Munny Spunt Brings $340K To Top Solid Fasig February Opener

Session-topper Munny Spunt | Fasig-Tipton


LEXINGTON, KY – The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale got off to a solid start Monday in Lexington, with graded-stakes winner Munny Spunt (Munnings), in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify, bringing the day's top price of $340,000. In all, 182 horses sold during the day for a gross of $5,524,300. The average of $30,353 dipped 8.9% from last year's opening session, while the median of $10,500 was down 27.6%. The buy-back rate was 20.5%. It was 16.1% a year ago.

“I thought there was fair trade and there was lots of activity, certainly on the short yearlings,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “There was lots of vetting and activity on those that were perceived to be of higher quality. The mares in foal and the broodmare prospects that you would turn down the page when you went through the catalogue sold well.”

Still there remained a fall-off for offerings that did not meet the criteria of the buyers.

“There are some horses that the marketplace is extremely critical of,” Browning said. “It is not as robust as some people would like, but that's a sign and a trend that we've seen for many, many years. I think we've seen a continuation of the marketplace that we saw for much of 2022. It's healthy, it's not exuberant, it's rational, but you better also have an understanding of what you're offering and how the market is going to receive your horse.”

That polarization was also evident to Matt Bowling, who was active both as a buyer and as a seller through his Vinery Sales.

“We are getting a ton of views,” Bowling said. “The people are here. I think if you are bringing the right stuff over, they are paying you a fair value for it. But if you've got some dings or you don't have the pedigree, or a bad produce record, it's definitely a lonely place. But the right horses are bringing the right money.”

A total of 13 horses sold for six figures Monday, compared to 15 hitting that mark during the opening session in 2022. Leading the way was Munny Spunt, who was purchased by Nebraska native Judy Pryor from the Hunter Valley Farm consignment.

Browning expects activity to pick up during Tuesday's second session of the auction, which will feature an offering of supplemental entries with plenty of current form.

“The quality and composition of the catalogue in a sale like this changes from year to year,” he said. “And I think we've got a little stronger catalogue tomorrow as opposed to today just the way it flows with the supplemental entries in the addendum.”

Bidding for Tuesday's second and final session of the sale begins at 10 a.m.

Pryor Strikes Late for Munny Spunt

Following the legalization of casino gaming at racetracks in Nebraska in 2020, Nebraska native Judy Pryor is determined to build up the breeding and racing program in the Cornhusker State. She started by acquiring stallions Court Vision and Giant Expectations ahead of the 2021 breeding season and has now turned her focus to acquiring broodmares. She made her biggest splash in the Thoroughbred auction scene Monday at Fasig-Tipton when going to a session-topping $340,000 for Munny Spunt (Munnings) (hip 293). The 9-year-old mare, in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify, was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm on behalf of David Fennelly's Mountmellick Farm.

“I purchased Court Vision and Giant Expectations a couple of years ago,” Pryor said after signing the ticket alongside Martha Jane Mullholand and Lexis Hennings. “We want to help Nebraska grow in racing to get back to the Ak-Sar-Ben days. I am brand new in racing. I don't know what I am doing. But I love a good horse.”

Pryor does have plenty of experience in the Quarter Horse show world and maintains the 400-acre Pryor Ranch.

“In the Quarter Horse world, we have raised many, many world champions,” Pryor said. “This is a brand new thing for me and I am kind of doing it because my aunt and uncle were race trainers and they have always wanted me to do racehorses. But I thought it was for the Sport of Kings, not for peanut butter lovers. So I ate enought peanut butters to do this today.”

Munny Spunt won the GIII Torrey Pines S. during her racing career. Her filly by Mendelssohn sold for $425,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. She also has a yearling colt by Authentic.

“She's a little taller than most Munnings,” Pryor said of the mare's appeal. “She is perfectly smooth and correct for breeding purposes. She has a nice walk and she's in foal to Justify. And I wanted to go home with a famous horse.”

Asked if she thought the in utero foal might become the Triple Crown winner's first Nebraska-bred, Pryor said, “I hope to hell it is.”

With Munny Spunt's expected foaling date fast approaching, the Nebraska-bred designation might have to wait. Pryor purchased Ardita (Bernardini) for $92,000 at the Keeneland January sale. That mare recently foaled at Mulholland Springs.

“Nobody thought I should haul her home because she was due to foal,” Pryor said of Ardita.

Of Monday's session-topping bid, Pryor said, “I have no idea what I was thinking. I was just going to buy that damn horse.”

Of her client, Mulholland said, “Judy has been playing at hte top of the Quarter Horse show industry for decades. We are lucky to have her join us here in the Thoroughbred industry. We are going to have fun. We either going to sell them well or we're going to run them. But we're going to have fun.”

Hunter Valley Farm's Fergus Galvin admitted Munny Spunt's session-topping price exceeded the team's expectations.

“We knew she was probably one of the highlights of the day,” Galvin said. “She's graded stakes winner by Munnings and in foal to the right stallion. And her produce, we're still waiting for that runner, but she's got a good sales history. I think they got a good buy. She's a really good mare.”

Mountmellick Farm purchased Munny Spunt for $325,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

“David Fennelly is just downsizing a little bit,” Galvin said of the decision to sell the mare this year. “He's not getting out of the business, he's just cutting down his numbers. Justify is looking like he's the real deal. So he thought this was just a good opportunity to sell.”

Pryor credits her aunt and uncle, Merle and Marilyn Heldt, who were trainers on the midwest circuit, for her interest in Thoroughbred racing. And she has a goal for the couple's son, Derron Heldt.

“[The Heldts are a huge reason I am doing this,” Pryor said. “They have been doing this their entire lives. Their son, Derron Heldt, is the head racing director at Prairie Meadows. And I want that kid to give me a trophy.”




Heiligbrodts Go Back-to-Back

Susan Montanye, bidding on behalf of Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, went to $250,000 to acquire the broodmare Bubala (Candy Ride {Arg}) (hip 61) and wheeled right back to take the mare's short yearling colt by Audible (hip 62) for $200,000 for the same clients Monday in Lexington.

The 7-year-old Bubala, who sold in foal to Not This Time, is a half-sister to stakes-placed Island Reward (Street Boss) and Harmonic (Congrats).

The Colorado-based Scott Issel, vice president of Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, purchased Bubala for $50,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton February sale and Issel's Arapahoe Thoroughbreds bred the yearling. Both were consigned by Tom Evans's Trackside Farm Monday.

“The mare was big and pretty and looked like she had all the parts,” said Montanye. “And of course, she's in foal to Not This Time, who is doing outstanding. She joins Heiligbrodt Racing and will go to Taylor Made and hopefull being successful in the breeding process.”




Montanye said the team's initial interest was in the yearling.

“We looked a the yearling first,” Montanye said. “And credit to Bill, I didn't even pick out that the mare was in the sale. He had me go back and look at the mare. That's what started the whole process.”

On plans for the yearling, Montanye said, “We'll see. There is no rush. We will see what he wants to do with him. They will be both go on to Taylor Made for now. We will take it over from there.”

The Heiligbrodts added another mare to their band a little later in Monday's session, going to $130,000 to acquire Fly on Angel (Palace Malice) (hip 159). The 6-year-old mare, consigned by Bluewater Sales, sold in foal to Yaupon, who won the 2021 GI Forego S. in the couple's colors.

Hits Pricey Legacy to Clearsky Farm

Graded-stakes winner Hits Pricey Legacy (Den's Legacy) (hip 202) will be joining the broodmare band at the Cleary family's Clearsky Farm after selling for $230,000 to the bid of Vinery Sale's Matt Bowling. The 4-year-old, who sold as a racing or broodmare prospect, was consigned by Zach Madden's Buckland Sales on behalf of her owner/breeder and trainer C.R. Trout.

“We bought her for Clearsky Farm, so she'll join their broodmare band,” said Bowling. “We haven't made any mating plans yet, we're just glad to have her. She's a pretty, big-walking filly and a very good racehorse. She's the kind of filly they like to add to the broodmare band there.”

Hits Pricey Legacy is a four-time stakes winner who captured the GIII Remington Park Oaks last September. She hit the board in all but one of her 10 starts and won five times. She retires with earnings of $339,935.

“Any time you get a graded stakes winner on the market, they are hard to find, so we tend to find over them,” Bowling said of the mare's final price tag.

Hits Pricey Legacy is out of High Price Hit (Concord Point), who is a half-sister to multiple stakes winners Imahit (Whywhywhy) and Hallelujah Hit (Mr. Nightlinger), all of whom were also bred, raced and trained by Trout.

“I am just trying to cut back on the amount of broodmares I have,” Trout said. “I breed primarily in Oklahoma and I just thought this was a good time to sell this filly while she was still in good, peak form. She is fit and sound as a dollar.”

Asked if it was an emotional decision to sell the graded stakes winner, Trout said, “It is. But I just turned 78 and it's time to start doing some estate planning.”

This isn't the first time Clearsky has added a member of the family to its broodmare band.

“Clearsky Farm had bought a mare from me before from the same family,” Trout said. “They had called and wanted to buy her privately, but I already had her in the sale.”

High Price Hit, who is one of 12 mares currently in Trout's broodmare band, has produced fillies that last two years, a daughter of Flat Out in 2021 and a daughter of Cloud Computing this year. The 13-year-old mare is in foal to Volatile.

“We will make up our mind whether we will breed [High Price Hit] back in Oklahoma and sell her baby,” Trout said. “We are kind of up in the air right now.”

Of what Monday's results for Oklahoma's breeding industry, Trout said, “It means so much for Oklahoma. We don't have a big breeding program, but it's building.”



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