but we look at other horses too. That's why we bought the Not This Time colt,” Fluor said.

While still in its early stages, the Speedway breeding operation enjoyed sales ring success with its first crop of yearlings last summer when selling a daughter of Tapit (hip 72) for $750,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.

“We kind of backed into the breeding,” Fluor said with a laugh Monday. “When we retired some fillies, K. C. Weiner, my partner at Speedway, asked what we would do with this filly. We said, 'Well, we can sell her or we could breed her.' He said he'd do whatever I wanted to do, and I said I don't care, we can do whatever you want to do. We never made a decision, so we bred her. That's how we got into the breeding business.”

Awesome Slew Colt Lights Up Midlantic
A colt by Awesome Slew (hip 91), who became the first of the under-tack show to work a furlong in the co-bullet :10 flat last week, caused the first fireworks of the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale when selling for $700,000 to the partnership of WinStar Farm's Maverick Racing, Siena Farm and CMNWLTH.

“We just loved him,” said WinStar's Elliott Walden. “We thought he was the best horse in the sale. We loved his breeze. We are happy to get him, but it was a lot. We thought like he would be in that $500,000 to $700,000 range, so he was in the top end of that range.”

Following his bullet breeze, the colt did have trouble navigating the turn on the Timonium oval last Tuesday.

“He was going so fast, he didn't make the turn,” Walden said. “So it's a good and a bad thing. But he just seemed like a really nice colt.”

The Commonwealth partnership pioneered by Chase Chamberlin and Brian Doxator has already famously enjoyed success with graduates of the Midlantic sale. They partnered up on 2022 graduate and now GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic).

Hip 91 is out of Cash Reserve (Distorted Humor) and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Reckling (Dialed In) and Campy Cash (Race Day). He was consigned by Tom McCrocklin, who purchased him for $150,000 on behalf of Michael Sucher's Champion Equine at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's October Yearling Sale.

“I literally recall telling Michael Sucher that I thought he was the best horse in the [OBS] sale,” McCrocklin said following the colt's work last week.

The colt's yearling price tag made him the most expensive yearling by Awesome Slew to sell last year. He is now well on his way to being the stallion's most expensive 2-year-old of 2023. Awesome Slew stands at Ocala Stud for $4,000. His first crop of 2-year-olds were led in the sales ring last year by a colt who sold for $400,000 to Klaravich Stable at OBS March.

Sucher's multiple pinhooking successes with McCrocklin this spring are led by a son of Arrogate who sold for $1.050 million and a filly by Munnings who sold for $1 million, both at the OBS March sale. At the same sale, McCrocklin sold a daughter of Arrogate, purchased on behalf of Sucher for $250,000 at the Keeneland September sale, for $950,000.

 

Hip 186, 2023 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2 Y-O-in Training Sale | Fasig-Tipton

Uncle Mo Filly to LNJ Foxwoods, NK Racing
A filly by Uncle Mo (hip 186), who turned in a flashy :10 1/5 work last week, delivered in the sales ring Monday in Timonium when selling for $625,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent Alex Solis. Solis was bidding on behalf of a partnership of the Roth family's LNJ Foxwoods and Nancy Favreau and Kathy Psoinos's NK Racing.

“She's a beautiful Uncle Mo filly with a big pedigree, out of a Blame mare,” said Solis. “So for us it made sense from a pedigree perspective and her breeze was phenomenal. I think I gave out three stars for the whole breeze show and she was one of them.”

The filly will be trained by Brad Cox, who trained champion Covfefe (Into Mischief) for LNJ Foxwoods.

The bay filly is out of Gabriellestoblame (Blame), a half-sister to GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo). She was consigned by Pick View, as agent for her breeder, Bridlewood Farm.

Tapit Colt to Young
A colt by Tapit (hip 250) will be joining the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher after bloodstock agent Steve Young purchased him for $600,000 on behalf of an undisclosed client. Consigned by Julie Davies and bred by Gainesway, the juvenile is out of Lady Pewitt (Orientate) and is a half-brother to champion Jaywalk (Cross Traffic) and to multiple stakes winner Danzatrice (Dunkirk), the dam of this year's GI Toyota Blue Grass S. winner Tapit Trice (Tapit).

“He is arguably the best bred horse in the sale,” Young said. “He has a lot of similarities to some of the good Tapits that I have bought. I think he has a sire's pedigree. He trained great. It was a challenging track and a challenging week for people buying and selling and he was the one we wanted.”

Young compared the colt to Anchor Down, another son of Tapit out of an Orientate mare, whom he purchased for $250,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. Anchor Down was a multiple graded stakes winner for Alto Racing.

“Anchor Down was a terrific horse, maybe not the luckiest horse who ever lived, but a Grade II winner nonetheless,” Young said. “[Hip 250]'s got subtle things that make you like him even more every time you look at him.”

Looking ahead for the colt, Young said, “He was a popular horse here. He had a lot of shows. He's going to get a chance to catch his breath and then he will go to Todd Pletcher.”

Not This Time Colt Pays for Pick View
Just a few hips after selling a filly by Uncle Mo for $625,000 on behalf of Bridlewood Farm, Joe Pickerrell's Pick View hit a pinhooking home run when Speedway Stables purchased a colt by Not This Time (hip 198) for $500,000. Pick View had purchased the gray for $260,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“That's a step up for us, that's getting us out of our comfort zone a little bit,” Pickerrell said of the colt's yearling price tag. “But when you find one that looks like him with that pedigree, you just go for it. Fortunately there are some amazing partners on this horse that are very close friends and family.”

The colt is out of the unraced Goodness Unbridled (Unbridled's Song) and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Chart Topper (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}).

His trip to the sales ring was not without a little hiccup, following a furlong work in :10 3/5 last week.

“That was not the best day of his life,” Pickerrell said of the work. “The best thing about it was that we've been doing it long enough that we have some people who trust our word, people who saw him at the farm and saw him progress through the winter. And we all knew there was a lot better in him. He's a young 2-year-old, they are allowed to have a bad day, but one bad day does not negate from September to now. We always said if we can get him on the shank in front of people, they are going to fall in love.”

The colt went through the ring shortly after Pick View sent out Bridlewood Farm's homebred Uncle Mo filly to sell for $625,000.

“Bridlewood raised her and they did a great job and then George Isaacs was gracious enough to let me take her for the training part,” Pickerrell said. “She's an Uncle Mo, who needs no introduction, and then that female pedigree is probably one of the better pedigrees in the sale. When they work like she did, it's just who is going to be the last one standing. She's one that, you want not only on the racetrack, but if you're racing fillies and breeding, that's the kind of filly you want for the long term. So not only is she going to be a phenomenal racehorse, but we really look forward to her down the road as a broodmare.”

Also Monday afternoon, Pick View offered a filly by Tapit (hip 156) who sold for $250,000 to Charlie Allen. The bay, who is out of multiple stakes winner Enchanted Ghost (Ghostzapper), was purchased by Hoby and Layna Kight for $150,000 at the Keeneland September sale. She worked in :10 1/5 before selling to Remount Thoroughbreds for $200,000 at the OBS March sale.     “We sold her for a client who bought her in March,” Pickerrell said. “It's a little different group [that bought her in March].”

The filly worked in :10 2/5 last week in Timonium.

“She's another filly with a bright future,” Pickerrell said. “She's just a tiny little bit of vet work away from them paying $1 million for her. She's by Tapit, a beautiful filly, she breezed at two 2-year-old sales sound. We just need these buyers to have a little more confidence in horsemanship and a little less confidence is some of these new state-of-the-art diagnostics.”

Omaha Beach Colt Heads West
A colt from the first crop of Omaha Beach (hip 93) will be heading to Southern California after trainer Mark Glatt signed the ticket at $425,000 to secure the juvenile on behalf of an undisclosed client Monday in Timonium.

“He's a beautiful horse who worked well,” Glatt said. “The Omaha Beaches have presented themselves well. He had a strong bottom side and he looked like an athletic horse. He just looked like a horse you could right on with. We are really pleased to get him.”

The colt, who was bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, is out of multiple stakes winner Catch My Fancy (Yes It's True) and is a half-brother to stakes winners Dubini (Gio Ponti) and What a Catch (Justin Phillip), as well as to Catch the Moon (Malibu Moon), who produced Grade I winner Girvin (Tale of Ekati) and graded winner and multiple Grade I-placed Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow).

Consigned by Wavertree Stables, the chestnut worked a furlong last week in :10 2/5.

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