2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale

The sales ring is a place where horsemen and -women try to predict the future of racing, trying to find the next great champion or champion producer. They look at pedigree, conformation, and any other information they can in order to divine which horses have the potential they’re looking for.

Some of the top competitors in our sport have sold at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale in the past, including recent graded stakes winners such as Dortmund, Materiality, Kaigun, and Tiz Shea D. On May 23rd and 24th, 337 two-year-old Thoroughbreds sold for a record total of $23,136,400 at Fasig-Tipton’s annual Timonium sale.

I have my eye on a few horses that went through the ring at the sale this year; some of them sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, while others went unsold as RNAs. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of these young Thoroughbreds mature into top caliber racehorses.

I only attended the first day of the breeze sale, and as a result all of my selections will be from hip numbers 1-200.

Hip #196 – Bay Colt by Majesticperfection, out of Score Four (by Grand Slam)

I really liked the way this colt breezed, he reaches out well and almost leaps with every stride he takes. He breezed a furlong in 10.1 seconds, one of the quicker times of the day (the fastest time of 10 seconds was achieved by two horses on the day, while twelve of the first 200 hips breezed in 10.1 seconds). He has a very sprint-oriented pedigree, being a son of the brilliantly quick Majesticperfection and out of a Grand Slam mare. His second dam is a half-sister to multiple G1 winner Affirmed Success, whose 17 lifetime victories included the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) and Cigar Mile (G1). This colt sold for $175,000 to HND Bloodstock.

Hip #187 – Chestnut Filly by Drosselmeyer, out of Sandi’s Ready (by More Than Ready)

This rangy daughter of Drosselmeyer breezed in 10.2 seconds with very mild urging, and galloped out full of energy. As a daughter of Drosselmeyer, you wouldn’t expect her to be at her best breezing an eighth of a mile anyway, and despite that she breezed fairly quickly and I think it’s fair to assume she had more to give. She comes from a solid, if not spectacular, female family; her dam is stakes placed, and her granddam has produced an additional stakes placed runner as well as a multiple G3 placed runner. This filly was purchased by Dennis O’Neill for $45,000.

Hip #179 – Chestnut Filly by Caleb’s Posse, out of Royal Embassy (by Royal Anthem)

This filly sold privately for only $10,000, but I think she could have a bit of potential. She breezed in 11 seconds, but galloped out to a full mile with good energy before pulling up. She comes from a very interesting family – her second dam is Denmark-bred Swedish Horse of the Year Rossard. This makes the dam of this filly a half-sister to Unusual Heat. I’m very interested in Caleb’s Posse as a sire – he was a game miler and a good-looking stallion that has already had his first winner on April 28th at Gulfstream Park.

Hip #170 – Bay Colt by Ice Box, out of Rey Lake (by Meadowlake)

This powerful-looking colt breezed a quarter in 21.3, and was a handful to pull up afterwards. He cornered very well, even with a few hits left-handed, and switched leads beautifully. He is a half brother to three foals to race, all winners, including Tremont Stakes winner Bessie’s Boy. He sold for $200,000 to Hillwood Stables LLC.

Hip #84 – Primal; Bay Colt by Flatter, out of Molly (by Coronado’s Quest)

Despite going unsold with a reserve of $80,000, this colt was probably my top pick of the sale. He caught my eye coming onto the track, very much on his toes and looking excited to be out there. Interestingly, he was the only horse I saw at the sale that breezed without blinkers. Despite that and how excitable he seemed when coming onto the track, he was exceptionally focused when he was set down to breeze. He got a couple of taps on the shoulder, but aside from that his rider gave him very little urging, just letting him do things under his own power. He is a little on the small side, but was born in late May. His second dam is Canadian Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Primaly. In addition to that filly, his 3rd dam Primarily, a listed stakes winner at Woodbine, also produced Canadian Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Poetically, by Silver Deputy; G1 Gamely Stakes winner Citronnade, by Lemon Drop Kid; Fayette Stakes(G3) winner Whiskey Wisdom, by Wild Again; as well as the dams of New Zealand Trophy(G2) winner Sunrise Prince and multiple G3 winner Twilight Meteor.

Hip #58 – United Del Coco; Dk Bay/Brown colt by United States, out of Macho La Papa (by Macho Uno)

I have to give this colt a lot of credit for the amount of professionalism he showed in what could have been a very dangerous situation. His martingale strap broke before he began his breeze, leading to the entire thing ending up flapping around underneath of him a few strides from the wire. Despite that distraction, he kept to task very nicely, and has quite a smooth, long stride on him. His breeze time was relatively slow, covering a furlong in 11.1 seconds, but I think that could be forgiven considering the circumstances, and the fact that by a stallion that isn’t likely to draw any attention at the sales. That stallion, United States, sold for $2 million at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling sale, which likely reflected not only his good looks but also his pedigree, being a son of A.P. Indy out of a half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. United States ended up disappointing on the racetrack, winning only once in nine lifetime starts (all at age four) before retiring to stud in Florida. The female family of this colt has some interesting connections if you go back far enough – his fourth dam is Lyphard’s Dancer, dam of 5 winners from 5 foals to race and half-sister to the immortal Storm Cat. United Del Coco ended up selling privately for $20,000, which I think is a very reasonable price for a colt that may be better than “son of a NW2L” might suggest.

Hip #35 – Dk Bay/Brown Filly by Aikenite, out of Lajitana (by Tiznow)

I think this filly could end up being another bargain missed out on from this sale. She was an RNA at $14,000, and I think that could be due at least in part to her slow breeze time of 11.1 seconds. Despite that, I think there are some positives here for the future. First off, her pedigree is very interesting. Her third dam is Sweet Damsel, the dam of 10 winners from 10 starters, including multiple G1 winner Colonel John and G1-placed/G1 steeplechaser Mr. Hot Stuff. Both of those foals were by Tiznow, the dam of Lajitana. In addition to that, I don’t think this filly’s breeze was as bad as it may have seemed at first glance. She had a very fluid, long stride until losing her action around the 16th pole, a few strides after changing leads. I’m not certain what caused the few goofy strides she took there, though I wonder if it may have been the whip, but I’m willing to chalk it up to greenness in a filly that otherwise looks to be fairly athletic.

Hip #32 – Bay Filly by Into Mischief, out of Lady in Ermine (by Honour and Glory)

I really liked the way this filly breezed, and apparently I wasn’t the only one, since she sold for $150,000. She’s a very nice mover, breezing a quarter in 21.4 and galloping out strongly. She had a lot of energy in her gallop and appears to cover a lot of ground with each stride. Her female family is solid, if not particularly flashy, with a stakes winner and producer under her second dam. Into Mischief has already proven to be a very good sire, with the likes of Goldencents, Vicar’s in Trouble, and Vyjack all graded stakes winners, and I think this filly has the potential to add on to her sire’s count of 13 black type winners.

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Two-Year-Old Watch List

Every spring/summer, I begin looking through various records to see what two-year-olds I should be keeping an eye on. I’ll add a number of unraced two-year-olds to my Equibase stable based on pedigree and/or good workouts, and then occasionally add more after an impressive debut effort. After the success of last year’s “crop” – Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Belmont Stakes starter Incognito, multiple GSP Saint Vigeur, and multiple GSP Cue the Moon were all added to the stable before or immediately following their racing debuts – I’ve decided to make my watchlisted two-year-olds public.

I will make some posts under my Horse Racing Hipster tag and evaluate some of these horses individually at a later date.

Buneya was a $625,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. The daughter of Indian Charlie is out of the Gone West mare Witness Post.

Chivalrous is a half-brother to Haskell winner Paynter. The son of Street Cry sold for $1,000,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Fascinating is by Smart Strike and out of Untouched Talent, making her a half-sister to the brilliant Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister. She sold for $1,300,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

Indian Smoke is by Zensational and out of the champion sprinter Indian Blessing.

Lord Lochinvar is by A.P. Indy and out of the Lord at War mare Lady Lochinvar, making him a 3/4 sister to multiple G3 winner Aurora Lights (by A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit), and from the same female family as G1 winner Icon Project and multiple G2 winner Munnings.

Mei Ling is a filly by Empire Maker who hails from the same female family as Lord Lochinvar, being out of Lord Lochinvar’s half-sister Lochinvar’s Gold. It’s worth noting that Mei Ling’s sire, Empire Maker, is also the sire of Icon Project.

Mullins Bay is a full sister to top turf sprinter Bridgetown

Sabbatical is by Medaglia d’Oro and out of Daydreaming, a G2-winning full sister to graded stakes winner Girolamo, She’s a Winner (dam of G1-winner Bluegrass Cat), and Supercharger (dam of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver).

Satirical is by Distorted Humor and out of the mare Rockcide. She is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Rule, and her dam is a half-sister to Funny Cide (by Distorted Humor).

Savvy Star is by Medaglia d’Oro and out of She’s a Winner, making this filly a half-sister to Bluegrass Cat.

Seagate is a colt by Distorted Humor and out of the multiple G1-winning mare Cocoa Beach.

Share the Music is a filly by Unbridled’s Song who is out of a half-sister to the dam of Kentucky Derby runner-up Eight Belles (also by Unbridled’s Song)

Wait No More was the sale-topper when she sold for $1,575,000 at the Fasig-Tipton September sale. She is by Medaglia d’Oro and out of the multiple G1-winning mare Wait a While.

Hipster: “One who strives to do anything that isn’t considered mainstream solely to look different and hip”

Truth is, the point of horse racing is to be a hipster – to like a horse that nobody else likes, though our purpose is usually to get higher odds on the horse we like. Admit it, there is also a certain satisfaction in being able to say “I knew that horse was going to be special as soon as he stepped onto the track for his debut.” As such, I would like to introduce you to a filly that I believe could satisfy that desire to know a good horse before it becomes a good horse.

Her name is Villanesca and she is a lightly raced 3-year-old filly for Darley Stable and Kiaran McLaughlin who I believe will only get better with age and experience. She debuted on August 30th in a Saratoga Maiden Special Weight. She trailed throughout while ridden along, but made up a little bit of ground late to finish 5th. It was an unexceptional performance but a decent debut effort.

Villanesca returned at Belmont Park on September 21st with a much improved effort. She lunged at the break but jockey Eddie Castro got her into a stalking position sitting third on the outside. Pacesetter It’s Saturday Nite shook free of the competition when coming into the stretch, and it looked like she was going to go gate-to-wire as Villanesca ran second but seemed unable to make up significant ground. However, favorite Greed and Fear came up on Villanesca’s outside, causing the Darley filly to re-engage and battle on to prevail by a head in a three-horse photo.

While usually a close photo finish does not indicate a field full of talent, I liked the tenacity that Villanesca showed in the race. Additionally, Greed and Fear returned to break her maiden at Belmont in her next start, and the only other filly to come back out of the race – 6th-place finisher Alexandra’s Grace – also returned to win in her subsequent effort.

What I really like about Villanesca, however, is her pedigree. She is a Darley homebred by Distorted Humor and out of a mare named Balletto. Balletto won over a million dollars in 12 starts, beginning her career with two consecutive wins and then finishing second to Sense of Style in the Matron Stakes (G1). She would then win the Frizette Stakes (G1) before finishing second to Sweet Catomine in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Balletto did not race again until March of her 4-year-old season, when she was fourth to Take D’Tour in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. That would be the only off-the-board finish in her career.

Balletto subsequently finished 2nd to Take D’Tour in the Shuvee Handicap (G2), and third to that rival in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (G1). At Saratoga in 2006, she just missed winning the Go For Wand Handicap (G1) when closing from last to be beaten a nose by Spun Sugar, and then finished second to Fleet Indian in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1). She was only beaten a head by that mare when finishing second again in the Beldame Stakes (G1), and closed her career with a 3rd place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), following the disqualification of Asi Siempre for bothering Balletto in the stretch.

Balletto only has one other foal to race, a 2-year-old gelding named Puget Sound who finished 7th in his only start on September 1st at Saratoga. Her 2008 foal, an A.P. Indy filly named Eleganter, is unraced.

Villanesca will be making the third start of her career this Friday, October 26th, in the 8th race at Belmont Park.