October Sale Continues at Record Pace

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Hip 513Fasig-Tipton

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LEXINGTON, KY – The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale continued its frenetic pace Tuesday and figures remained ahead of record pace at the half-way point of the four-day auction.

“It was a great session,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said Tuesday night. “It was record-breaking in all regards: gross, average and co-highest price ever for a colt. But more important than that was the continued level of activity. There is a great RNA rate overall with people walking in there with reserves that were getting doubled and tripled. It was an energetic crowd. It's a pretty fun time to be selling horses.”

Through two sessions, 554 yearlings have grossed $24,977,100. The two-day average of $45,085–up 34.5% from the same point in 2020–is ahead of the record figure of $37,955 that was set in 2019. The median is $20,000, up 33.3% from the halfway point of the 2020 sale and above the sale record of $18,500 set in 2014.

The buy-back rate is 18.4%. It was 21.4% a year ago.

The auction is also on track to set a record gross. The all-time high of $38,258,900 was set in 2019.

“There is a sense of optimism,” Browning said of the strength of the market. “People need horses and virtually everybody you talk to is trying to upgrade the quality of the horses that they are training and they are racing. That's a very positive sign for our industry, short-term and long-term. It's really encouraging and we are thrilled with the results today.”

Jacob West, acting on behalf of Vinnie Viola's St Elias Stable, made the day's highest bid when going to $750,000 to acquire a colt by Empire Maker from the Machmer Hall Sales consignment. It was the co-highest priced colt in sale history, matched by a Saint Ballado colt sold in 2000.

While West signed the ticket solely in the name of St Elias, the agent admitted Mike Repole could join the ownership line on the colt. West purchased the day's top-priced filly, a $450,000 daughter of Uncle Mo, for the Repole and St Elias partnership which was the leading buyer at last month's Keeneland September sale.

“It's been totally insane–in a good way,” Gainesway's Brian Graves said of activity on the sales grounds this week. “It's just full of action and it seems like more people are showing up every day. We are busy into the third day of the sale showing horses. I think people are getting shuffled back and just trying to find something they could make a case for. It's been a feeding frenzy.”

The Fasig-Tipton October sale continues through Thursday with sessions beginning each day at 10 a.m.

Empire Maker Colt Shares October Record

Jacob West did his bidding out back to secure an Uncle Mo filly for Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola's partnership, but was in action on the internet a few hips later to acquire a colt by Empire Maker (hip 513) for a co-sale record $750,000. West had to fend off Donato Lanni and SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan, who were bidding from the balcony in the sales pavilion.

“He was kind of the pick of the litter here at the sale,” West said. “I went over and saw him on the first day of inspections and immediately texted those guys to let them know. He was a representative of the big, two-turn looking colt that those guys have been trying to buy.”

West signed the ticket on hip 513 in just the name of Viola's St Elias Stables, but indicated the yearling would likely become part of the partnership.

“As of this second, no [he's not part of the partnership],” West said of Repole. “But I have a pretty good feeling. There was some discrepancy on what they were going to end up doing partnership-wise, so as of right now, no, but I would say Mike will invest in him.”

The result was an emotional one for Carrie Brogden, whose Machmer Hall Sales consigned the yearling on behalf of co-breeders Tom Conway and Calvin Crain. Conway, a longtime owner and breeder, passed away in September.

“Tom was so excited about this colt,” Brogden said. “I am just sorry he can't be here. Because this is what we do, what we live for, to have the big sales days and the big race days. If I had passed away, like he did in September, boy I hope there is a heaven because I would want to watch this. He was so passionate about the game and he was such a lovely man. He wanted to talk about his horses all the time and he knew this one could be really special.”

The dark bay colt is out of Stop Time (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}), a daughter of Group 1 winner Musical Chimes (In Excess {Ire}). Conway purchased Stop Time for $75,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

“We've lost a lot of good people lately,” Brogden said. “And all it does is remind me to live every day.”

 

Uncle Mo Filly Draws a Crowd

Partnerships went to the fore again at the Fasig October sale Tuesday when bloodstock agent Jacob West went to $450,000 to acquire a filly by Uncle Mo (hip 469) on behalf of Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola's St Elias. The bay yearling was bred and consigned by Sam-Son Farm.

“She is a beautiful filly with a great pedigree,” West said of the yearling's appeal. “They kind of turned the page down based on the pedigree when the catalogue came out. She is a big-framed filly and we hope she grows up into her body.”

Hip 469 is out of Song of the Lark (Seeking the Gold) and is a half-sister to Canadian champion Up With the Birds (Stormy Atlantic). As part of the on-going Sam-Son dispersal, Song of the Lark sold for $145,000 while in foal to Uncle Mo at this year's Keeneland January sale.

Repole and Viola were the leading buyers at the Keeneland September sale where West signed the ticket on 43 yearlings for $16,045,000 on behalf of the partnership.

Asked what impact partnerships like Repole and Viola's, as well as the SF Bloodstock/Starlight/Madaket axis which purchased the $700,000 son of Tapit Monday at Fasig-Tipton, West said, “I can only speak for myself, but Mike and Vinnie have spent almost $20 million on horses. Are we going to say that is bad for the game? They are putting a lot of money through these sales companies. I know some people are complaining that it's two big titans teaming up, but they are good friends and they grew up together, their families are family. They still own horses fully on their own, but they didn't see a reason to compete against each other. It is a partnership that works. They are putting a lot of money through the sales and I think everybody needs to be excited that they are doing it. Really wealthy people in this industry and in this world can find a bunch of other stuff to put their money into. Anybody who is signing a ticket on a horse, I applaud. I think what gets lost in the shuffle, is that good horses always bring good money regardless. This year we didn't have an Arab presence in our sales, so everybody should be thanking God that Mike and Vinnie stepped up the way they did–and the other partnerships, too. It did create a little bit of a feeding frenzy, but at the end of the day I think it was a good thing.”

 

Mendelssohn Colt to BlackRidge Partners

Will Daugherty, bidding on behalf of the BlackRidge Partners, went to $400,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of Mendelssohn (hip 545) from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. The yearling is out of Super Girlie (Closing Argument) and is a half-brother to this year's GI Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock (Dialed In). He was bred by Pedro and P.J. Gonzalez.

“We will bring in a couple of partners and syndicate him out just a little bit,” Daugherty said. “He's a nice Mendelssohn colt, one of the best we've come across, and you have to love the page. If he's anything like his half-brother, he'll be pretty successful.”

Daugherty operates BlackRidge with his father Bill and partner Bill Barr. Their BlackRidge Resource Partners is an investment firm specializing in the oil and gas industries. The group bought into California Chrome shortly before his win in the G1 Dubai World Cup and began building a broodmare band to support the stallion. Breeding has remained their primary focus.

“We don't race a whole lot, we mostly breed,” Daugherty explained. “We just come in on a special horse. We have a little-to-some of five or six [horses in training].”

Tuesday's result was no surprise to Taylor Made's Duncan Taylor.

“He was one of the most popular colts we had up at the barn,” Taylor said. “And with Super Stock running so good, we knew he would sell well. We didn't know quite how well, but we are very happy with that result.”

 

Bolt d'Oro Filly Pays for Hamlins

Nancy and Tim Hamlin's Wynnstay Sales, consigning only since 2018, sold the top-priced filly at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale and continued its strong returns Tuesday at Newtown Paddocks when selling a filly by Bolt d'Oro (hip 705) for $375,000 to St Elias Stables. Out of Urloveisasymphony (Forest Wildcat), the filly was bred by Deann and Greg Baer and was raised at the Hamlins' Wynnstay Farm near Winchester.

“She was out all day for three days in a row,” Tim Hamlin said of the yearling's popularity on the sales grounds. “She was a trooper all through it and never turned a hair.”

Hamlin continued, “Good horses are hard to come by. You can lose people when you bring them to the sale if they act stupid in the back ring. Everything has to go right, all the boxes have to be checked. When they check all the boxes you get paid. And she checked all the boxes.”

Bolt d'Oro's first yearlings have proven popular in the sales ring this summer and fall and Hamlin admitted he was a fan of the young Spendthrift stallion.

“We just like them mentally,” Hamlin said of the yearlings by Bolt d'Oro he has dealt with. “They are all so easy. They do whatever you want them to do. They are willing and athletic. They are just happy horses. I tried to get two more breedings tonight. The minute she sold, I got on the phone with [Spendthrift's] Mark Toothaker and he said, 'I can't get you any more. He's full.' But I tried. We love him.”

 

Miami Date for Curlin Colt

Randy Hartley, one of a group of Florida-based pinhookers bundled up against the suddenly chilly temperatures in the back walking ring at Fasig-Tipton, went to $300,000 to acquire a colt by Curlin (hip 437) from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment Tuesday.

“He just looks like he is going to get better and better,” Harley said after signing the ticket on the yearling. “He is good now, but he looks like one of those colts who, over this training period, is just going to develop into a spectacular colt. He looks like he has tons of speed, along with the distance. He reminded me a lot of Khozan when I bought him, a smaller type with that shoulder and walk. Of all the horses, he was my pick of the sale.”

The yearling is out of the unraced Silverbulletway (Storm Cat), a daughter of champion Silverbulletday (Silver Deputy) and the dam of graded winner Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) and stakes winner Crisis of Spirit (Vindication). He was bred by Mike Pegram.

Hartley and Dean DeRenzo have narrowed their pinhooking focus this year and hip 437 is expected to head to next year's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale as part of a select consignment of colts.

“I have just a small really good group of colts this year and I am going to try to go down there and go to one place and get it done in one place,” Hartley said. “I bought a City of Light, a Good Magic and a West Coast and an Uncle Mo, but I needed something more with a proven pedigree. So if everything does go well, there is a lot of upside to him. If it doesn't, I don't have far to fall.”

Of the October market, Hartley said, “The good ones are bringing good money. They have been hard to buy. It's been a pretty strong sale if you really like something. So I've been waiting on this one.”

 

Empire Maker Filly to Rutherford

Mike Rutherford, whose broodmare Sluice (Seeking the Gold) produced Grade I winner Mushka (Empire Maker), went back to the cross when acquiring a filly by the late Gainesway stallion (hip 457) for $230,000 at Fasig-Tipton Tuesday. The yearling was consigned by Gainesway and was co-bred by Best a Luck Farm and the Empire Maker syndicate in Florida.

The yearling is out of Slew's Quality (Elusive Quality)–a granddaughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew–and she is a half-sister to champion female sprinter and GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint winner Shamrock Rose (First Dude).

“She had a beautiful neck and shoulder and I loved the sire,” Rutherford said of the yearling. “Mushka won over a million dollars and she was by the same sire out of a Lakeway daughter, who was Seattle Slew, so I liked the cross.”

The yearling will be trained by Bill Mott.

“[Rutherford] only buys the really pretty ones,” Gainesway's Brian Graves said. “And she was. She was just a really well-balanced filly and very athletic. She's already a half to a Grade I winner. She'll have a lot of broodmare potential one day.”

 

English Channel Filly Scores for Fallbrook Team

Jared Hughes purchased a filly by English Channel for $13,000 at this year's Keeneland January sale as a thank you to the team at Fallbrook Farm. The yearling (hip 596) duly rewarded the group when selling for $112,000 to Magnolia Racing Syndicate Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton.

“Jared Hughes helps at Fallbrook Farm, he advises and helps manage the farm,” said Joe Seitz of Brookdale Sales, which consigned the filly. “He bought her for the employees of Fallbrook. They called her the bonus baby, that was her nickname all year long. It's been nice watching her develop. She's really come on all summer and fall.”

English Channel was represented by the one-two in the GIII Sycamore S. at Keeneland Saturday when Spooky Channel scored a narrow victory over Two Emmys and the sire's momentum continued on into the Fasig sale.

“She started to heat up yesterday,” Seitz said of action on the yearling. “People were coming back for her and she started to get vetted. English Channel has done so well this year and he's finally starting to get the respect that he deserves. And she was very attractive. She kind of stuck out here. And especially having the first and second in the Sycamore, the timing was perfect. The stars started lining up.”

Asked if the Fallbrook team had plans to reinvest their profits, Seitz smiled and said, “We haven't gotten that far. I just gave Jared a high five and I had to sell another one. But I am sure they will. I am sure those guys will be keen to reinvest.”

 

Soup for a Cause

Proceeds of soup sales made in the Kentucky Room between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. during each session of the Fasig-Tipton October Sale this week will go to support the family of the late bloodstock agent Mike 'Soup' Recio, who passed away in September.

Donations can also be made directly to the 529 College Funds of Recio's children, Wesley and Addison, by clicking the links below:

Wesley Recio: https://gift.my529.org/8TSDXZ

Addison Recio: https://gift.my529.org/TD0IEM

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