Tapit Filly on Top as Vibrant Trade Continues at Fasig-Tipton October

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LEXINGTON, KY – The Fasig-Tipton October Yearlings Sale, which produced a day of brisk trade during Monday's first session, saw activity tick up another notch during a vibrant day of trade Tuesday in Lexington.

“The first horse through the ring this morning brought six figures and the last horse through the ring brought six figures,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “There was brisk activity and great trade, literally from start to finish today. It was very similar to yesterday.”

Midway through the four-day auction, 524 yearlings have sold for $28,232,900. The average of $53,880 is up 19.5% from the same point a year ago and the median is up 25% to $25,000. The 2021 auction produced records for gross, average and median and, through two days, the 2022 renewal remains well ahead of those marks.

“Quality sells,” Browning said. “There is a great demand for quality and there is great competition for what are perceived to be the quality offerings. But you are also seeing depth of the market. I thought today was a little bit stronger in the middle market than yesterday. It was a very, very vibrant marketplace and great participation, not only from American buyers, but international purchasers as well. It was a very, very healthy marketplace today.”

The day's top 10 yearlings were purchased by 10 different buyers and were sold by 10 different consignors.

The Green family's DJ Stable made the biggest purchase of Tuesday's session, going to $600,000 to acquire a filly by Tapit from the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment.

The two-day results continued a season of strong returns at the yearling auctions, according to Hanzly Albina.

“I think all of the yearling sales this year have been super strong,” Albina said. “They have exceeded expectations on all fronts. If you had the right horse in the right sale, you got more money than you would have estimated if you put reasonable estimates on your horses. I think Maryland was terrific, Keeneland was terrific and July was great. The mixed sale they just had up in Saratoga was unbelievable. And then this sale has been great as well.”

The Fasig-Tipton October Yearlings Sale continues through Thursday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

DJ Stable Strikes Again

The Green family's DJ Stable, which purchased three yearlings during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton October Sale, was back in action again Tuesday in Lexington, going to $600,000 to acquire a filly by Tapit (hip 629) from the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment.

“Between Kim Valerio and Mark Casse, we looked at almost every single horse in the sale,” Len Green said. “If you have faith in your trainer, like we do with Mark Casse, and you beat the bushes, then all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is. And that's what this basically is.”

The gray filly is out of multiple graded-stakes winner Carolyn's Cat (Forestry) and is a full-sister to graded winner Mufajaah. She was bred by Newtown Anner Stud, which purchased the mare for $210,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.

The yearling was making her second trip through the sales ring this fall after RNA'ing for $425,000 at last month's Keeneland September sale.

“We couldn't be happier with that result,” said Hanzly Albina. “We really thought a lot of her. That's why we didn't let her go the first time. I think she is a beautiful Tapit filly with pedigree. The mare has been very generous to us. I think she warranted the $600,000 and we are very happy that she is in good hands. Mr. Green has a great racing operation and it's good for us because hopefully our mare will get another stakes winner.”

Asked about the difference in sales results, Albina said, “It's hard to say–maybe a month of growth. You can't say the buyers weren't there. The buyers were there. So I don't know why she was overlooked. Maybe she just needed a little more time to grow.”

McCrocklin Swings for Into Mischief Colt

Tom McCrocklin took a big swing to acquire a colt by Into Mischief (hip 752) for $560,000 on behalf of a pinhooking partnership late in Tuesday's second session of the Fasig-Tipton October sale. The bay yearling was bred by John Oxley, who campaigned his dam, Canadian champion Delightful Mary (Limehouse). He was consigned by Gainesway.

“He's a beautiful, beautiful horse,” McCrocklin said. “All the usuals: a beautiful horse, athletic, by Into Mischief, out of a really good female family. He was bought for a partnership and is going to go to a 2-year-old sale. We are going to do the high wire act and we will see how it works out. Check with me in the spring.”

It was the second time of the yearling sales season that McCrocklin stretched to acquire a pinhooking prospect. He went to a sales-topping $700,000 to purchase a colt by Arrogate on behalf of Michael Sucher's Champion Equine at the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearlings Sale just days after the yearling's 2-year-old full-brother Cave Rock broke his maiden at Del Mar. Since then, Cave Rock solidified his position at the top of his division with wins in the GI Del Mar Futurity and GI American Pharoah S.

McCrocklin confirmed that colt remains on track for the 2-year-old sales.

“Obviously, we are on the Cave Rock bandwagon,” the Ocala horseman said.

Asked the value of purchasing high-priced pinhook prospects, McCrocklin laughed and said, “There is zero value in buying these horses to resell, but there is a continued desire for people to have the best and we are trying to acquire those horses to resell. It's up to me to get the job done for people that are very eager to try to hit the home run.”

McCrocklin added there are options for the partnership if the pinhooking route doesn't prove successful.

“We're not opposed to keeping horses to race,” he said. “It's not like they are on a one-way ticket and we have no other options. We certainly have the option to race. We understand the more a horse costs, the more the market shrinks on the other end. So it's not like we are going into it uninformed, but it's a conscious decision to try and sell some of the very best horses that go to auction. So we will give it a go.”

Through two sessions, McCrocklin has signed for six yearlings. He went to $190,000 to acquire a filly by Good Magic (hip 283) and went to $145,000 to take home a son of Maclean's Music (hip 23).

Of the market in Lexington this week, McCrocklin said, “Selective and strong, as usual. Very little middle and almost no bottom. So it's difficult. These people I am competing with are very smart and they are very experienced and very saavy. It's a lot of fun competing with them.”

He paused and added with a smile, “You just want to beat their ass every chance you get.”

Another Gun Runner for Winchell

Looking to continue the success it is having with offspring of Gun Runner, Winchell Thoroughbreds acquired a son of the operation's champion (hip 685) for $550,000 during Tuesday's second session of the Fasig-Tipton October sale. Out of the stakes-placed Classy Dancer (Speightstown) and from the family of Paynter, the yearling was bred by Andrew Warren and was consigned by Lane's End.

“We have obviously enjoyed the run that Gun Runner has put us on and the only the way to continue that is to get more of them,” trainer Steve Asmussen said after signing the ticket on the yearling. “We felt this one was as similar to [Grade I winner] Gunite as anything that we've seen in a public auction.”

Of the wide variety of successful racehorses by the sire, Asmussen said, “I am extremely pleased with the variety of types that have a good amount of success. We felt [with this yearling] the cross was along the lines and that we could compare this one to Gunite. Obviously, with Wicked Halo and Echo Zulu and several of the others, he has other physical types and crosses that work extremely well as well.”

Winchell Thoroughbred pre-entered four horses in the upcoming Breeders' Cup, led by Epicenter (Not This Time) in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic and including a trio by Gun Runner: Wicked Halo, Echo Zulu and Gunite.

After adding another yearling by the stallion to the roster Tuesday, Winchell manager David Fiske said, “There is nothing like it, but more of it.”

Of the operation's four Breeders' Cup pre-entries, Fiske said, “The two that worked Sunday came out of the works well. And now we just cross our fingers.”

Speedway Makes Some Late Magic

Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner's Speedway Stables made its lone yearling purchase of the season when bloodstock agent Marette Farrell went to $400,000 to acquire a colt by Good Magic (hip 778) from the Hunter Valley Farm consignment Tuesday in Lexington.

“He was a stunning physical,” Farrell said. “We thought he was the most athletic horse we'd seen in a long time. What struck me the most about him was, the very first time we saw him, he came out and he moved like a cat. And every time I came back to see him, it was like he was bigger and he was more horse. And he was so composed. I love to see a horse that has class like that because the horses you see in stakes races act like that and move like that.”

The chestnut colt is out of Divine Escapade (A.P. Indy) and is a half to stakes winner King of the Court (Speightstown). His second dam is Grade I winner Madcap Escapade (Hennessy).

He was bred by Sun Valley Farm and was acquired by Hunter Valley Farm for $150,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale.

Tuesday's positive return was the result of good timing, according to Hunter Valley's Fergus Galvin.

“He was a really good-looking, good-moving colt,” Galvin said. “We had him in the Keeneleand [September] sale, but we took the view early on that he would mature a lot for this sale. And he has really matured in the last six weeks. We had a lot of faith in the stallion and he's come on a lot in the last month as well. That was a big help.”

This fall, Good Magic has been represented by Blazing Sevens, winner of the Oct. 1 GI Champagne S., as well as Curly Jack, winner of the Sept. 17 GIII Iroquois S. His daughter Vegas Magic won the GII Sorrento S. in August.

Uncle Mo Joins BSW/Crow Colts Group

The BSW/Crow Colts Group and partners Spendthrift Farm and Gandharvi continued to add to its 2022 roster with the purchase of an Uncle Mo colt (hip 425) for $350,000 Tuesday in Lexington.

“Obviously, the sire power is there,” Jake Memolo said after signing the ticket on the yearling. “Uncle Mo is as good a sire as you could ask for. And this yearling is a strong, fast-looking horse. We were happy to get him at that price.”

Out of stakes-placed Adore You (Tactical Cat), the yearling is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner and multiple Grade I-placed Piedi Bianchi (Overanalzye). The gray colt, who RNA'd for $320,000 as a weanling at last year's Keeneland November sale, was bred by Deann and Greg Baer and was consigned by Wynnstay Sales.

During Monday's first session of the sale, the group purchased a colt by City of Light (hip 249) for $260,000.

“We maybe will add a couple more throughout the week,” Memolo said. “We are at 15 now, so we will be hoping to add maybe two or three more and see where we go.”

The BSW/Crow Colts Group purchased 11 yearlings for $4,840,000 at the Keeneland September sale.

Liz Crow's long history of success buying out of the Fasig-Tipton October sale has continued this year with Grade I winners Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper) and Jack Christopher (Munnings) and the plan was always to shop for colts for the group at the last yearling auction of the year, according to Memolo.

“Liz has done so well at this sale and it's a sale she likes to target,” Memolo said. “This sale presents a lot of quality, so it's always nice to come here with a little bit of money to spend.”

Main Line Finds Some Fillies

Trainer John Servis and his partners in Main Line Racing worked the barns at Newtown Paddocks en masse over the weekend and enjoyed the fruits of their labors when securing three fillies during the first two sessions of the Fasig-Tipton October Sale. The group made its biggest purchase Tuesday when going to $300,000 to acquire a filly by City of Light (hip 578) out of Boodles (Mr. Greeley) from the Eaton Sales consignment.

“I just thought she looked awesome,” Servis said of the filly. “We chased a couple of other fillies that we didn't get, but we were really saving for this filly.”

The Main Line team got off to a quick start Monday morning when going to $220,000 for a daughter of first-crop sire Audible (hip 6). Consigned by Eaton Sales, the dark bay filly is out of Safwah (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-sister to GI Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) and to Grade I winner Hot Dixie Chick (Dixie Union).

“I always try to look at the younger stallions because we are breeding some now, so I pay attention to who the up-and-coming stallions might be and try to get lucky and get to them before they get too popular. I've seen quite a few Audibles that I really liked,” Servis said of the young WinStar stallion who has been popular in the sales ring all fall. “He seems to put a really good hip on all of them. But they all look athletic. I don't know that I've seen one that hasn't looked athletic.”

Rounding out the Main Line trio of October purchases was a filly by Not This Time (hip 203) purchased for $125,000 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment.

The group intentionally focuses on purchasing fillies.

“It's just for residual value,” Servis explained. “Hopefully, if they do some good, we have a shot to get our money back.”

Of the partnership, Servis said, “We have been together since, I'm going to say, 2005. It's Dr. Louis Bucky out of Philadelphia, William Schwartz, who owned a construction company that he sold a few years ago, and his son Drew, who lives in D.C. and does commercial real estate and myself. It's the four of us.”

The Main Line team won the 2019 GIII Dr. James Penny Memorial S. with Notapradaprice (Paddy o'Prado) and has been represented this year by stakes winner Love in the Air (Constitution).

Servis agreed competition at the October sale remained strong.

“I think we got lucky with the Audible filly on the first day because she was so early in the sale,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a strong sale because the pinhookers didn't get a lot accomplished at the September sale, so I knew a lot of those guys would be there, which they were. And I think we got really lucky. I think we did really well.”

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