by Jessica Martini
Four years ago, Jack Swain took advantage of a weakness in the market to add a couple broodmares to his band. He was able to acquire an 8-year-old named Revealed (Old Trieste) at Keeneland November in 2010, then watched this year as the mare's 5-year-old Belle Gallantey (After Market) won a pair of Grade I events and is now poised to take on the best fillies and mares in the country in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Belle Gallantey's success convinced Swain that the timing was right to return Revealed to the auction ring. The mare (hip 129) and her weanling colt by champion Gio Ponti (hip 44) are scheduled to sell at next Monday's Fasig-Tipton November sale through the Brookdale Sales consignment.
Swain grew up in Texas, but spent summers with his grandparents in California. It was there that his love of racing began.
“My interest in racing started when I was really young, eight or nine years old, and my grandparents had a box at Del Mar,” Swain explained. “I grew up basically loving the racetrack and loving horse racing.”
While his family had a few racehorses with Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally while he was growing up, it wasn't until about 20 years ago that Swain started his own involvement in racehorse ownership.
“The first thing I did was I became involved with the racing part of it through some racing partnerships,” he recalled. “So that was my initial involvement, when my interest was more in the racing.”
As his passion for the sport evolved, his focus turned more towards the breeding side of the industry. He bred and raced stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Apple Charlotte (Smart Strike).
“I'm primarily breeding to sell now,” Swain, co-founder and chief investment officer at the Manhattan-based investment firm KS Management said. “I have about 15 broodmares all boarded at Brookdale. For the most part, unless there is a reason why they can't go through the sales, almost everything I breed goes through the ring.”
Looking to expand his broodmare band four years ago, Swain found the perfect conditions.
“The market was fairly weak for broodmares then and I thought it was time to add a broodmare or two,” Swain commented. “I happened to be going through the catalogue and I spotted Revealed and there were a lot of things I liked about her page. Her second dam was [champion 2-year-old filly] Meadow Star and, even though she had no black-type, if you look closely at her racing record, she was quite a good racehorse and most of the time would have had a reasonable amount of black-type. She was a good horse and she ran against really good fillies in California.”
Revealed won four of 14 starts and was fifth in a pair of Del Mar stakes in 2006 while racing for her breeders, Pam and Martin Wygod.
In addition to the mare's race record, Swain also liked the covering stallion.
“She was in foal to Candy Ride (Arg)–who I even then liked as a stallion,” he recalled. “So, I liked the fact that the market was weak, that she was in foal to Candy Ride and I looked forward to having that baby to sell and, hopefully, recoup a good deal of the money I paid for her. And I liked her pedigree and I liked the fact that she could run.”
Swain's initial impression was seconded by bloodstock agent Larkin Armstrong.
“The bloodstock agent I use primarily is Larkin Armstrong,” explained Swain. “When I bought her, Larkin looked at her for me, because I wasn't in Kentucky and he loved her physically. She is quite an impressive-looking mare.”
He was able to acquire the mare for $70,000.
Since purchasing Revealed four years ago, Swain has kept close tabs on her daughter Belle Gallantey.
“I had been watching Belle Gallantey for years–I was probably the only one watching her until the last year or so–I've seen a lot of her races and she is a durable and hard-trying mare,” Swain said. “It has been very exciting [watching her race this year]. It's almost unbelievable. I've been a fan of hers since she was three. I'm very surprised she has turned into what she has, but I'm not surprised that she turned into a good horse.”
Swain's faith in Belle Gallantey led to a quandary when it came time to choose a stallion for Revealed this spring, and ultimately, he decided not to breed the mare.
“I thought earlier in the year, particularly in the spring, that Belle Gallantey had improved a lot and, this was before she got black-type, I thought it might be not unreasonable to wait and see what she did before I bred the mare–whether I should spend a bunch of money or not so much money. And I decided to just wait and see if she did come up with some black-type. I may end up keeping her or not, but obviously if I keep her next year, I'll breed to a very good stallion. So, I was stuck in the middle not knowing which way to go with her and then I thought she could probably use a rest anyway. She is a good mare and she has no trouble getting in foal.”
A few hours before Revealed sells at Fasig-Tipton Monday night, her weanling colt by multiple champion Gio Ponti will head to the sales ring.
“The Gio Ponti colt is very nice,” Swain said of the weanling. “People have seemed to like him generally. He's a late foal, but he's going to be a big horse and he's correct and handsome. I've never seen Belle Gallantey in person, but I've heard that she's a good size. And I'd be surprised if he's not her equivalent or hopefully better.”
Swain has no second thoughts about selling the half-brother to a possible Breeders' Cup winner.
“I find that it is amazingly a huge amount of fun watching horses that you've bred run for other people,” he said. “It's fun and once you breed them and sell them, they are always kind of part yours. It's really enjoyable. I'm sure he'll go to a good place and, hopefully, he'll be a great racehorse.”
Belle Gallantey herself is catalogued as hip 171 and is consigned to the Fasig November sale by Lane's End. The mare was claimed by Michael Dubb for $35,000 last year.
The Fasig-Tipton November sale begins Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. with 76 catalogued weanlings selling first, followed by a star-filled group of 121 mares.