Saratoga Sale Packs a Punch


Hip 168 | Horsephotos

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale concluded its two-day run at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion with double-digit increases that left Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. nearly speechless Tuesday night.

During two sessions, Fasig-Tipton sold 145 yearlings for $46,755,000. Last year’s sale saw 114 head gross $33,284,000. The average of $322,448 was up 10.4% from a year ago, while the median was up 5.3%. The buy-back rate was a sparkling 15.2%.

“I’m very rarely speechless following a sale and I am almost speechless tonight,” Browning said. “It would probably have been unrealistic coming into the sale to have dreamt or to have hoped to be up 40% in gross and to have the average increase 10% and the median 5%. And, combined with a 15% RNA rate, it was a tremendous horse sale overall.”

Activity at the sales barns was high all weekend and that energy was reflected in the sale’s final figures, according to Browning.

“Tonight was electric again,” he said. “There was an extremely consistent group of horses on the sales grounds–which is reflected in the 15% buy-back rate. It was a tremendous job by our consignors in preparing horses.”

Browning continued, “The quality of horses that we had on offer this year was a reflection of increased confidence by owners in bringing quality horses to Saratoga. I think they were rewarded again in 2015. I think that you saw a tremendous group of buyers in attendance at the sales grounds since Friday and we are pretty confident they will be rewarded with lots of Grade I success.”

Tuesday’s session produced the auction’s third seven-figure sale when Godolphin’s John Ferguson went to $1.4 million to secure a colt by Street Cry (Ire) (hip 168) from the Paramount Sales consignment. The session-topping yearling joined the $2-million sale-topping colt and $1.2-million colt, both by Tapit, who sold Monday.

The 2014 sale also had three seven-figure yearlings, with a filly by War Front leading a pair of fillies by Tapit when selling for $1.25 million. In all, 24 horses sold for $500,000 or more in 2015, compared to 17 in 2014.

Browning gave an emotional shout-out to the Fasig-Tipton team.

“I’ve got to give kudos to our team,” he said. “We’ve got a hell of a team and they genuinely care about the people we do business with.”


Street Cry Colt Tops Tuesday’s F-T Saratoga Session
by J.M. Severni

A colt by Street Cry (Ire) (hip 168) joined two Tapit colts from Monday’s session to complete a trio of

million-dollar yearlings at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale when he was hammered down for a session-leading bid of $1.4 million from Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson. The colt was bred by Ann McBrayer’s Keene Ridge Farm and Darley and was consigned by Paramount Sales.

“He’s a very athletic horse,” Ferguson explained. “He’s by a sire who is no longer with us who has bred many champions, so it made sense. He’ll go back to Europe and race in Europe.”

Ferguson said the price was about what they had expected to pay for the yearling, and that the strong market was representative of the quality of stock at the sale.

“The horses have been making good prices, but they deserve to,” he said. “It’s very hard to breed a horse to be as good-looking as the horses here in this ring, so the breeders deserve to get paid for them. So it’s great, the market is good.”

Along with the session topper, Ferguson will take home 10 other yearlings, including a $750,000 Tapit colt (hip 49), a $550,000 Street Cry colt (hip 73), and a $550,000 Bernardini colt (hip 195).

The Street Cry colt is the third foal out of Keene Ridge Farm’s A.P. Indy mare Rcuandry, who is a half-sibling to Grade I stakes winning-millionaire Honey Ryder (Lasting Approval), and stakes winners Cuando Puede (Lord At War {Arg}) and Cuando (Lord At War {Arg}). Her first foal, Bravo Tango (Broken Vow), went to Calumet Farm for $100,000 at the 2014 OBS March Sale, and finished second in his debut at Ellis Park as a sophomore. Her Medaglia d’Oro 2-year-old colt fetched $350,000 from D P Racing at last year’s Keeneland September sale and she produced a Smart Strike colt this year. The yearling RNA’d for $285,000 in his first spin around the sales ring at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale last fall.


Malibu Moon Filly to Young
by Jessica Martini

Bloodstock agent Steve Young purchased the second-highest priced lot during Tuesday’s session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, going to $800,000 to secure a daughter of Malibu Moon. Hip 170, consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency and bred by Newtown Anner Stud, is out of Red Hot Bertie (Tabasco Cat) and is a half-sister to stakes winner Red Hot Buddha (Buddha) and a full to Spendthrift Farm’s multiple graded stakes placed Cue the Moon.

“She is a full-sister to a horse who could really run,” Young explained. “And, on her own merit, we think she is as nice a filly as there is. Malibu Moon has thrown some very good fillies in his own right. And we didn’t think it was a hard decision. She is a terrific filly.”

Young, who declined to disclose his client on the filly, acknowledged the market in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion was predictably competitive over the last two days.

“When you lead up a good horse that vets and shows well at Saratoga, they are going to cost money,” he commented.

Cheyenne Splurges for Tapit with Top Racing, Broodmare Potential
by J.M. Severni

After producing a pair of seven-figure offerings during Monday’s first session of the Fasig-Tipton sale, hip 160 was the highest-priced Tapit yearling of Tuesday’s second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. The filly, who was bred by Frank and Laura Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm, brought the closing price of $750,000 from Everett Dobson of Cheyenne Stables. She was consigned by Lane’s End.

“We thought she was a lovely filly that I had my eyes on for several days,” Dobson said. “She’s a filly that I’ll target to bring back to my broodmare band after her racing days, so she was really the kind I look for.”

The filly is the second foal out of stakes-winning ‘TDN Rising Star’ Princess Arabella (Any Given Saturday), who won her only three career starts, including an eight-length romp in the 2012 Sunland Park Oaks for Peachtree Stable and trainer Bob Baffert before a premature retirement. Princess Arabella is a half-sibling to SW and MGSP Dyna’s Lassie (Dynaformer), as well as the stakes-placed Super Sky (Sky Mesa) and Cairo Six (Stormy Atlantic) and she hails from the immediate family of GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Invisible Ink. Summer Wind purchased Princess Arabella for $725,000 at the 2013 Keeneland January Sale in foal to Tapit, but the colt she foaled that year died as a weanling. She produced a Speightstown colt this year.

“She was right where we thought she would be,” Lane’s End’s Allaire Ryan commented. “The players that we knew we had on her showed up and she sold well. It was right where our expectations were. She’s a nice filly, good physical, and everybody is pleased.”

Dobson has raced Thoroughbreds since 1996, but amped up his investment in the business after selling his communications company in 2007. He aces predominately on the East Coast with trainers Christophe Clement, Todd Pletcher, Kiaran McLaughlin, Donnie Von Hemel, Roger Engel, and Ron Ellis. Dobson’s broodmare operation, Candy Meadows, currently has about 40 broodmares. Dobson, who is a member of The Jockey Club and on the Board of Trustees for TOBA, has a minority investment at Three Chimneys Stallions and stands Caleb’s Posse at that facility.


Horton Factors at F-T Saratoga
by J.M. Severni

Lane’s End’s freshman sire The Factor was represented by his top-priced progeny to date Tuesday night in the form of hip 202, who went to Willis Horton

for $750,000 late in the session. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas signed the ticket.

“For me, he was probably the most athletic colt that I’ve seen,” Lukas said. “I liked the way he walked, I liked his movement and everything. I just though he was an athlete.”

Lukas also seemed to be quite impressed with The Factor yearlings that he has seen so far. The Factor, a multiple Grade I-winning son of War Front, stands at Lane’s End for $15,000. It was the second big result for The Factor during the session–the Taylor Made-consigned hip 196 fetched $600,000 from Crupi’s New Castle Farm. A total of six The Factor yearlings went through the ring during the two-day sale with an average of $386,667 and a median of $312,500.

“I think he’s going to be very good [as a stallion],” Lukas noted. “They’re very athletic horses and very attractive horses. War Front is making a name for himself and he could be a sire of sires. The Factor looks like he’ll step up to the bat pretty good. I liked three or four of The Factors in the sale. This one was my first choice, so we waited for him.”

Hip 202 is the seventh foal out of Street Scene (Ire), who is a half-sister to Traffic Guard (More Than Ready), who is MGSP in England and the U.A.E and was runner-up in the G1 Irish Champion S. This is the family of Irish graded winner Erins Isle (Ire), and South African GISW Chief Advocate. This colt was bred by Frank and John Penn and consigned by Jimbo and Torie Gladwell’s Top Line Sales. Top Line brought just one other offering to Saratoga in hip 22, a filly by Scat Daddy, who went to MV Magnier for $350,000 during the opening session.

“He really exceeded our expectations, but we knew he was a really nice individual,” Torie Gladwell said of The Factor yearling. “He’s a good-moving colt, everyone seemed to like him and he vetted 100%, so we’re happy. We have three [The Factors] on the farm and they all have a similar body type to him. They’re not all as big and as scopey, but they all look really fast and racey.”

A Tapit Colt for Al Shaqab
by Jessica Martini

Al Shaqab’s U.S. racing advisor Brad Weisbord admitted he had been outbid on some of the highly sought-after offerings by Tapit during Monday’s first session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, but the operation was able to acquire a yearling by the Gainesway stallion Tuesday, going to $700,000 to secure hip 182. The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of her breeder, WinStar Farm and Weisbord revealed WinStar has retained a share in the gray yearling.

“He’s a beautiful, medium-sized horse by the best sire, I would think, in America,” Weisbord explained. “And WinStar is going to be a minority partner in the horse. Sheikh Joaan, [Al Shaqab General Manager] Khalifa [Bin Mohammed Al Attiya] and Harry Herbert are happy to partner with one of the premier stallion farms in America.”

The yearling marks the first partnership between WinStar and Al Shaqab. Todd Pletcher, who has horses for both operations, will train.

“If he can win the big one, he’ll have a home at WinStar some day,” Weisbord said.

Also looking ahead to a potential stallion career for the yearling was WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden.

“We’ve always liked the colt a lot,” Walden said. “He’s the kind of colt that, if he wins a Grade I, he could be a very valuable stallion.”

Walden continued, “We were hoping that he could break out and bring a little more, but I thought that was good value where Brad bought it and we said we would be happy to stay in. I’m actually relieved we were able to stay in. I really like the colt.”

The yearling is out of graded stakes winner Savvy Supreme (Distorted Humor), a full-sister to multiple Grade I winner Commentator. WinStar purchased the mare as a weanling for $520,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November sale.

Weisbord admitted bidding in Saratoga has been competitive.

“The market has been very tough, we’ve only been able to buy three horses,” he said. “We tried on a couple of the other Tapits, but it was tough. We look forward to hopefully adding a few more yearlings later on this year.”

Scat Daddy Colt Rewards Tommy Town
by Jessica Martini

Alfred Nuckols, Jr., whose Hurstland Farm consigned hip 126 to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale on behalf of breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, admitted he was more than pleased with the colt’s $600,000 sale to Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stable.

“I just thought his page might be a little light compared to some of the other ones that were in there,” Nuckols said of his early measured expectations for the yearling’s sale. “Once we got up here, though, we had a lot of lookers. I talked to [General Manager] Mike Allen at Tommy Town and we talked to Tom [Stull] and we thought we would maybe put a $149,000-150,000 reserve on him and hope we would get $200,000 or $250,000. Then today, I thought we’ve had a lot more looks, maybe $300,000 or $325,000. So I was very excited. He sold very well.”

Nuckols boards about five Tommy Town mares at Hurstland.

“We keep the mares that they breed in Kentucky and I take care of them for [Tommy Town],” Nuckols explained. “Generally, I’ll raise them and when they are weaned they will take them out to California. This year they decided to sell the colts instead of keeping to race and I think Tom made the right choice because he ended up being the highest-priced Scat Daddy in the sale.”

The yearling is out of stakes-placed Miss Dolce (Unbridled’s Song). Tommy Town purchased the mare as a juvenile for $475,000 at the 2008 Barretts March sale.

“I foaled him and raised him. And then he was weaned and went out [to California] and I got him back about seven weeks ago,” Nuckols said of the yearling. “In the last six weeks, he has just blossomed. He put on the weight and really started to look the part. I think everybody who looked at him kept coming back because he was such a good-looking colt.”

Later in Tuesday’s second session of the Saratoga sale, Nuckols sold a Bernardini colt he co-bred with partner Bill Kartozian and Darley for $240,000 to John Ferguson. Hip 158 is out of stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Please Sign In (Doc’s Leader) and is a half-brother to European champion Certify (Elusive Quality) and to Grade I winner Cry and Catch Me (Street Cry {Ire}).

“I’m tickled to death that Darley got him,” Nuckols said. “I was hoping he would bring a little bit more–he is half to a champion–but $240,000 is nothing to sneeze at. We got $1.45 million for his half-sister, so I think I’m still ahead for the family.”

Regis Farm purchased a Street Sense filly out of Please Sign In for seven figures at the 2013 Keeneland January sale.


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