A son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was the first to set off fireworks at Fasig-Tipton Thursday, igniting a spirited round of bidding between a trio of powerhouse connections in Donato Lanni, Coolmore and Marette Farrell, acting on behalf on Speedway Stables. Lanni was the first to throw in the towel, leaving Coolmore and Farrell to duke it out and it was Farrell left to sign the winning $1.25-million ticket on behalf of her longtime clients, Speedway’s K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor.
“K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor are two of the best owners a person could possibly have,” said Farrell, who said she was shocked to find out she had outbid the Coolmore team. “They are game. They are very successful in their own business world and they apply all of those principles to our little horse world. They have done very well so far. They love being part of the game. They love working with Bob Baffert.”
Consigned by Denali Stud, Hip 400 was bred by Fasig’s Bayne and Christina Welker, who purchased the MSW mare Swingit (Victory Gallop) for $50,000 in foal to Bodemeister at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. Already the dam of MGISP millionaire Neolithic (Harlan’s Holiday) at that time, her second foal for the Welkers was new ‘TDN Rising Star’ Travel Column (Frosted), who was purchased by Larry Best for $850,000 at last term’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
“We just thought he was an absolutely stunning horse,” Farrell said. “We were the underbidder on his half-sister last year, who was the ‘TDN Rising Star’. We had seen this horse on the farm and knew how much his connections thought of him and Bob Baffert, who is going to train him, loved him. I was on the phone with K.C. Weiner, who coached me through this. We are thrilled to get him. We think he is a really special horse and it looks like the mare has already produced a couple of very good horses. He fits what Speedway wants and what Bob Baffert is looking for.”
Baffert and Speedway have enjoyed a successful partnership over the years, campaigning the likes of Grade I winners Collected (City Zip), Roadster (Quality Road) and Noted and Quoted (The Factor). —@CDeBernardisTDN
Watch our interview with Marette Farrell below.