$1.5 Million Uncle Mo Colt Tops Electric Saratoga Opening Night

Session-topping hip 68 | Fasig-Tipton photo

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale opened with a lively session of trade punctuated by four seven-figure yearlings Monday evening in upstate New York. A colt by Uncle Mo, consigned by Lane's End as agent for his breeder, Summer Wind Farm, attracted the session's highest bid when selling for $1.5 million to the partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing.

In all, 69 yearlings sold at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion Monday for a total of $28,930,000. The average was $419,275 and the median was $350,000.

During last year's opening session of the two-day boutique auction, 70 yearlings sold for $25,280,000, for an average of $361,143 and a median of $300,000.

“We're very, very pleased with the opening session of the 2022 Saratoga Yearling Sale,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said at the close of business Monday. “There were significant improvements in all the statistical categories. We hit the superfecta–average up 15%, median up 16%, gross up 17% and RNA right under 20%. In a highly selective sale, that is a tremendous accomplishment. We're thrilled with those numbers, but you could feel the excitement in the air tonight. The atmosphere was electric. The quality of horses was tremendous. The quality of people that were here to buy those horses was tremendous. It was just a really, really great environment to have an auction and the results were very, very, very strong.”

With 17 yearlings reported not sold, the buy-back rate for Monday's session was 19.8%. It was 27.1% during last year's opening session.

“The most encouraging thing continues to be the breadth of buyers when you go through the results,” Browning said. “It was a very diverse buying group. And as I say, to have an RNA rate under 20% for one of the most selective sales in the world is remarkable. And we know that there's already some competition starting for post-sale private sales. That's a really, really important thing to be able to have a clearance rate that's that high.”

Hot freshman sire Justify was represented by the evening's second highest-priced yearling, with Coolmore's M.V. Magnier going to $1.1 million to acquire a colt by the Triple Crown winner from the Warrendale Sales consignment. Spendthrift's super sire Into Mischief rounded out the seven-figure parade with a pair of $1-million colts.

Four yearlings topped the seven-figure mark during the entire 2021 Saratoga sale.

“You know, you're always thrilled when you have four horses in a session like this go for over $1 million,” Browning said. “I think we had four last year the entire sale sell for seven figures. So we've already matched that number. I've got a sneaking suspicion that we're going to eclipse that tomorrow night.”

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale concludes with a final session Tuesday. Bidding will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Summer Wind Blows Through Saratoga Once Again

When Jane Lyon named her Uncle Mo colt out of Secret Sigh (Tapit) (hip 68) Stop the Press, she did not know just how fitting a name it would be. It was a bit of deja vu for the Summer Wind Farm owner Monday night when the bay colt was the first to reach seven figures, hammering for a session-topping $1.5 million to West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing with Lyon staying in for a piece.

“I was certainly hopeful that we would have this kind of response,” Lyon said. “We had a lot of people who vetted him and came back numerous times. We knew that there were a lot of important buyers who seemed to like him a lot, so we were optimistic.”

The last time Lyon sold a seven-figure colt at Saratoga was in 2019 when the now unbeaten MGISW Flightline (Tapit) summoned $1-million from the West Point team. Woodford and Summer Wind are among the partners on that 'TDN Rising Star' as well. Flightline's success inspired a changed in Lyon's business model.

“I was very hopeful and let it be known that, if possible, I would like to stay in on him,” Lyon said of Stop the Press, who was consigned by Lane's End. “It's kind of a new plan for me. If I have a colt I feel extremely strong about, if I can stay in on him, I'd like to do so. It seems to be working out extremely well with Flightline. I thought, 'well, there are some I might try that again with.' Apparently, the buyers wanted to try it again too, which is very flattering.”

While Lyon is known for her deep love for all of her horses, she admitted that Stop the Press showed he was special as he developed at her Georgetown nursery.

“He has been special,” Lyon said. “I think [Summer Wind Farm manager] Bobby [Spalding] probably spotted it before I did, because I am barn blind. I think they are all special. But, that being said, he began to really take shape and we knew he would be one of our good ones to take to the sale. It is a good way to start the sales season.”

Stop the Press comes from a family near and dear to Lyon's heart. Her late husband Frank Lyon gifted her Stop the Press's third dam Misty Hour (Miswaki) as a 2-year-old. She went on to be a stakes winner and graded stakes-placed and is the matriarch of Summer Wind.

Misty Hour is the dam of stakes winner Pilfer, who is responsible Grade I winners Angela Renee and To Honor and Serve. Prior to that, she produced Stop the Press's MGSW second dam India (Hennessy), whose offspring includes MG1SW Mozu Ascot (Frankel {GB}) and SW 'TDN Rising Star' Kareena (Medaglia d'Oro).

“The thing I am really excited about with this particular colt is he is a homebred out of a homebred out of a homebred,” said Lyon. “It is a very important family to me and to our farm. The fact that this second foal, and the first one offered at auction, was this popular is very exciting.”

Unfortunately, Stop the Press's dam Secret Sigh never had a chance to show her true potential on the racetrack. She was injured during training and retired to Summer Wind's star-studded broodmare band, which features the likes of Littleprincessemma, dam of American Pharoah.

“She got injured before she could really run,” Lyon said. “I had her with Billy Mott and he felt that she had a lot of talent. When she got injured and came home, I sent her to Europe and bred her to Frankel because her mother had been successful when bred to Frankel. I did keep that filly [Pippi Longstocking] and she is in training now. I think this could be the making of a very, very exciting addition to that family.” @CDeBernardisTDN



West Point, Woodford Return to the Well

At the 2019 renewal of this auction, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing were among the partners on a $1-million Tapit colt bred by Jane Lyon's Summer Wind Farm. That colt turned out to be unbeaten MGISW Flightline, so when Lyon returned to Saratoga with another well-bred colt, he quickly caught the powerhouse duo's attention.

West Point and Woodford had to go a bit higher this time around, but, after an intense round of bidding from all over the pavilion as well as out back, they were left holding the $1.5-million ticket on a Summer Wind-bred Uncle Mo colt. Lyon stayed in as a partner on Flightline and will do so once again on the colt she named Stop the Press.

“We changed our luck about three years ago. We started bidding here and it's going well,” West Point's Terry Finley said after signing the ticket on the right side of the auction's outside bidding area. “It's is our spot for buying horses like good colts bred by Jane Lyon. She is going to stay in. He came from the same land [as Flightline]. We are really excited. Obviously, we have had a lot of good luck and have been on an exciting ride with Jane and Woodford. We are going to try and recreate that magic.”

Like many partnerships these days, West Point and Woodford have become increasingly focused on buying colts with two-turn potential in hopes of making the Triple Crown races. This colt fit that bill on both pedigree and conformation, according to Finley.

“He is a beautiful horse,” Finley said. “Uncle Mo throws a big, stout horse. He looks like the kind of horse all of us see on the Triple Crown trail. You can't get enough of these types because you know the trials and tribulations we all face. This horse really, really stuck out. We are pumped to get him. He will go to Shug McGaughey. I don't think anyone has told him yet, but I am sure he will have a smile on his face.”

As for the price, Finley said he was not surprised given the atmosphere at Saratoga Monday and the state of the market.

“It was right about the spot,” he said. “There is plenty of money here. Obviously, there are a lot of things going on in the world, but I think people who are buying at this level aren't impacted that much. There were more than just two of us past $1 million. You pay what the market tells you to pay. You saw good colts without as much pedigree going for $700,000 and $800,000, so add this pedigree to the physical and you are looking at at least $1.2 million. I was glad when the announcer said, 'That's all they brought.' It was getting up there. We have a lot of work to do to get out on this horse, but it is exciting for the partners to play a part in a good colt like this.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Mori Gets on the Board at Saratoga

Japanese trainer Hideyuki Mori, making his first trip to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, was quick to get into the seven-figure fray when going to an even $1 million to acquire a colt by Into Mischief (hip 74) from the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment. The bay, who was bred by Maurice and Samantha Regan's Newtown Anner Stud, is out of Shopit (Yes It's True) and is a full-brother to stakes winner and multiple Grade I-placed 'TDN Rising Star' Shoplifted, who was second in the 2019 GI Runhappy Hopeful S. and third in the 2020 GI H. Allen Jerkens S. and GI Woody Stephens S.

Agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina purchased Shopit, in foal to Fast Anna, on behalf of the Regans for $65,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November sale.

“We knew this was the best horse we bred this year,” Albina said of the yearling. “He's always been good. You are defying the odds when you become a Saratoga yearling, you defy the odds when you get up here and ring the bell like that. It's just lucky. My team at the farm is very good and they work hard. Ron Blake works hard. Nick Sallusto works hard. We are just fortunate to work for such great people as the Regans who allow us to do what we need to do.”

All of Newtown Anner's yearlings are offered at market, according to Albina.

“We always bring all our yearlings to market to keep ourselves honed and to make good decisions and not to just keep a lot of horses and have big training bills for no reason,” Albina said.



Justify Colt Gives Black His First Million-Dollar Sale

Christian Black's Blackstone Farm had a banner sale in Saratoga last year when selling a Gun Runner colt for $550,000. The Pennsylvania-based operation managed to double that number this year when a son of undefeated Triple Crown hero Justify (hip 78) hammered for $1.1 million to Coolmore's M.V. Magnier. It was the first million-dollar sale for Blackstone Farm.

“He has just been a good horse from the beginning and he just kept getting better and better,” Black said. “The good thing about Coolmore and M.V. is, if you have a nice horse, they are always there to support their stallions. Fortunately enough, this horse just jumped through all the hoops for them.”

As for the price, Black said, “I don't think you expect $1.1 million on a horse, but we had a lot of people on him that, in the past, showed they were willing to spend that kind of money. We were hopeful.”

Justify, who stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud, has been off to a fast start at stud with a graded winner in America and group winner in Europe already in his first crop.

Justify is going really, really well at the moment,” Magnier said. “It has been incredible, since we have been here the last few days, the amount of people that have come up and said how well he is doing. He couldn't be going any better than he is going.”

Consigned by Warrendale Sales, hip 78 is out of Slews Golden Rule (Langfuhr), who is also responsible for SW Ledecka (Tiznow). Black purchased the half-sister to GSW & GISP Globetrotter (Street Cry {Ire}) for $80,000 in foal to Lonhro (Aus) at the 2014 KEENOV sale.

“He is a very nice horse,” Magnier said of hip 78. “He's very sound. He's a big colt. The boys liked him, so hopefully he is a good horse. We will bring him back to Ashford.”




Spendthrift Strikes Early for Curlin Colt

It didn't take long for things to heat up in the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion Monday night with the Spendthrift Farm team going to $950,000 to secure a colt by Curlin (hip 9).

Spendthrift started buying with BSW/Crow Bloodstock team during last fall's yearling sales for a new partnership focused on two-turn colts for the major Classics. The colts from the new group are set to go to Brad Cox. Spendthrift's Ned Toffey signed the ticket under the name of Spendthrift, BSW/Crow Colts Group/Schwartz/Gandharvi.

“He will likely be a part of the colts group, but we signed the ticket and will sort the details out later,” Toffey said, after signing the ticket while seated alongside Liz Crow, Brad Weisbord and Paul Sharp with Cox behind them.

Consigned by Eaton Sales, hip 9 was bred by Barronstown Stud, who bought his staked-winning and GISP dam Light the City (Street Sense) for $625,000 with this colt in utero at the 2020 FTKNOV sale. Light the City is also the dam of GISP Illumination (Medaglia d'Oro), a $900,000 graduate of this auction in 2019, who brought $875,000 from Don Alberto at last year's Fasig November Sale.

“What's not to like?” Toffey said. “He is a beautiful Curlin. We thought he was one of the best individuals in the sale. He had a lot of quality about him, a lot of bone, a lot of substance. He has a great walk, moved around beautifully. We are really happy to have him.”

Spendthrift struck again near the end of Monday's session, going to a cool $1 million for a son of their super sire Into Mischief (hip 102). Breeder St. Elias Stables stayed in for a piece and they also partnered with Cypress Creek Stables on the Lane's End-consigned colt.

Hip 102 is the first foal out of Vinnie and Teresa Viola's MGSW Teresa Z (Smart Strike). His third dam is MGISW My Flag, dam of champion Storm Flag Flying.

“We are partnering with Mike Moreno, Cypress Creek and St Elias, who was selling the horse is going to stay in for a piece,” Toffey said. “They are people we have partnered with before and we're really happy to partner with again. Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence that the breeder wants to stay in. They are a class act. And Mike, we've had a really great partnership with Keepmeinmind (Laoban). We are happy to team up again. We think this is a really nice horse. We are kind of fond of the sire. That's just a remarkable female family. He has everything it takes, we just hope he can run.” —@CDeBernardisTDN



SF/Starlight/Madaket Partnership Back in Action

The stallion-making partnership of SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, whose 2-year-olds are heating up on the racetrack with the likes of recent 'TDN Rising Star' Newgate (Into Mischief), got back in action at the yearling sales when going to $950,000 to acquire a colt by Speightstown (hip 56) Monday night in Saratoga.

“He was a beautiful horse,” SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan said of the yearling. “He really reminded me of a horse on the same cross, Rock Fall, who won two Grade Is. Bob [Baffert], Donato [Lanni], the whole team liked him. We all know what Speightstown can do. He can provide brilliance to any pedigree, especially a pedigree with a cross that's already worked on multiple occasions, Speightstown over Medaglia d'Oro. We are very excited about him.”

The cross is also responsible for GI American Oaks winner Competitionofideas, as well as four-time graded winner Olympiad and MGSW Souper Stonehenge.

The yearling was consigned by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck's Summerfield on behalf of his breeder, Stonestreet. He is out of the unraced Rainier (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-sister to multiple takes winenr Laurie's Rocket (Bluegrass Cat).

“Everybody loved the colt,” said Francis Vanlangendonck. “He came out and showed his class the whole time. As soon as he walked up there, people loved him. People from other barns would walk over to look at him. Mentally, he was a colt that people wanted to be around. You get a lot of athletes who are capable, but their minds take them away. This colt handled it well–he got better every day.”

Barbara Banke's Stonestreet purchased the yearling's second dam, Clay's Rocket (American Chance), for $350,000 at the 2010 Keeneland November sale.

“They are the best,” Vanlangendonck said of Stonestreet. “They give me great horses to sell. They give you a product that's easy to sell.”

In addition to its lone purchase of the evening, SF Bloodstock was in action as sellers just a few hips later. The operation sold a filly by War Front out of Grade I winner Rosalind (Broken Vow) (hip 61) for $675,000 to Robert and Lawana Low. The bay filly was consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock.

“We're really happy with that result,” Ryan said. “We're proud of the filly. She's a homebred, born and raised at Atlas Farm and sold by Bedouin. Neal [Clarke] and Conor [Doyle] do a tremendous job.”

SF Bloodstock purchased Rosalind, winner of the 2014 GI Ashland S., for $1 million at that year's Fasig-Tipton November sale.

“Rosalind has been a wonderful mare to own, she's been part of our band for quite a while now,” Ryan said. “She is in foal to Tapit and she has a beautiful Twirling Candy on the ground.”

Of the market Monday in Saratoga, Ryan said, “It feels vibrant. We will see how the results tally up at the end of the night, but based on the looks on the consignors faces, things are going pretty well around here.” @JessMartiniTDN

Tapit Filly Jump Starts Speedway Breeding Program

Bloodstock agent Marette Farrell has spent the last several years acquiring future broodmares for Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner's Speedway Stables and her efforts began to bear fruit when a filly by Tapit (hip 72) sold for $750,000 to Muir Hut Stables.

“It's the beginning of the process,” Farrell said. “We sold one last year, but this is the start. Peter Fluor has always wanted to run it as a business, so sadly we had to let her go because we thought a lot of her.”

The yearling, who was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, is out of stakes winner and multiple graded placed Shayjolie (Indian Charlie), a mare who was purchased by Speedway for $400,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale.

“That mare seems to be the atom bomb as far as producing nice racehorses,” Farrell said. “She has a beautiful Constitution filly weanling behind her and we are planning to continue breeding her to good stallions. So hopefully there is more in the works and they can keep a daughter out of her at some point.”

The Speedway broodmare band is currently home to fewer than 10 head and the plan will be to offer all the resulting foals.

“They are offering everything,” Farrell confirmed. “Peter and K.C. felt that was the fairest thing to do for the buyers. If they offer everything, then everyone knows this is legitimate, rather than holding something back.”

The yearling will join the Southern California stable of trainer Mark Glatt, who also trains Muir Hut's recent maiden winner Agency (Bolt d'Oro) and stakes placed Affable (Flatter). @JessMartiniTDN

Constitution Colt Scores for Don Alberto

Jim and Dana Bernhard's Lynnhaven Racing purchased a colt by Constitution (hip 66) for $700,000 during Monday's first session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. The yearling was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of his breeder, Don Alberto Corporation.

“They are just getting into the game,” Matt Weinmann, CEO of Equine Analysis Systems said after signing the ticket on behalf of the Bernhards. “They started getting horses last year and they are coming back and buying the next crop.”

Hip 66 is out of multiple group winner Sand Puce (Arg) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) and is a half-brother to the 2-year-old filly Scarpia (Union Rags), who ran second against a group of males in a maiden special weight sprinting on the turf at the nearby racetrack Sunday afternoon.

“He is beautiful,” Weinmann said of the colt. “Like we always do with Equine Analysis, we are just using data and statistics to narrow it down and find horses that give us the highest likelihood of success, and this colt fits that bill.”

Gainesway's Brian Graves had a more visceral reaction to the colt.

“I don't have a lot of data and analysis, but I will say when I saw that colt at Don Alberto, I rated him as one of their highest physicals,” Graves said. “He was a beautiful colt with a long neck and a big walk. Constitution is on the rise. I thought he was a really nice horse the whole time. You always get a little nervous at the sale because you're not sure what they are going to bring and there were a couple seconds where I thought I might be wrong, but then he kind of did what I thought he'd do. We are grateful to Don Alberto for the horse and grateful to the buyers. We wish them a lot of luck.”

Graves perennially has pinhooking success in Saratoga and the horseman kept his streak intact Monday with a filly by Not This Time (hip 24) who sold for $375,000 to Centennial Farms. Graves's Fish Stable pinhooking partnership had acquired the youngster for $120,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale.

“I think that she was by Not This Time, that was the formula there. He had a great year,” Graves said.

Of horses he targets to the Saratoga sale, Graves added, “You just have to pick a good physical with some sire power. That's what you bring here. I think people will forgive a little on the dam's side if you have a good physical and sire power.” @JessMartiniTDN


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