By Jessica Martini
TIMONIUM, MD – The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale got off to a strong start Monday in Timonium as it looks to follow up on a record-setting 2021 renewal.
“It was a very solid opening session to the sale,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “There was diverse bidding activity literally from buyers all around the world participating today. This has become a really solid marketplace where you can sell a quality horse, you can sell a state-bred horse. There was lots of activity at really all price ranges.”
A total of 172 juveniles sold Monday for a gross of $15,755,700. The average of $91,603 dipped slightly from the opening session of 2021, while the median was up 11.1% to $50,000.
Last year's record-setting auction concluded its two-day run with its highest average–$94,375–and highest median–$50,000.
With 59 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate Monday was 25.5%. It was 19% during the first session of the 2021 auction.
Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, bidding on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen made the day's highest bid when going to $725,000 to acquire a filly from the first crop of GI Haskell Invitational winner Girvin. Monday's session topper was consigned by Paul Sharp.
“It's been tough all year,” Lanni said of the 2-year-old market. “It's been a crazy year. Good horses bring a lot of money and it doesn't matter who they are by, if they perform and they look like a racehorse. People want a racehorse. It's good to see the market be so strong.”
Sharp said the traditionally deep buying bench in Timonium can reward sellers.
“This sale has always been like that,” Sharp said. “If you have a horse that's kind of risen to the top, people are very excited about them. And it's a good buyer base. I like to bring meat and potato horses here, they seem to get looked at and do well here.”
The Midlantic sale continues with a final session beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Girvin Filly to Lund Petersen
Donato Lanni, bidding on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen, signed the ticket at $725,000 to acquire a filly from the first crop of GI Haskell Invitational winner Girvin (hip 88). The filly was consigned by Paul Sharp on behalf of Baltimore native John Davison. Erin Wismer purchased the filly on Davison's behalf for $90,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton July sale. She is out of Sweet Pistol (Smart Strike), a daughter of multiple graded stakes winner Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy) and a half-sister to multiple graded winner Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile).
“She was just a really cool filly,” Lanni said. “She had a lot of class. She did everything they asked her to do and she stayed pretty cool all the way through. I liked her a lot. I showed her to [trainer] Bob [Baffert] and Bob liked her as well.”
Girvin, who stands at Ocala Stud for $6,000, has had a solid spring of results in the sales ring with a half-dozen six-figure juveniles led by a $300,000 colt at the OBS Spring sale.
“I have been impressed by the Girvins I've seen,” Lanni said. “They look like they have speed and they look like they want to go two turns. This is a tough year for freshman sires because there are a lot of really good freshman sires. So he's against Justifys and Bolt d'Oros, but I've been impressed by what I've seen from him.”
Sharp agreed with Lanni's assessment of the offspring of Girvin he's seen.
“They kind of seem to have some class with some precocity,” Sharp said. “They are good-looking horses. They have some scope and look like they can get some distance, too.”
Lund Petersen purchased the top lot at the Midlantic sale in 2019 and 2020. He purchased champion Gamine (Into Mischief) for $1.8 million in 2019 and a $1.1-million son of Uncle Mo in 2020.
“Michael lives down the road and this sale has been lucky for him,” Lanni said. “He likes to be here and it's been fun to have him come to the sale. It's nice to see him be here in his backyard.”
Sharp admitted the filly's final price tag exceeded expectations.
“I had no idea she would bring that much,” Sharp said. “Coming in, we had pegged her at the $300,000 mark, after that we are only guessing. It's a guessing game about who feels the most passionate about the horse. There were several underbidders. And we are definitely thankful for them. Only one person can win, but they definitely never get enough credit, but I like to thank the underbidders.”
A filly by freshman Girvin sells for $725k in Timonium. Donato Lanni signs the ticket on the filly who was consigned by Paul Sharp. She was a $90k FTKJUL yearling. pic.twitter.com/BSgZxGCMQO
— Jessica Martini (@JessMartiniTDN) May 23, 2022
Wismer, Davison Form Winning Partnership
Bloodstock agent Erin Wismer and John Davison have turned a chance meeting at Fasig-Tipton a few years ago into a profitable partnership, never more so then when Davison sold a filly by Girvin for $725,000 Monday in Timonium. Wismer had picked the youngster out for Davison, paying $90,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton July sale.
“We met a couple years ago at Fasig-Tipton when we were both bidding on the same horse,” Wismer recalled. “We kept in touch for a couple of years. He is very passionate about the industry, but didn't know a lot about buying horses, so he asked if he came to the sales if I would teach him. He came to the sale and we just started looking at horses and I showed him what I like and what I don't. And he decided he was ready to buy one.”
The partnership's initial investment was a filly by Twirling Candy who was purchased for $40,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September sale. Returned to the ring last spring in Timonium, the filly (hip 468) sold for $200,000.
Hip 88 was Davison's second pinhooking prospect and Wismer admitted the filly's $725,000 exceeded all expectations.
“His wife calls it serendipity,” Wismer said of the partnership. “Because it was ironic that we met and it's ironic that we kept a friendship going, because he's from Baltimore and I'm from Lexington. It's kind of funny how it all happened.”
Asked what she liked about hip 88, who was bred by Airdrie Stud's Brereton Jones, last summer, Wismer explained, “My husband [Troy] works for Airdrie and I love buying Airdrie horses. I love the way they raise them. I had never seen this filly before the sale, but she just walked out and she was so classy and she seemed very intelligent. She had a lot of presence and she was a phenomenal mover.”
Wismer and Davison will be back in action Tuesday with a pair of pinhook prospects.
While Davison is new to the pinhooking game, his family has been breeding Thoroughbreds in Maryland for three generations.
“His grandfather and his mother have been racing in Maryland for a very long time,” Wismer said. “He is very passionate about Maryland racing.”
Spendthrift, Fletcher Team Up for Bolt Colt
The new partnership of Spendthrift Farm and Frank Fletcher, shut out at OBS last month, officially got started Monday in Timonium with the purchase of a colt by Bolt d'Oro (hip 30) for $675,000.
“He will probably go to [trainer] Brad Cox,” Spendthrift's Ned Toffey said. “We tried to get one or two down at OBS and couldn't get anything, but we are always looking for people to partner up with on colts. Frank is a quality guy who has been doing this for a long time. We are really honored to do something with him. We think we have the right colt.”
Hip 30 turned in a bullet :10 flat during last week's under-tack show and he is out of Shine Softly (Aldebaran), a daughter of champion Soaring Softly (Kris S.). He was consigned by Pike Racing and was purchased by Al Pike for $90,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Monday's result continued the hot start to the stud career of Spendthrift's Bolt d'Oro, who has been in demand in the sales ring this spring and who has already been represented by a pair of winners on the racetrack.
“This is as good a start as you could ask for from a young sire,” Toffey said. “It is really remarkable how well they've been received, how they have performed at the sales so far, how they are already performing on the track. It's one thing to do it here, but he's got two winners already. You couldn't ask for him to get off to a better start.”
Toffey said hip 30 was typical of the Bolt d'Oros he has seen so far.
“They tend to have some stretch to them and stand over a lot of ground,” he said. “But they are just very athletic, that's the bottom line. We see athletes come in all shapes and sizes, these are big beautiful classy horses. But the things that you are seeing most of all is ability. This track will separate them a little bit. So if they are doing :10 flats, it's pretty strong.”
⚡️A smashing $90k to $675k pinhook for @AlPikeracing with this standout colt from the first crop of BOLT D'ORO
🔎 Hip 30 is a half to the SW The Grass is Blue from deep Darby Dan family. Purchased by @spendthriftfarm + Frank Fletcher Racing
— Lucas Marquardt (@ThoroStride) May 23, 2022
WinStar Gets Into Mischief
WinStar Farm's David Hanley signed the ticket at $600,000 to acquire a colt by Into Mischief (hip 70) from the de Meric Sales consignment at the Midlantic sale Monday. Out of multiple stakes winner and graded placed Stormy Regatta (Midshipman), the juvenile is a half to stakes winner Bay Storm (Kantharos). He was purchased by the de Merics for $250,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale and worked a furlong at the under-tack show in :10 1/5.
“He is a beautiful horse and I thought his breeze was one of the best breezes,” Hanley said of the colt's appeal. “He has beautiful balance, he's a beautiful mover and he's full of class. Elliott [Walden] really liked the videos on the horse, so we took a shot on him.”
Hanley signed the ticket on the colt on behalf of the partnership of WinStar's Maverick Racing, Siena Farm and Commonwealth.
“It's been strong right through. I think nothing has changed with that,” Hanley said of the 2-year-old market this spring. “But he's by a proven sire with a nice page, with A.P. Indy and Storm Cat down there, and out of a nice young mare. We were very happy to get him.”
West Strikes Early for Always Dreaming Colt
Bloodstock agent Jacob West struck early in the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale Monday morning, going to $550,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (hip 11) on behalf of Robert and Lawana Low. The juvenile was consigned by Top Line Sales on behalf of Marc Tacher's Elusive Thoroughbreds, which purchased him for $40,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. He worked a quarter-mile during last week's under-tack show in :21 2/5.
“I think at the end of the day, he was one of the most talented horses that we've seen in quite some time,” West said of Always Dreaming. “For him to have done what all he did in a short amount of time speaks to the merit of the racehorse he was. And this horse reminded me of him physically. And I thought his breeze was outstanding. He is a big horse that breezed really quick on a small track. He handled it very well. Historically speaking, if you look at the front and back covers of this catalogue, the horses that breeze well here and gallop out are the ones that live up to that hype. I am just hoping he is the next one to make the catalogue.”
Hip 11 is out of stakes winner Saritta (Indygo Shiner) and from the family of graded winners Called to Serve and Behrens.
West made his winning bid just minutes into the first session of the Midlantic sale, but he was expecting action at the auction would heat up quickly.
“I actually told Mr. Low we were going to have to strike early and strike hard because I think, as this sale picks up later today and tomorrow, we are going to see some fireworks. There are some very nice horses here and there is plenty of money walking around. The market has been strong all the way through. I know some people have gotten shut out on top horses. This was a top horse. We were happy to get him.”
Monday's bang-up result continued a strong spring of sales for Tacher.
“It was exactly what you saw today,” Tacher said when asked about the colt's appeal as a yearling. “Physically, he was very impressive and a correct colt. He is a big scopey colt who looks like a two-turn colt who looks like he can go on and do good things.”
Of the colt's yearling price tag, Tacher added, “I was surprised to get him for that. I thought he was going to go much higher. I was happy to get him for $40,000 because I'm always thinking about the 2-year-old sales.”
Asked how his pinhooking has gone this spring, Tacher said, “Fantastic. This has been a great year. Probably my best year.”
📽️ Watch Hip 11 c. ALWAYS DREAMING o/o Saritta sell for $550,000 at the Midlantic 2YO Sale! Congrats to all the connections!#FasigMD @WestBloodstock @TopLineTBs @WinStarFarm pic.twitter.com/mCMEFDEQiF
— Fasig-Tipton (@FasigTiptonCo) May 23, 2022
Ransom the Moon Colt Tops Big Day for Brewer
Robert Brewer enjoyed a string of pinhooking successes Monday in Timonium, led by a colt by Ransom the Moon (hip 94) who sold for $375,000 to B-4 Farms, LLC. The Texan had purchased the dark bay colt for $55,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale.
“It was a good lick,” Brewer said of the result. “But with all the action that was on him, I thought he might bring more. I thought he could bring $300,000 to $500,000.”
Brewer also sold a colt by Good Samaritan (hip 135), purchased for $27,000 at Fasig October last fall, for $150,000 to Chad Schumer, as well as a filly by Cross Traffic (hip 270) for $150,000 to August Dawn Farm. Paul Neatherlin signed for the filly at $18,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Brewer purchased a colt by Bolt d'Oro (hip 272) for $35,000 at the Fasig October sale and sold him Tuesday for $250,000 to Harmash Racing.
“I was excited when I was seeing how the Bolt d'Oros were selling,” Brewer admitted. “I knew I had a good one, so I knew I would do well with him.”
When Brewer is shopping for yearlings, he said the individual is paramount.
“An athlete,” he said succinctly when asked what he looks for in pinhooking prospects. “[The pedigree] kind of matters on the price, but I don't open my book until I find a horse.”
Asked to assess his Monday in Timonium, Brewer said, “It was good. I RNA'd a couple that shocked me a little bit, but I am getting them sold.”
Thank you to our buyers and consignors for supporting the Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale. Session 1 has ended. Session 2 begins tomorrow at 11 AM.
— Fasig-Tipton (@FasigTiptonCo) May 23, 2022