Nish Sticking to Plan at Fasig July

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by Jessica Martini 
When Kevin and Kimberly Nish send a pair of stakes-winning fillies through the sales ring during Thursday’s Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale in Lexington, the couple, who race as KMN Racing, will be following through on a business plan developed four years ago. 

“We’ve been advised by Alex [Solis] and Jason [Litt] since we got in the racing business,” explained Kevin Nish. “And we’ve had a plan that we would buy yearling fillies and then sell some that had become successful to fund the next year or two years of purchasing fillies.” 

Putting that plan into action two years ago, Solis and Litt purchased Lutine Belle (Bellamy Road) (hip 411) on behalf of the Nishes for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. The bloodstock agents also acquired Lindisfarne(City Zip) (hip 410) for $57,000 at the Keeneland September sale. 

Lindisfarne (Thorostride video) has now raced seven times and her three victories include a 1 1/2-length tally in the Marshua S. at Laurel in January. She currently has earnings of $108,545. Lutine Belle (Thorostride video), who has earned nearly $115,000, counts the Blue Norther S. at Santa Anita among her three victories to date. 
The two fillies will sell Thursday through the Darby Dan Farm consignment, but Nish admitted it would be a bittersweet parting. 

“We made that plan and now it is very hard to stick to it because they have both done so well for us,” he said. “They are trying to lash me to the mast so I don’t break off from the plan, but right now we are sticking with the plan and we’re agreeing that we’ll put that money into next year or this coming fall’s yearling sales.” 

The plan got a little harder to stick to when Lutine Belle ran a career-best third in the June 27 GIII Senorita S. 
“Yes. It made it harder for me,” Nish chuckled about Lucine Belle’s finish in the Senorita. “But as Jason and Alex say, ‘You can always sell them when you don’t want to sell them. If you want to sell them, it might be harder to sell them.’” 

Nish said he expects to purchase between four and six yearlings this year with a clear-cut game plan. 

“We have always purchased the horses in a certain price range,” he explained. “Jason and Alex–because we live in Northern California–are looking for horses they believe can win a maiden special weight up here. Sometimes they go on to do bigger things. Sometimes they don’t. But Jason and Alex have done very well by us and we are happy to continue to follow their advice.” 

The next generation of yearling purchases has already started to pay dividends. 

“This past Saturday, we had a first-time starter named Stays in Vegas (City Zip) and she won the Juan Gonzalez S. by six lengths,” Nish said. “We were quite excited about that and that is a reenforcing mechanism towards the plan that Jason and Alex have for us. So she is a crop beyond from the two that are going to sell who has already come up and looks like she’ll be ok.” 

Stays in Vegas was a $40,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase last fall.

In addition to the yearlings they purchase at auction, the couple have a California-based broodmare band of 16. 

“The farm where our mares are is only 20 miles away, so the whole family can come over and we like to see our foals when they are born,” Nish said of the appeal of breeding. “But we have clearly had more success with the ones that Alex and Jason have selected for us at the sales.” 

The Nishes, who only became involved in racehorse ownership some four years ago, have already enjoyed a lifetime of success in the game. They were co-owners of two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection (Mizzen Mast) and are also part of the ownership group of champion Shared Belief (Candy Ride {Arg}). 

So this is an easy game? 

“The facts would lead me to believe that,” Nish laughed. “But I’ve had enough of the other experiences. You hear about the ones that are good, but we have had several others that weren’t. We have pictures from maiden claimers at Golden Gate. Not everybody wins. But we’ve been doing a better than average job thanks to the advice we’ve been getting.” 

Nish, who is the CEO of GeoVera Insurance Holdings, gets regular updates on the status of Shared Belief, who has been sidelined since a hip injury in April. The champion is currently recuperating at Pegasus Training Center in Washington. 

“[Trainer] Jerry [Hollendorfer] is up with Shared even as we speak,” Nish said Monday. “He has been on stall rest and has been getting ultrasounds every two weeks to check on the progress of the healing of his fracture and that has now healed enough, as of a week ago, that he got to leave his stall and resume some hand walking. He will continue to get ultrasounded every two weeks and we’ll continue to lengthen his time out of the stall. The best-case time line for us would be to get him back into rehabilitation where he could start using all of their wonderful facilities–the underwater treadmill, swimming–that might begin sometime in the middle part of August.” 

Nish added the time line will be completely up to Shared Belief. 

“This guy has won so much and done so much for us and the Romes and the whole ownership operation,” Nish said. “He doesn’t owe us a nickel and he is going to get whatever he needs to come back and be the best he can be. If he is ready to go sooner, we’ll go sooner. If it takes longer, it will take longer. We are following the advice from the farm and they are good judges in that and we have high confidence in Pegasus.” 

Stakes Winners added to Fasig Sale 
A pair of stakes-winning fillies have been added to the catalogue for Thursday’s Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horse of Racing Age sale. Come to Mischief (Into Mischief) has been catalogued as hip 522. The 2-year-old filly was a dominating victress in the June 28 My Dear S. at Woodbine in just her first trip to the post. She will be consigned by Darby Dan Farm, agent. Hip 524, consigned by Bluewater Sales, is Temper Mint Patty (Congrats). The sophomore filly romped home by 9 1/4 lengths in the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes last Friday.

The Fasig-Tipton July Yearling sale gets underway Thursday at 10 a.m. and will be followed immediately by the Horses of Racing Age sale.

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