Million-Dollar Baby Paces F-T Finale

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Hip 490 | Lydia Williams

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TIMONIUM, Md – The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale produced the second seven-figure transaction in its history, as well as a record gross, but the two-day auction concluded Tuesday in Timonium with declines in average and median.

During the two-day sale, 337 juveniles grossed $23,136,400, compared to 255 head grossing $22,659,000 in 2015. The average fell 22.7% from last year’s record-setting figure of $88,859, while the median dropped 28.9% to $32,000.

“Last year’s gross was huge, but to exceed that this year was quite a statement,” said Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Director of Sales Paget Bennett. “Today was strong.”

With 598 horses catalogued, 455 head went through the sales ring and 118 were reported not sold for a buy-back rate of 25.9%. It was 21.5% last year. A year ago, the $1.25-million topper was one of 18 to bring $300,000 or more. That figure was 12 in 2016.

Trainer Linda Rice, bidding on behalf of Chester Broman, saw off a determined Sam Herzberg of Sterling Racing, to secure hip 490 for a sale-topping $1 million. By last year’s leading freshman sire Uncle Mo, the juvenile is out of Dream Street (Tale of the Cat) and was consigned by Al and Sally Pike’s Pike Racing.

“It was so rewarding to see another million-dollar horse because it means people can bring that type of horse to this marketplace and feel confident that there will be people bidding on them,” Bennett continued.

A colt by Maryland stallion Friesan Fire attracted the sale’s second highest price when selling for $825,000 to Crupi’s New Castle Farm.

“The $825,000 Friesan Fire, which is a local stallion for us, that is huge,” Bennett commented. “We need things to keep building in Maryland and having that happen was just a huge shot in the arm for this area.”

Bennett concluded, “Overall, I’m thrilled with the results. Next year will hopefully we another strong catalogue.”

 

COOL MILLION FOR UNCLE MO FILLY

Trainer Linda Rice, bidding on behalf of New York breeder Chester Broman, went to $1-million to secure a filly by Uncle Mo during Tuesday’s second session of the Midlantic sale, giving the auction the second seven-figure transaction in its history.

Hip 490, consigned by Pike Racing, is out of the unraced Dream Street (Tale of the Cat) and is a half to graded stakes placed Lassofthemohicans (Indian Charlie). The filly worked a quarter in a bullet :21 2/5 during last week’s under-tack preview.

“She is an Uncle Mo,” Rice said of the filly’s appeal. “And she worked brilliantly and she galloped out well. We were looking for a good filly and we’re excited about having her.”

There was one thing Rice didn’t like about the filly.

“We didn’t like the price,” she laughed. “We knew she was going to be expensive, but sometimes they make it hard.”

Broman’s recent graded stakes winners include 2014 GI Ballerina S. winner Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler).

The Midlantic sales ring produced its first seven-figure juvenile last year when a filly by Smart Strike topped the sale at $1.25 million.

The sale marked the first million-dollar sale for Al and Sally Pike’s Pike Racing. Pike purchased the filly privately after she RNA’d for $80,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale and the partnership on the youngster included his client Danny Saloom, as well as the filly’s breeder Tom VanMeter.

“She was a million-dollar filly at our barn all winter,” Pike said while being inundated with congratulations from his fellow consignors. “We thought she was special and she’s been my favorite, maybe of all time, since we broke her.”

Asked what attracted him to the yearling last fall, Pike explained, “I had her half-brother [Cadeyrn {Malibu Moon}] the year before and he was gorgeous. And I thought she was gorgeous. She had a few little flaws that I hoped that she would outgrow and she did. She got better every day and she got prettier every day.”

Of his first seven-figure sale, Pike said, “It was thrilling. You never expect it to get that high. My reserve was $299,000. It was a realistic reserve and we were hoping the market would take it wherever it was going to take her.”

Bred by VanMeter, Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds and Fox Strauss, the million-dollar baby has a yearling half-sister by Super Saver who sold to Hunter Valley Farm for $90,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale. Dream Street, in foal to Tiznow, sold for $110,000 to Olin Gentry at that same sale.

FRIESAN FIRE COLT LIGHTS UP FASIG

A relatively quiet session of the Midlantic sale received a big jolt when hip 461, a son of Friesan Fire, sold for $825,000 to the bid of Jim Crupi, sitting alongside bloodstock agent Dennis O’Neill. Crupi purchased the handsome colt on behalf of an undisclosed client and the juvenile will be trained by Doug O’Neill.

“I really didn’t want to, but I fell in love with him,” Crupi admitted after signing the ticket on the bay, who was consigned by David Scanlon’s Scanlon Training & Sales.

The juvenile worked a furlong in a bullet :10 flat during last week’s under-tack preview. Out of stakes-winning Crafty Toast (Crafty Prospector), he is a half to stakes-placed Platinum Steel (Eddington) and Special Ruth (Forest Camp). His second dam is graded stakes winner Give a Toast (Storm Bird).

The youngster is from the second crop of Friesan Fire (A.P. Indy), who won the 2009 GII Lousiana Derby. Dennis O’Neill admitted landing on the colt by the Maryland sire who stands at Country Life Farm for $4,000, was out-of-the-box thinking.

“The Friesan Fire was kind of the crazy part, but that’s kind of what I do,” O’Neill said. “I love stallions like that–he’s by A.P. Indy.”

Of the juvenile, O’Neill added, “He is a beautiful animal. The breeze was absolutely incredible. He galloped out really, really fast–we got him going out in :21 2/5. And I loved him from the first day that I got here. He was my number one pick. He’ll fly out to California tomorrow and be in Doug’s barn tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to try to beat him to California.”

O’Neill admitted the final price was higher than expected.

“I was really surprised it went that high,” he said. “I thought he would be a little less than that, but sometimes you have to stretch a little bit to get the good ones and we thought he was the best in the sale.”

The youngster marked a major pinhooking score for Scanlon, who purchased the colt for $35,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Sale.

“He had a beautiful walk,” Scanlon recalled of the May 29 foal as a yearling. “And the mare is a producer, she’s a Crafty Prospector mare, so we liked that, we like some speed. He had good balance and a beautiful walk. He was young, but we were coming back here, so I knew we had time.”

Scanlon said the colt has done little wrong since joining his barn.

“He has been a pleasure,” he said. “He is such a nifty horse. He has so much class. It was fun to watch him develop. We knew we had something and we took our time to take him to a later sale. When we started working him, we said, ‘Man, we have something special.’”

Despite his confidence in the colt, Scanlon said he was surprised by the sale-topping final price.

“I was thinking maybe $400,000 or $500,000,” he laughed. “I didn’t see that coming.”

NIFTY PROFIT FOR MOULTON

Susan Moulton went into this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale as a seller, but she left as a buyer when she bid $110,000 to secure a filly by Into Mischief. The impulse buy from early March turned into mid-May profit when she resold the gray to trainer Linda Rice for $450,000 in Timonium Tuesday.

“Susan had a filly in the sale in Miami,” explained consignor Nick De Meric. “She bought this filly with the intention of racing her, but she ended up buying her own filly back and she told me she didn’t need two fillies to race, so she asked if I could get this horse in the sale for her. I did and she came into the sale perfectly and we’re proud of her and her filly.”

The juvenile, who worked a furlong in :10 2/5 at Gulfstream, turned in a bullet quarter-mile work of :21 2/5 in Timonium last week.

“I think she has matured both mentally and physically in the time between the two sales,” De Meric said of the filly. “And possibly we are in a more dynamic market here, that might be part of the equation, but I think most of all, people realize there aren’t too many horses out there that can do what she did in the breeze show and she sold accordingly.”

Hip 527 is out of Firey Glow (Smoke Glacken), a half-sister to graded stakes placed Crossing Point (Allen’s Prospect) and stakes winners Love Happy (Not For Love) and My Boy Kyle (Pembroke).

A lifelong horsewoman, Moulton also does business under the name of the Texas-based Safari Bloodstock.

“Susan Moulton takes the credit for picking this filly out,” De Meric said. “She is an impulsive lady, but she’s also a shrewd lady and I think her judgement has been vindicated today.”

ZACNEY STAYS BUSY IN TIMONIUM

Chuck Zacney has enjoyed remarkable success with graduates of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales, having acquired the likes of GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia and champion Afleet Alex in the Maryland sales ring, and the head of Cash Is King was back in action Tuesday in Timonium. Zacney signed for four juveniles during the two-day Midlantic sale, led by the $210,000 purchase of hip 408, a daughter of Stay Thirsty.

“We are always looking for quality and this sale has always had quality horses,” Zacney said. “Way-back-when we got Afleet Alex in 2004 and we saw a couple of nice horses today.”

Zacney’s Timonium purchases will all be trained by John Servis, who also conditions Cash is King’s Cathryn Sophia.

Zacney gave Servis credit for picking out the filly, who is out of a half-sister to the dam of Prayer for Relief (Jump Start).

“John bought the Stay Thirsty filly, so I have to defer to him on that,” Zacney said. “But she has a great page and John loved her work and everything else about her.”

Zacney’s purchase of hip 411, a son of Afleet Alex, for $170,000 was more sentimental.

“He looks exactly like Alex,” Zacney smiled. “He’s got his head and his walk and his confidence. We’re really optimistic about him. The $170,000 may have been a little bit of a stretch, but I wasn’t about to let him go.”

Zacney signed for hip 352, a colt by Include, for $25,000 and said he also acquired hip 258, a son of Tapizar, who RNA’d for $190,000 during Monday’s opening session of the two-day sale.

This month’s Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia was purchased by Zacney for $30,000 out of the Midlantic Fall yearling sale. Afleet Alex, who won the 2005 GI Preakness S. and GI Belmont S., was a $75,000 purchase the 2004 Midlantic 2-year-old sale.

MEDAGLIA D’ORO COLT TO RUIS RACING

Mike Recio of Rockbridge Bloodstock and trainer Brett Santangelo signed the ticket on hip 21 for a session-topping $600,000 during Monday’s opening day of the Midlantic sale. While the two agents declined to name their client Monday, Santangelo confirmed Tuesday the son of Medaglia d’Oro was purchased on behalf of the burgeoning Ruis Racing Stable.

The father-son team of Mick Ruis, Jr., a former jockey, and Mick Ruis, Sr., a former trainer, made headlines recently when they purchased a $1-million starting spot in next year’s Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Before the Midlantic sale, the family had already purchased about $2 million worth of 2-year-olds at sales this spring.

“This is the first time we bought at auction for them,” the 22-year-old Santangelo said Tuesday. “I was fortunate enough to get a phone call a few weeks ago from a buddy of mine who was the jockey’s agent for Mick, Jr. in California for a little while and he put me in touch with the Ruises. We’re trying to claim some horses for them. I came here to be at the sale and be at the Preakness and was fortunate enough to run into Mr. Ruis and introduce myself. He gave us the reins and trusted Mike and I and we’re just fortunate enough to be part of the team.”

Monday’s session-topper, out of Kid Majic (Lemon Drop Kid), is just the sort of prospect the Ruises are looking for, according to Santangelo.

“He would fit into anybody’s program,” Santangelo said of the juvenile. “He’s a phenomenal horse. They want to win big races, they want to be running on Saturday afternoons, and he is one of those types. He’s a big, beautiful horse who will develop in time. [Trainer] Shelbe [Ruis] is very lucky to be getting him.”

Recio and Santangelo made a second purchase for the Ruis family Tuesday in Timonium, going to $28,000 to secure hip 438, a daughter of Lookin at Lucky.

“I hope I am part of their team for the long haul,” Santangelo continued. “Mike and I are very fortunate to be part of the team. It’s an exciting family. They want to make a big splash and they are headed in the right direction.”

 

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