Mr. Big Filly Tops 'Solid' Fasig-Tipton California Sale

Hip 228 | Fasig-Tipton photo

by Dan Ross & Jessica Martini

POMONA, CA – The Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held Tuesday at Fairplex in Pomona, produced 14 six-figure lots, led by a filly by Mr. Big who sold for $250,000 to Todd Tomazic. Numbers declined from last year's lively renewal of the auction, with 205 head grossing $6,257,100 and the average falling 22% to $30,522 and the median dipping 15% to $17,000. The buy-back rate was 25.7%. It was 24.4% in 2021.

“It was a very solid session,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said at the close of business Tuesday. “There was lots of traffic and activity at the barns before the sale and there was spirited bidding on the majority of the horses. There still remained some selectivity in the marketplace–you have to have acceptable conformation, and, like at every sale in the world, you have to jump through the vetting hoops. But I thought, all in all, it was a good follow-up to an exceptional year last year.”

A year ago, 177 horses sold for $6,933,550 for an average of $39,173 and a median of $20,000. The top lot of $350,000 was one of 17 yearlings to bring six figures.

“We probably didn't have quite as much sire power from out-of-state sires this year in the catalogue, but we knew that going in,” Browning said. “But I think that's truthfully part of the rebuilding process where people are starting to have confidence and hopefully a couple of good yearling sales in a row will give breeders more confidence that there will be better quality horses that are Cal-breds. Not that there aren't some nice Cal-breds now, but I think it's a restoration of confidence in the marketplace. I think we are seeing some real indications of that amongst the breeders that sold horses today.”

Hockey Dad (Nyquist) (hip 335) brought the highest price during the horses of racing age section of the sale when bloodstock agent Kim Lloyd went to $175,000 to acquire the 4-year-old on behalf of Gary Hartunian's Rockingham Ranch. Bred and campaigned by Reddam Racing, the bay colt was third in last year's GII Del Mar Derby and GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks.

Tomazic Goes Big

Todd Tomazic, who has been a minority owner on some racehorses in the past, jumped into the fray at the Fasig-Tipton California Yearlings Sale Tuesday when purchasing three yearlings, led by a sale-topping daughter of Mr. Big (hip 228) who sold for $250,000.

“I am not new to being a fan, but I'm new to being an owner,” Tomazic said. “I've been a minority investor in some horses, but I hadn't even been to an auction before.”

Tomazic was being advised at the sale by Terry Knight, farm manager of Legacy Ranch, which raised hip 228 for breeder George Krikorian.

“I did not expect to spend this, but they liked him so we bought him,” Tomazic said. “[Picking horses] is not my forte, but if my trainer likes him, that's what I like. He's a guy who has owned a lot more horses than I have.”

The sale-topping yearling, who was consigned by Havens Bloodstock Agency, is out of Misszippityslewda (City Zip) and is a full-sister to multiple stakes winner Big Sweep. Krikorian purchased the mare for $22,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton February sale and resold her, in foal to Mr. Big, for $11,000 at this year's CTBA February sale.

“We raised her for George and sale prepped her,” Knight said. “She's just kept getting better and better and we've liked her more and more.”

Also Tuesday, Tomazic went to $105,000 to acquire a filly from the first crop of GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso (hip 189). The yearling is out of Keep the Magic (Malibu Moon) and was also bred by Krikorian and consigned by Havens Bloodstock Agency.

Tomazic's Pomona shopping spree was completed by a filly by another Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Accelerate (hip 36), who was purchased for $35,000 from the Harris Farms consignment.

The yearlings will be sent to Legacy Ranch in Lodi, California to be broke.

“We will see what they can do with them,” Tomazic said.

Siegel Stays Busy in Pomona

Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable, following the advice of the late bid-spotter Pete McCormick, bid aggressively to secure a pair of yearlings for matching $200,000 price tags late in the Fasig-Tipton California Yearlings Sale Tuesday. She first went to that figure to acquire a filly by Good Magic (hip 241) and came back 10 hips later to purchase a daughter of Stanford (hip 252) for the same price. Both yearlings were consigned by Stormy and Guy Hull's Washington-based Critter Creek Farm.

“She was beautiful,” Siegal said of hip 241. “To get a Cal-bred by a good freshman sire like Good Magic, whose horses are selling well as yearlings and 2-year-olds, we actually thought we would have to give more. Hopefully we can have some fun with her without the Kentucky sales price.”

The yearling is out of Nine Point Nine (Tribal Rule), a half-sister to stakes winner Sweet Saga (Slew's Saga).

Hip 252 is out of Open Mic (Unbridled's Song) and is a half-sister to stakes-placed No Cover Charge (Kafwain). Her third dam is Words of War (Lord at War {Arg}).

“She is really beautiful, too,” Siegal said. “She is a big, strong filly with a great walk.”

Stormy Hull was co-breeder of both yearlings and, along with Lynn Baker, purchased Open Mic, carrying the Stanford filly, for $11,500 at the 2021 CTBA January sale.

“Those guys sold two really, really nice fillies,” Siegal said of the Critter Creek consignment. “They did a great job. They looked great.”

Siegal's Jay Em Ess also purchased a colt by Smokem (hip 52) for $90,000 and a colt by Mr. Big (hip 105) for $50,000 Tuesday in Pomona.

The yearlings will be trained by Brian Koriner.

Of her take-no-prisoner bidding style, Siegal said, “Pete McCormick told me how to bid. They will go up in little increments forever, but if you make a big move, it's a little different. I got aggressive with my bidding. That's the way I was taught.”

Mandella Strikes for Mitole Filly

Trainer Gary Mandella struck early in the Fasig-Tipton California Yearlings Sale Tuesday when going to $190,000 to acquire a filly by champion sprinter Mitole (hip 58) on behalf of owner Tom Nichols.

“She looks fast and she looks early,” Mandella said of the yearling's appeal. “Tom Nichols has a lot of faith in buying at this sale. We've always had something that can last when we've come here. And this one looks as good as anything we've gotten here. We are happy to take this one home.”

Bred and consigned by Richard Barton Thoroughbreds, the dark bay filly is out of Whim (More Than Ready) and from the family of stakes winner Saratoga Humor and multiple graded winner Heart Stealer. Barton purchased the 10-year-old mare, with the filly in utero, for $40,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November sale.

Mandella had a few other yearlings on his short list, but admitted his shopping might be over after the six-figure purchase.

“I think we spent the budget,” he said. “We were hoping to get that one for a bit less and try for a few a bit later, to be honest, but I liked that one and we went ahead and used up the budget.”

Repole in Action on the West Coast

Mike Repole, a major buyer at the Keeneland September sale, took his buying spree to the West Coast when purchasing a filly by Kantharos (hip 180) for $115,000 Tuesday in Pomona.

“I thought she was a nice filly,” said trainer Michael McCarthy, who signed the ticket on behalf of Repole. “She caught my eye earlier in the week. She looked fast.”

Consigned by Barton Thoroughbreds, the yearling is out of multiple stakes-placed Imperial Pippin (Empire Maker), who is a daughter of graded winner Apple of Kent (Kris S.). She was bred by Richard Barton Enterprises, which purchased Imperial Pippin with the filly in utero, for $16,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November sale.

Repole, in partnership with St. Elias Stables, was the leading buyer at the Keeneland September sale with 31 yearlings purchased for $12,840,000. On his own, Repole was the auction's fourth-leading buyer with 27 head purchased for $7,940,000.

“He is a guy with a vision,” McCarthy said. “And he thought it was a great idea to take advantage of the state-bred program.”

Sir Prancealot Filly to Mathis and Jawl

A filly by Sir Prancealot (Ire) (hip 143) will be heading to the Golden Gate Fields barn of trainer Andy Mathis after selling for $100,000 Tuesday at the Fasig-Tipton California Sale. The gray yearling is out of Do Dat Blues (Lydgate) and is a half-sister to stakes winner Mo See Cal (Uncle Mo). She was bred by Rozamund Barclay, Sydnee Brown and Dena Murdock and was consigned by McCarthy Bloodstock.

“She impressed me when I saw her,” Mathis, who was bidding on behalf of owner Michael Jawl, said. “She's the right size with a really nice walk. She seemed really smart. From the first time I saw her to when she was in the ring, she never flinched. And we like the Cal-bred angle.”

Of plans for the filly, Mathis laughed and said, “Win some stakes–we better for $100,000. She looks the part and hopefully she runs the part.”

A few hips later, Mathis signed the ticket at $75,000 to acquire a filly by Smiling Tiger (hip 150) on behalf of Robert D. Bone.

Mathis, who has been training  since 2001, is coming off a bang-up Del Mar meeting where he had 12 wins from 41 starts.

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