Vibrant Market At Fasig July HORA & Breeding Stock Sales

Sales-topping Front Run the Fed | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis

LEXINGTON, KY–There was plenty of buzz at Newtown Paddocks Monday with a lively day of trade for Fasig-Tipton's July Breeding Stock and Horses of Racing Age Sales.

The popular Horses of Racing Age Sale was back for its ninth straight year and there was plenty of demand for promising or accomplished runners. Stakes winner Front Run the Fed (Fed Biz) topped the auction, selling to George Sharp for $440,000 off a third-place finish in the GIII Poker S. The second highest-priced horses was recent Iowa Derby romper Stilleto Boy (Shackleford), who brought $420,000 from owner Steve Moger, who did his bidding on the internet.

“This was as vibrant of a racehorse sale as we ever participated in,” said Elite's Brad Weisbord, who consigned the topper. “There is a lot of money and a lot of demand for active, in-form horses now. A horse like Front Run the Fed can top the sale. He was third in the [GIII] Poker [S]. For a 5-year-old to bring $440,000, that's top money. Top to bottom, this was a very, very good market and we found it as vibrant as we ever have.”

While six of the top nine sellers came from Elite's barn, those horses were also purchased by different entities, all of which were domestic, but spread from coast-to-coast.

“I had about 10-12 horses I was going to bid on, but it was difficult,” said Sharp. “By way of example, I won a race at Lone Star with a horse that I claimed for $20,000 in California. I won the race by 9 3/4 lengths and the horse that finished third that day brought $75,000 today. That was a little nutty because my horse was a $20,000 claim. That tells you all you need to know.”

A total of 79 racehorses changed hands Monday for a gross of $5,905,500. The average was $74,753 and the median was $50,000. There were 26 horses who did not meet their reserves for an RNA rate of 24.8%.

Last year at this auction, 81 head brought $5.072 million in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and without the Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale, which typically follows. The average in 2020 was $62,617 and the median was $30,000. Thirty-eight horses failed to sell last term for an RNA rate of 31.9%.

“It was a very active market with very competitive bidding throughout the day,” said Fasig-Tipton President and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “It is the same story that the higher quality of horses, the more activity. There was good commerce and good trade. It was not crazy, but it had a very vibrant feel to it. There was a diverse buying group and was an encouraging start, or really middle part, to the July Sale market this year. I think the sale continues to have a real spot on the calendar. We are very encouraged by it.”

For the first time this year, the Horses of Racing Age Sale was preceded by the Fasig-Tipton July Breeding Stock Sale. The impetus for this new addition was the dispersal for Far From Over/Fountain of Youth, a group that purchased mares to support the recently deceased regional stallion Far From Over. All 15 members of the dispersal sold for a total of $666,000. The auction's topper was the 4-year-old filly Jeweled Princess (Cairo Prince), who brought $225,000 from Stoneriggs Farm while carrying her first foal by leading freshman sire Gun Runner.

Forty-four mares sold for a total of $2.012 million Monday for an average of $45,727 and a median of $31,000. Seven mares failed to find new homes for an RNA rate of 13.7%.

“I thought it was really interesting,” Browning said. “I was really surprised with how well some of the in-foal mares sold that were not part of the dispersal and how some of the broodmare prospects sold. I was a little surprised that some of the mares with foals at their sides did not bring a little more money. However, it is a big commitment to buy a mare who has had four of five foals. We have seen that be an area of weakness in the marketplace, whether it be at January, February or November. We all know the carrying costs are not cheap. Once again, it goes back to there needs to be a certain level of quality to attract significant attention.”

Action returns to Newtown Paddocks Tuesday for the Fasig-Tipton July Selected Yearling Sale. Bidding gets underway at 10 a.m.

Fed Biz Colt Tops F-T HORA Sale…

In the waning stages of Monday's Fasig-Tipton July HORA Sale, it was Front Run the Fed (Fed Biz) who stole the show with a sale-topping final bid of $440,000 from owner George Sharp.

Offered by Elite, Hip 647 earned his first black-type badge in Saratoga's Better Talk Now S. in 2019 for trainer Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables.

“I decided that I got tired of being outbid, and I decided to go to [$440,000] because I want to go to the Breeders' Cup this year,” explained Sharp. “This one is hopefully going to get me there. I'm very pleased with the purchase.”

He added, “This horse was the best one in the sale, bar none. This one vetted out perfectly and it showed in the price he brought. We're a little nervous, but pretty happy.”

On the board in half of four starts last season, including a win in a Belmont optional claimer, he kicked off 2021 with a close-up second behind next-out GI Jackpot Jaipur S. hero Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) in the Apr. 24 Elusive Quality S. before coming home third last out in the GIII Poker S. June 20. A winner of four of 13 starts, the colt has earnings of $392,150 to date.

Sharp indicated the colt will join trainer Caio Caramori. Asked where Front Run the Fed will head next, Sharp said, “We're not sure yet. We might race him once in Del Mar and almost certainly Kentucky Downs. And then the goal is the Breeders' Cup.”

Out of Lawless Miss (Posse), the 5-year-old entire is from the family of multiple graded winners Lottsa Talc and Fort Loudon. A $65,000 KEENOV weanling purchase, the bay realized a $300,000 final bid from Mike Ryan at KEESEP.

Sharp previously made a splash at Fasig, going to $335,000 to secure stakes winner Hello Hot Rod (Mosler) at the Winter Mixed Sale in February.

The bulk of Sharp's horses reside in Lexington at the Thoroughbred Training Center, however, Sharp also has horses throughout the Midwest and in California. He also campaigns a few of the lower-level stock in his home state.

A horse owner since 1999, Sharp got his start racing Standardbreds before moving into the Thoroughbred game in 2015. A private mergers and acquisitions specialist, the Scottsdale, Arizona, resident is involved small company mergers and acquisitions with public companies. @CBossTDN

Stilleto Boy High Stepping at F-T July

There was little question that Stilleto Boy (Shackleford) would garner some attention at Monday's Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age sale. And that expectation turned into reality when West Coast-based Steve Moger, bidding online, was extended to $420,000 to secure the 4 1/2-length winner of the July 2 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. The flashy chestnut was offered as Hip 557 by agent Paramount Sales on behalf of John and Iveta Kerber, Michael Coleman, Doug Anderson and Aaron Kennedy.

“He certainly deserved that price,” said Paramount Sales's Pat Costello. “He just won the Iowa Derby, so that's a big plus. He is obviously a very sound horse and has a lot of racing left in him, so I think that was his value.”

He added, “Physically, he is such a gorgeous horse and was such a good horse to be around for us.”

Bred by the Kerbers, the gelding is out of Rosie's Ransom (Marquetry), also responsible for stakes winner Rosie My Rosie (Purge) and stakes-placed Condo Closing (Offlee Wild). Earlier this season, he graduated going wire-to-wire going 8 1/2 furlongs at Oaklawn Apr. 17, defeating recent GIII Indiana Derby winner Mr. Wireless (Dialed In).

In regards to the timely catalog update, Costello said, “The timing of the sale was perfect for us. He won the Iowa Derby 10 days ago, so coming in to a sale like this with an update like that is huge. And this is a good market. With Del Mar coming up, I think the timing couldn't be better.”

Making his first purchase at the July HORA sale, Moger previously enjoyed success with Stormy Lucy, who was purchased privately in the spring of 2014 and turned over to Moger's brother, Ed Moger Jr. The filly went on to annex a pair of graded stakes for the brothers, including a 65-1 upset in the GI Matriarch S. the following season before topping this sale at $575,000 in 2016.

“I really liked the way the horse ran and we're going to ship him over to Del Mar and see what we can do with him there,” said Moger, who currently has 25-30 horses in training in California. “I was looking for a few horses to send to my brother, so we looked to see what we could pick up out east and see what happens.” @CBossTDN

Elite Gets Off to Fast Start at Fasig July

Brad Weisbord and Liz Crow's Elite Sales were quick out of the gate at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale, selling the first horse through the ring, stakes winner Josie (Race Day) (Hip 501), to KatieRich Farm for $300,000.

“I like her for a broodmare prospect down the road and we might have a little more fun with her as we go,” said KatieRich's Larry Doyle.

Purchased by Crow for $170,000 at OBS March on behalf of Steve Landers, Josie kicked off this term with an allowance win in her first try at a mile at Oaklawn Feb. 28. Off the board next out in Hot Springs Apr. 8, the 4-year-old filly captured a one-mile event at Indiana Grand 20 days later and entered this sale off a career-high score in the Iowa Distaff July 3. Trained by Brad Cox, she currently boasts a record of 14-4-4-2 and earnings of $266,867.

“She is three-for-four routing and came in off a career-best performance,” Crow said. “She ran an 89 Beyer, a 1 Thoro-Graph, a 9 Ragozin. She showed she can step up to stakes level competition. That was her first attempt in stakes company and she won. It is great to bring a horse off a win like that into a sale like this. Brad Cox had her looking great. She showed very well. Everyone is looking for an in-form horse and she had black-type to back it up and good pedigree, so she has residual when she is done.”

Out of SW Spirited Away (Awesome Again), Josie is a half-sister to MGSW sire Prospective (Malibu Moon) and the dam of GSW and GISP Kalypso (Brody's Cause).

Elite sold 17 of the 19 horses in their consignment Monday for a gross of $2.192 million and an average of $128,941. They were responsible for six of the top nine hips sold, including $440,000 sales topper Front Run The Fed (Fed Biz). @CDeBernardisTDN

Patience Pays Off For Bradshaw

Randy Bradshaw purchased Devils Sky (Into Mischief) (Hip 627) for $135,000 at this venue's 2019 July Yearling Sale. The colt did not make it to the 2-year-old sales, but rewarded Bradshaw back at Newtown Paddocks Monday, selling for $250,000 to Donato Lanni, who was acting on behalf of Joe Bucci. The colt will go to New York, but his new trainer has yet to be determined.

“We bought him here a few years ago,” said Bradshaw, who consigned the colt through Four Star Sales. “He was just an immature kind of colt that took a while to come around. He had the baby stuff, like shins. We were just very patient with him and we decided if he broke his maiden, my daughter [Ashley] would get to sell him. It just worked out very well. He is a very nice colt and has his best days in front of home.”

Trained by George Weaver, Devils Sky failed to fire when eighth after a troubled trip in his 7 1/2-panel debut on the grass at Gulfstream Apr. 24. The bay rallied from well back to graduate by a nose when extended to 8 1/2 furlongs over the Hallandale lawn June 6.

“His maiden race was impressive,” Lanni said. “He jumped through every hoop. He vetted good, he is by Into Mischief. We wanted some action for Saratoga and hopefully he will provide that action.”

A half-brother to GSP His Glory (Mineshaft), Devils Sky hails from the family of champion Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile). @CDeBernardisTDN

Cairo Prince Mare Heads F-T July Breeding Stock Sale…

With only a handful of offerings left to go during the breeding stock session of the Fasig-Tipton July sale Monday, it appeared things might be winding down. That was until Jeweled Princess, offered as Hip 448, strode into the arena. Shooting quickly over the $100,000-mark, bidding slowed nearing the $200,000 mark, finally ending with a $225,000 bid from Stoneriggs Farm. A 4-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince out of Jersey Rules (Scat Daddy), she is a half-sister to stakes-winning Miss Brazil (Palace Malice). Consigned by Gainesway, the stakes winner sold in foal to Horse of the Year Gun Runner, already the sire of seven winners from his first crop to the races.

According to Gainesway's Brian Graves, the mare entered the sale with a $200,000 reserve Monday.

“It seems if you have something of quality by some of the top of the first-crop sires right now, they're going to buy them,” Graves said. “It doesn't matter if it's now or November.”

Explaining the mare's admission into the sale, he added, “I got a call about the mare and I was asked if this was something that I thought could sell well here and I thought, 'yes, she could.' With the popularity of [Gun Runner], I thought it was something that could work. I think if you have something of that quality, it has a chance for it to work in your favor.”

Also during yesterday's breeding stock session, Stoneriggs secured Hip 426, a daughter of Liam's Map for $45,000. Out of That Voodoo Youdo (Speightstown), the 4-year-old, who is a half-sibling to Grade III winner Opry (Declaration of War) and graded placed Candace O (Declaration of War), was consigned by agent Candy Meadows Sales. The grey was sold in foal to freshman sire Lord Nelson.

The 417-acre property Stoneriggs Farm, formerly Kilflynn Farm, was purchased in April by Florida businessman Robert Slack, founder of Robert Slack LLC, a Florida real estate brokerage.

Lynch Secures Colonial Creed…

Bloodstock agent Andrew Lynch took home the July Breeding Stock Sale's second highest-priced offering, the $175,000 Colonial Creed (Jimmy Creed) (Hip 434). The 5-year-old mare sold as a broodmare prospect.

“I bought her for a new client and hopefully she will be bred to Justify next year,” Lynch said. “I loved her race record. She is graded-placed. She is a fantastic individual with a great walk to her. Hopefully she will be a good broodmare.”

A three-time winner, Colonial Creed was third in both the 2019 GII Summertime Oaks and the GIII Megahertz S. earlier this term. She was third when last seen in the Golden Poppy S. at Golden Gate Apr. 24 and retires with a record of 17-3-4-4 and earnings of $223,881.

Out of the unraced Scat Daddy mare Neverthesame, Colonial Creed is a half-sister to SW & GSP Mo D'Amour (Uncle Mo). @CDeBernardisTDN

Grant Jumps into the Fray Early at Fasig-Tipton July…

The action had barely gotten rolling at Monday's Fasig-Tipton July Breeding Stock session when Stuart Grant of The Elkstone Group went to $150,000 for Hip 421, a daughter of Too Much Bling out of stakes winner Kimbell's Prada (Authenticate). The bid represented the third-highest price of the breeding stock session. Consigned by Stuart Morris, agent for Far From Over/Fountain of Youth Dispersal, the 8-year-old mare was sold with her 2021 Violence filly alongside and is back in foal to the Hill 'n Dale sire.

“She had a really beautiful foal, that's what attracted me,” said Grant. “The foal really sold the mare. When a mare produces a foal like that, it can only help the mare.”

Grant, who indicated he owns shares in the hot young stallion, continued, “There is a Violence in her belly, and I own a couple of shares of Violence. If she keeps producing foals like this one, I'll be very happy.”

Asked if the price tag was what he had in mind, he said, “She was the one I really loved [in the broodmare session]. I thought she would bring less, I stretched to get her. If somebody had gone to $150-200,000, she would have been gone. So, that was top dollar for me.”

Earlier in the session, Grant purchased Hip 402, Medea (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), privately post sale for $40,000. A two-time Grade III winner, the 12-year-old mare is a half-sister to three-time Grade I winner High Yield (Storm Cat). Already responsible for a 2-year-old unraced colt by Classic Empire and a yearling colt by Mastery, she was sold in foal to Violence.

“I really like Violence, he stands for $25,000 so I thought she was good value.,” he said. “I definitely thought that one slipped through.”

Able to secure two out of three on his wish list during yesterday breeding stock session, Grant was pragmatic about the market on a whole.

“This is not the time that people sell broodmares, so it is a bit difficult to assess the market,” he opined. “I'm here trying to get some breeding stock and I was hoping a few would slip by, although I got pushed to my maximum on my top pick. So I guess even though people might not be here for breeding stock, if they see something they like then they'll take a shot.”

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