Record-Setting OBS Spring Sale Concludes

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Hip 1039 | Judit Seipert

Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training concluded its record-setting renewal with a frenetic day of bidding in Central Florida Friday. The four-day auction produced its highest-ever gross when 723 horses sold for $73,907,900. The average was $102,224 and the median was $50,000–both figures just off the records set in 2019 of $108,903 and $60,000.

“We went into the sale with high hopes and certainly the sale didn't let us down,” OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski said. “The buyers showed up and the sellers brought quality horses to market. We went into the sale with high hopes and certainly the sale didn't let us down. We are very happy with the result. Safe to say it exceeded expectations.”

With 110 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate for the auction was a sparkling 13.2%, a figure which will continue to decline with the addition of post-sale transactions.

“It's been extremely difficult to buy,” said bloodstock agent Hubert Guy. “The market was very strong. I am happy it was so strong. Last year, with the March sale the stock market went down and a couple of nice horses didn't sell well. So this year to see the market rebound is very encouraging.”

The auction, which set records for gross, average and median in three straight years before declines during last year's pandemic-delayed sale, continued its evolution as the world's preeminent 2-year-old in training sale.

“It's the premier 2-year-old sale in the world,” Wojciechowski said. “One of the things that gets lost is that, we are little Ocala, Florida, but nobody sells more 2-year-olds over more days and breezes more 2-year-olds over more days anywhere in the world than OBS. The evolution of the April sale is because of the quality of the horses. The consignors bring quality horses here and those horses go on and do their job at the racetracks and win at the highest level. That's the meat and potatoes of it.”

A pair of juveniles by Spendthrift's super sire Into Mischief led Friday's session, with a colt bringing a final bid of $875,000 from Eclipse Thoroughbreds Partners and Robert LaPenta's Whitehorse Stables, and a filly going the way of Frank Fletcher for $750,000.

For the session, 167 horses grossed $19,056,000 for an average of $114,108 and a median of $65,000. The session's buy-back rate was 14.4%.

A pair of juveniles reached seven-figures during the week, with a colt by Quality Road topping the sale when selling for $1.5-million to Speedway Stables. The colt was consigned by de Meric Sales, which was the sale's leading consignor with 40 sold for $8,144,000.

“It is always competitive for the ones at the higher end,” bloodstock agent Justin Casse said. “It seems solid all the way around though. The sales in Europe were also really good. I think it has been a good spring overall. What that means is we are going to have good yearling sales and when we have good yearling sales, we have good mixed sales. The 2-year-old sales are usually the catalyst for how the rest of the year is going to go.”

Third Time a Charm for Into Mischief Colt

Tami Bobo and Fernando De Jesus's First Finds had already sent its promising Into Mischief colt (hip 1039) through the sales ring at last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale and this year's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale before finding the youngster a new home when bloodstock agent Jacob West purchased him Friday at OBS for $875,000. West was bidding on behalf of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta.

“This was the third time we were able to purchase the horse,” West confirmed. “He was for sale as a yearling and he was at the Miami sale and now he's here. He made our short list and we didn't pull the trigger in September. We followed the horse in Miami. We had to give a little more money for him here, but he was physically one of the best horses in the sale and I thought his breeze was unbelievable.”

The colt is out of Loveofalifetime (Medaglia d'Oro) and is a full-brother to multiple graded-placed Into Mystic, who sold for $650,000 at the 2018 OBS Spring Sale. He was consigned to the OBS auction by de Meric Sales and worked a furlong last week in :10 flat.

“He's by a stallion that needs no introduction out of a cross that works, out of a Medaglia d'Oro mare,” West said. “He's potentially a stallion type and that's what Eclipse and Mr. LaPenta are looking for. So he fit the mold for what we were wanting.”

First Finds purchased Loveofalifetime, in foal to Quality Road, for $50,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Her Quality Road colt sold for $400,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale.

The mare's Into Mischief 2-year-old colt RNA'd for $600,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale and for $750,000 at last month's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale after working a furlong in :10 3/5.

“We really believed in the horse all year long and we went to Miami and thought we should have been able to connect the dots,” Bobo said. “Unfortunately the stars didn't align. And luckily the horse showed how sound and forward he really is. And with a stallion's pedigree, it's anyone game. He can be any kind of horse. His sister is a great filly. So it's thrilling to sell a horse like that well. We believed in him all along. And figured sooner or later the dots would connect. Today was the day, we were blessed. Hopefully they have great success with him.”

Loveofalifetime passed away, but First Finds still has a yearling filly by Speightstown out of the mare.

“Probably at this point, we will keep her in the family and she'll become a broodmare for us,” Bobo said of the yearling. “She probably won't be offered at public auction. The family is pretty strong and momma left us a filly for a reason.”

@JessMartiniTDN

Speedy Into Mischief Filly to Fletcher

Frank Fletcher, who has enjoyed graded success with Frank's Rockette (Into Mischief), added another daughter of the Spendthrift stallion to his stable when bloodstock agent Donato Lanni made a final bid of $750,000 to acquire hip 1099 from Randy Miles's consignment Friday in Ocala. The bay filly turned in a bullet :9 4/5 work during last week's under-tack show.

“I waited for her,” Lanni said after signing the ticket on the filly. “I hate saying it, but she did check all the boxes. She is by a prolific sire and she looks like she'll go two turns. She's just got class. She is a beautiful filly and a good mover. Frank Fletcher has been lucky with that sire. We're very happy we got her.”

The filly is out of Meta Mu (Street Sense) and was bred by Bloom Racing Stable. Jeff Bloom purchased the mare, carrying this filly in utero, for $180,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January Sale.

“It's been a long road getting here,” Bloom said Friday. “So to have the end result go off that well is great. I have an incredible relationship with Randy Miles and Bo Hunt and all the leg work that they did to get to this point. We loved this filly.”

Of Meta Mu's appeal in 2019, Bloom said, “When I bought her at Keeneland, I already had part of her family–[her stakes-placed full-brother] Tikhvin Flew was our horse. So I was familiar with the family. But she was a gorgeous mare and in foal to Into Mischief, who was already so hot. I thought there was no way I would get her. When I got her for $180,000, I thought it was the best bargain ever.”

Bloom sent the Into Mischief filly through the sales ring at Keeneland last September only to have her RNA for $35,000.

“We went there to sell and we had the understanding that we had multiple buyers in the six-figure range,” Bloom said of the yearling sale. “It was just a huge mistake in a couple of ways, there was a wrong vet report, there was a wrong submission, it was a big mistake. Everything got confused, but it was a blessing in disguise. At the time we said we will laugh about this some time later and sure enough it took a while to get here. It's been an interesting, weird way to get here, but the end result is I'm just really happy it worked out.”

Meta Mu is currently in foal to Uncle Mo.

“We are extremely excited about the filly and super happy for the new connections,” Bloom said. “Donato thinks she was the best filly in the sale and I felt that way too. But you just never know.”

After cutting down his broodmare numbers recently, Bloom said he currently has about 15 head in his band.

“We do everything,” Bloom said. “We breed to race, we breed to sell. We do a little bit of everything. Every situation is sort of different. Everything we have is for sale for the right price, but we also race, so it works out.” —@JessMartiniTDN

Patience Pays Off for Thorne

When Jonathan Thorne purchased a colt from the first crop of Connect for $100,000 as a weanling at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall Sale, the plan was always to re-offer the New York-bred as a yearling. Thorne's Thorndale annually has a successful consignment at the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearlings Sale in Saratoga, but when that auction fell victim to the pandemic last summer, the colt ended up going through the ring during the Empire-bred opening section of the Fasig Selected Yearlings Showcase. While the youngster RNA'd for $70,000 that day, he more than redeemed himself in the sales ring at OBS Friday when selling for $685,000 to Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables.

“He was a beautiful weanling when I bought him and the plan was to resell him as a yearling,” Thorne said. “What happened last year was kind of weird. I think he was the 22nd yearling in the [showcase] sale. But some things work out for the best and in this case it did. The horse has never missed a beat. He's a really nice horse and I look forward to what's in store for him. I will be watching closely.”

Consigned by David Scanlon's Scanlon Training & Sales, hip 1135 is out of the unraced Miss Ten (Rock Hard Ten), a daughter of stakes winner Unbridled Danze (Unbridled's Song). He worked a quarter-mile last week in :20 3/5.

“I'm really proud of David and his group and what they did,” Thorne said. —@JessMartiniTDN

Connect Filly Completes Banner Hour For Her Freshman Sire

Just about an hour after a Connect colt (Hip 1135) summoned $685,000 from Stonestreet, a filly (Hip 1177) from the Lane's End stallion's first crop brought $640,000 from Mike Hall and Sam Ross's Breeze Easy, LLC.

“She was just a big, beautiful, two-turn type horse,” Hall said. “Tom McGreevey picked her out and he likes those type of horses. She has been our favorite horse through the sale. We have been waiting on her. I had to pay a little more than I wanted to, but we hope she works out. We will give her a little bit of time and then we will move forward.”

The :10 2/5 worker is out of the unraced Nest Egg (Eskendereya), who is a half-sister to GSW & MGISP Final Round (Storm Cat) and SW Countess Curlin (Curlin). The de Merics purchased her for $60,000 at Keeneland September and breeder Dell Ridge Farm stayed in for a piece.

“It is a long story, but the breeder owns part of the horse and we bought the other part,” Nick de Meric said. “This filly just got better and better. She has been in Tristan and Valery [de Meric]'s division all winter and they did a lovely job with her. She just exudes class this filly. She has done everything you could possibly ask of a 2-year-old at this sale and coming into it. I am so glad that she was vindicated here because we really loved her all winter.”

This is the first crop for GI Cigar Mile hero Connect, who carried the colors of the late Paul Pompa, Jr.

“We really like them,” de Meric said of the Connects. “We have had a couple. I had one that sold earlier in the week that was probably a little undervalued. I think he is a sire that is probably cut out to have a bright future. If the ones we have are representative, I think they have a lot to look forward to with that sire.”

The de Merics led all consignors at the Spring Sale, selling 40 juveniles for a total of $8.144 million, including the $1.5-million sale topper by Quality Road (Hip 381).

“We have had a wonderful run and I thank the Lord for that,” de Meric said. “Things just aligned this time. It doesn't always work that way, which is why it is all the more poignant when it does. We are very, very grateful for a wonderful sale.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Frankel Colt Bound for France

An Irish-bred colt by Frankel (GB) (hip 1209) is ticketed for a trip to France after selling for $535,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent Hubert Guy late in Friday's final session of the OBS Spring Sale.

“I bought him for a partnership of mainly French people,” Guy said. “He is going to go back to France to race on the grass which he is made for.”

The chestnut is out of the unraced Onshore (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) and his third dam Kerali (High Line) produced the great Hasili (Ire). He worked a furlong in :10 flat during last week's under-tack show.

“He is bred to go 1 1/2 miles, but he looks like he has quite a bit of speed,” Guy said. “He did a grand piece of work. I couldn't believe it when I was clocking him. It was shocking. The breeze impressed me so much that I called a few guys to race over in Europe.”

The colt, consigned by Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables, was bred in Ireland by Diamond Creek Farm. The original plan was to sell the youngster at last year's Tattersalls October sale, but in a down market, bloodstock agent Mike Akers bought him back for 185,000gns.

“I'm a small cog in an operation Adam Bowden has created called Diamond Creek Farm,” Akers explained Friday. “Adam is well-established in the Standardbred world. He has been working 15 years developing a strong stallion base and a broodmare base and he sells yearlings in the Standardbred auctions every year. We are up to 10 [Thoroughbred] mares, five in Europe and five in America.”

While Bowden is based in Kentucky, his Pennsylvania farm stands six Standardbred stallions, led by world-record holder, Always B Miki.

Bowden purchased Onshore, in foal to Frankel, for 320,000gns at the 2016 Tattersalls December sale. Her 2-year-old colt was one of two Diamond Creek offerings Friday in Ocala. Earlier in the session, Wavertree sold a colt by Caravaggio (Ire) (hip 1000) for $180,000 to Brian Lynch. Out of Lap of Luxury (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the colt was bought back by Akers for £65,000 at last year's Goffs Orby sale.

“We had these two in the markets in Europe last year, but the markets were just so beat up with COVID, we didn't get the prices that we wanted,” Akers said. “So we took a gamble and brought them here. It's a good step for Diamond Creek to establish a brand.”

Akers continued, “The Wavertree team and I have done business for many years and they are obviously very established and know what they are doing. Mr. Dunne told us in January that they were both nice horses and if we get there in good shape, they would represent the farm well.”

Asked about any uncertainties in selling European juveniles at an American 2-year-olds in training sale, Akers said, “The world is getting to be a small place. When I go to the markets in Europe, I see the same group of agents that I see at Keeneland. We all know how much fun it is to go and run at Royal Ascot. And in America, we are getting more and more turf races every year. I think it's a trend that will continue. Hopefully it becomes an international game and keeps getting healthier and healthier.” —@JessMartiniTDN

Casse Strikes For Son of Familiar Stallion

Justin Casse came out on top of a spirited bidding war to take home a colt from the first crop of a stallion his family is very familiar with–champion Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile)–for $450,000. The bloodstock agent was acting on behalf of an undisclosed client, but said hip 931 would join the barn of his brother Mark Casse, who conditioned Classic Empire.

“I thought he was a beautiful, beautiful animal and looked a lot like his father,” said Justin Casse, who signed the ticket as Canary Bloodstock. “Obviously, we have a history with the stallion. I think he is one of the prettiest Classic Empires I have seen on the market. He had a nice, big, long stride to him and looks like a colt that can go two turns.”

Classic Empire won four of his five starts as a juvenile for Mark Casse and John Oxley, including the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, to clinch the Eclipse Award for top 2-year-old male. The bay captured the GI Arkansas Derby at three and was second in the GI Preakness S. before retiring to Coolmore's Ashford Stud.

“I have been pretty impressed with the ones I have seen here,” Justin Casse said of Classic Empire's initial crop. “I think one trait he has been throwing to his offspring is they have a pretty good walk and a big, long reach. He is a bit of a more athletic, feminine type. I have seen some of that in his offspring, which I like. I think he has had a pretty good sale here so far.”

Bred by Mark Stansell, the :10 1/5 breezer is out of SW Indian Legend (Cherokee Run) and is a half to SW Kenda (Bodemeister). Gina Fennell purchased the colt for $70,000 at Keeneland September and sold him with partner Luis Garcia, who consigns as L. G., Agent.

“He had a lot of leg and a good walk,” Fennell said. “He was a big colt for a Classic Empire and very classy.”

“He is a May baby, a big baby,” Garcia added. “We had to give him time and not rush him too much. He never took a bad step. He is a nice horse and everything came together.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Twirling Candy Colt Tops Strong Sale for Venosa

Steve Venosa of SGV Thoroughbreds came into the OBS Spring Sale with 12 horses and will go home with an empty trailer after selling all 12 at all levels of the market, ranging from $15,000 to $450,000.

“I brought 12 horses up here,” Venosa said. “We sold [hip 1062 for $450,000] and sold another [hip 1145] for $15,000. It is good to see there are people there at all levels. It is a tough market, obviously. The horses that they want, people are going to swing for and buy, but the other horses are struggling a little bit. It seems like it is getting a little bit better. There are some people in the middle market.”

He added, “It is nice that the racetracks are starting to let some fans back in. We are heading in the right direction. It is just going to take some time. Everybody has been patient. We have gone through some tough times and hopefully they are behind us.”

Bred by George Bolton and Barry Lipman, hip 1062 is out of the unraced Malibu Drive (Malibu Moon), a half-sister to SW Fast Scene (Fast Anna). A $165,000 KEENOV buy, the :10 flat breezer brought the same money from a group led by Venosa at Keeneland September. Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal purchased the horse, doing their bidding on the phone.

“He is really nice colt, great mover, great mind, very balanced,” Venosa said. “It was a group of people who selected the horse and we all had the same feelings. We liked him a lot. He trained forward all year and we targeted this spot for him. He came here and did his job.”

Venosa also sold a bullet-working colt (hip 996) from the first crop of Valiant Minister Friday. The :20 3/5 worker summoned $350,000 from trainer George Weaver, who signed the ticket as Vekoma Holdings. The colt was bred in Florida by Baoma Corp, which campaigned his sire, and was purchased by Venosa under the name Big D Stable for $40,000 at OBS October.

“I signed Big D Stable. My son's name is Dylan and every year I buy a horse for him.” Venosa said. “When I go home and do the cards at night, he sits with me and I tell him the numbers. I will say, 'Hip 996, another show.' And he goes, 'Oh good, that's my horse!' He got the most shows, so today when I went he said, 'Good luck, dad!'” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Frosted Filly to Join Clement Barn

Fledgling bloodstock agent Joe Migliore made his second purchase of the OBS Spring sale Friday, going to $425,000 to acquire a filly by Frosted (hip 1033) on behalf of Robert Masiello and Steven Rocco. The juvenile will be trained by Christophe Clement.

“She was an absolute queen,” Migliore said of the filly, who worked a furlong last week in :10 1/5. “She was the filly I was focused on the whole sale. I had to wait to the very end to go for her. I think Frosted is off to a much better start than people are giving him credit for and she showed herself to be an incredible mover on the track as well. I'm very happy to get it done.”

Consigned by Scanlon Training & Sales as agent for Bruno DeBerdt's Excel Bloodstock, the filly is out of multiple stakes winner Love Cove (Not For Love).

After six years as sales associate for West Point Thoroughbreds, Migliore went out on his own and made his debut as an agent at the OBS March sale.

“The first few days of this sale were a little stressful to be honest with you,” Migliore said. “I have had to stay at it and keep fighting out there, but today has gone my way. I've bought two but [this is the highest I've signed for] by far. You feel your heart pounding in your chest a little bit, but that just means I liked the filly.”

DeBerdt and Scanlon purchased the filly, bred by Brant Laue and Godolphin, for $25,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“That was a nice score,” DeBerdt admitted after watching the filly sell. “Any time you triple your money on a horse, you've got to be happy.”

Of the yearling purchase, DeBerdt said, “Frosted was a little bit cold when we bought her. And the consignor that we bought her from told us it was a foal share and they probably wouldn't protect the filly that much. I wasn't that keen on Frosted at the time because I had bought one the year before and we got a little banged up on him. But obviously, Frosted has redeemed himself. And this filly has just trained onwards. From the day we bought her, she just kept doing the right things. She blossomed. I knew we had the right people on her. I knew she would sell well and she deserved to sell well.” —@JessMartiniTDN

Kobe's Back Colt Rewards Mayberry

April Mayberry purchased a colt from the first crop of MGSW and MGISP Kobe's Back (Flatter) (hip 1115) for just $27,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October Sale. Her faith in the colt and his Maryland-based sire was rewarded Friday when he summoned $375,000 from John Fort.

“One of my clients [Lee Searing of C R K Stable] owned Kobe's Back, so I have a lot of history knowing him,” said Mayberry, who signed the ticket as Olivia Enterprises in honor of her dog at Fasig October. “This horse is just so cool. He's smart. He's beautiful. When I got home, the first time I watched him run across the paddock, I thought, 'Oh my goodness, he goes really, really good.' He was easy to break and did everything he was supposed to do.”

Bred in Maryland by Barak Farm, the handsome gray is a half to MSP Deep Red (Algorithms). He breezed in a swift :9 4/5 for Mayberry at last week's under-tack show.

“I was pretty comfortable after his breeze and his vet work was perfect,” Mayberry said. “I knew he would bring what would make me very happy, but this was above and beyond expectations. It is hard for me when they are my own horses and I like them. Being by a first-crop sire–and one not standing in Kentucky–I figured that would put a ceiling on him, but it turned out great.”

Mayberry Farm had a great week, selling a $1-million Arrogate filly (Hip 463) and a $550,000 Distorted Humor colt (Hip 185) earlier in the sale. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Astern Filly a Star for Alvarez

Ellen Alvarez and her husband Pablo had been impressed by what they had seen of the yearlings by Astern (Aus) that they saw at the September auctions and, with the help of agent Lauren Carlisle, made the decision to find a pinhooking prospect by the Australian stallion. They purchased a filly for $15,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October Sale and reaped the rewards in the sales ring at OBS Friday when the dark bay (hip 949) brought a final bid of $340,000 from Larry Zap, as agent for Mike Mellen.

“I liked the Asterns I saw at Keeneland,” Ellen Alvarez said. “I was intrigued by them and thought I wanted one. When they pulled this one out, I quite liked her. She just needed to grow up a little bit and fill out. But the parts were there and the walk was there and she had really nice movement. We got really lucky with buying for the price we did.”

Asked if she was surprised by the filly's bargain price tag, Alvarez said, “A little bit, but by the time the sale was going, I was kind of getting the vibe that not a lot of people were interested in her. She was a bit smaller. People usually like to see a bit more size. So I was hoping, because she was a little bit on the smaller side and a little bit slight, I thought maybe I could fly under the radar and grab her. We got really fortunate that we did.”

The dark bay filly is out of Ivory Pearl (Pulpit), a daughter of Grade I winner Mea Domina (Dance Brightly). She impressed shoppers with a :10 flat work during last week's under-tack show.

“She went in the right direction, like we hope that they all do,” Alvarez said. “She grew, she filled out nicely. And training wise, even back in December when I was just galloping her, I turned to my husband and said, 'I feel like I'm floating when I ride her.' She was just so nice.”

The Alvarezes have been consigning under the Shooting Star Sales banner since 2013 and Friday's result was by far their biggest result to date. Their previous best result came for subsequent group winner Rayya (Tiz Wonderful), who went on to win the 2018 G3 UAE Oaks and finish second behind Mendelssohn in that year's G2 UAE Derby.

“We bought her for $7,000 and sold her for $190,000,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez got into the industry on what she calls a whim.

“I came out to Kentucky on a whim and I was a vet assistant during breeding season,” she said. “Then I wanted to stay on and Siena Farm hired me as a groom and then they let me go to sales with Taylor Made. I had never done anything like that. That first year there, I was showing horses and Woodside Ranch asked me if I wanted to gallop and I thought, 'Why not?'

A year later, Alvarez met her husband, who was also working at Taylor Made and the couple decided to set up shop in Ocala.

“Pablo worked for Raul Reyes for years and after I left Woodside, I went to Niall Brennan's for three years and they continued to let me grow,” Alvarez said. “They were great. I learned so much.”

The Alvarezes have been training out at Classic Mile for the last three or four years and, while pinhooking some three horses a year, their primary focus is their racehorse clients.

“We don't have a lot of client horses for sales,” Alvarez said. “We try to do our own and then on the side we have a few racehorse clients. We try to keep the numbers small. We have about 28, just so we can do it all. We break them and ride them ourselves. If we hire somebody, we hire maybe one other rider. We try to do it all ourselves. We want to pay attention to everything and primarily just try to focus on racehorse clientele.” —@JessMartiniTDN

Bernardini Colt a Fitting Tribute to His Dam

Pat Waresk had a bad luck streak when it came to his mare Katniss the Victor (Midnight Lute) last year. First she colicked, requiring surgery, and she subsequently lost her Nyquist foal. Then she had to be euthanized after a freak paddock accident in August.

“She colicked and I had to do colic surgery on her and we lost the Nyquist,” Waresk said. “Then last summer, we had a thunderstorm and I went out to feed at 4:00 p.m. and the mare is on the other side of the fence. The board went through her flank, cut an artery in her leg and broke her pelvis. I got her to the hospital, but we had to put her down. The next day her sister won a stakes race at Presque Isle and then won a Grade II and it was like, oh no, I don't have anything left.”

Technically, he had just one thing left, her 2019 Bernardini colt (Hip 972), who gave fitting tribute to his mother Friday when selling for $255,000 to Bourbon Lane Bloodstock at the OBS Spring Sale. The stunning dark bay worked in :10 2/5 for Ali and Brandon Rice's RiceHorse Stable.

“Our game plan going into this sale was–I valued him at $100,000–and if he didn't hit that we were going to race him,” said Waresk, who watched his colt sell from his Glendalough Farm in Kentucky. “I was with my vet this morning checking mares and when he hit $100,000, I smiled and said, 'He's not mine anymore.' Ali [Rice] was on the phone with me as he was selling and said, 'It's still going, it's still going.' It went all the way to $255,000 and I was very happy.”

Waresk bred the colt under his Glendalough, which included partner Ralph Ebert up until shortly after this colt was born, on a foal share with Godolphin. He bought out Sheikh Mohammed's operation for $20,000 at Keeneland September.

“I always liked the colt, but I had him in a foal share with Godolphin,” Waresk said. “There were people that were on him, but last year's sales were awful. You didn't know if you were going to get them sold or not. Somebody was looking at him, so I figured he was going to sell somewhere around $50,000 or $60,000. I put the reserve at $19,000. Well, I bought him at $20,000 because there was no bidder.”

The breeder continued, “He was just immature. He was a late April baby, but you just knew he was going to grow and he sure as hell did. He was a good-looking horse from the get-go, but now he has grown into a man. I can't wait until I see him six months from now. I believe in this horse. You know he is destined to be a winner because I don't have the mare anymore!”

Waresk keeps between eight and 12 mares a year at Glendalough and sells his entire crop. His broodmare band may be small, but it is mighty, producing three Breeders' Cup runners in the past four years in American Pastime (Tapizar) (2017 GI Breeders' Cup Sprint), Crystalle (Palace Malice) (2019 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Madone (Vancouver {Aus}) (2020 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf).

“I have to sell. I am a small-time breeder,” Waresk said. “I am doing well with it, but have to sell everything. When I can't sell as yearlings, I send them to Ali and Brandon. In the last four years, I have had three horses make it to the Breeders' Cup out of three different mares.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

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