Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Grade I winner Carpe Diem retired to WinStar Farm

Stonestreet Stables and WinStar Farm announced Thursday that multiple Grade I winner has been retired from racing due to a chip in the lower joint of his right knee, and will stand stud at WinStar in 2016.


Carpe Diem had not raced since finishing 10th in this year’s Kentucky Derby. The son of Giant’s Causeway had only posted two workouts since late May with the most recent being a four-furlong move in 48.77 at Saratoga on July 12.


“Carpe Diem is as good as any young horse WinStar has ever been involved with, and it’s always bittersweet when you retire a colt of his quality, particularly knowing we likely never got to see his best,” WinStar Farm president and CEO Elliott Walden said in a release. “The positive is that he is an extremely exciting stallion prospect.


“In the Kentucky Derby, we were in perfect position, but when he switched leads going into the far turn I felt something wasn’t right,” Walden continued. “After missing the Belmont, we brought him home to evaluate him and try to get him back for the Haskell. However, a chip finally revealed itself in the lower joint of his right knee, and that can be problematic. I believe his raw ability puts him among the top of this talented group of 3-year-olds, which is probably the best group of runners we’ve had in years. It’s unfortunate, but given where we’re at in the season and what would be in front of him, Mrs. Banke, John Moynihan, and I just felt like retirement was the best option.”


$1.6 million sale topper at last year’s OBS March sale purchased in partnership by WinStar and Stonestreet, Carpe Diem lived up to his reputation in his 2-year-old debut at Saratoga, overcoming the rail post position to draw away to a 2 ½-length win. The chestnut colt captured the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in his second career start and capped off his juvenile campaign with a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.


“The impressive thing about Carpe Diem, to me, is his ability to run 5 ½ furlongs in a tough maiden race at Saratoga and then stretch out to win Grade I races around two turns,” said Pletcher. “It is unfortunate his career ended so soon because I feel like he had more Grade I wins in him.”


Carpe Diem started his 3-year-old campaign in Florida, where he scored an authoritative five-length win in the Grade II  Tampa Bay Derby before returning to Keeneland in April to score a three-length triumph in the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes, his final Kentucky Derby prep race.


Bred by Coffee Pot Stable, Carpe Diem retires with four wins from six starts and earnings of $1,519,800.


A stud fee for Carpe Diem will be announced at a later date.


“Carpe Diem was a standout physical at the 2-year-olds-in-training sales, and quickly demonstrated his precocious speed, breaking his maiden at first asking as a juvenile at Saratoga,” said Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm. “Carpe Diem offers breeders a great opportunity with conformation, speed, and stamina all packaged within an outstanding pedigree.”

American Pharoah dazzles in six furlong move; Baffert: ‘I think he’s getting faster’

Courtesy of Del Mar Publicity
And on the fifth day, American Pharoah worked six furlongs in 1:11.00.
And verily did trainer Bob Baffert say in the aftermath: “I think he’s getting faster” and “He gives me goosebumps.”
Five days after working six furlongs in 1:11.40,  Triple Crown hero American Pharoah went the  same distance two ticks faster Thursday morning under Martin Garcia over the Del Mar main track. The interim splits were :12.40, :24.00 , :36.20 and :58.80.
In what was announced to be a five-furlong work, American Pharoah went from the five-eighths pole to the wire and was still going strong enough that Del Mar’s clockers gave an official six-furlong time for the exercise. American Pharoah galloped out to seven furlongs in 1:24.00 and a mile in 1:38.40.
It came as a surprise to some that the first Triple Crown champion in 37 years would be given such a short break between serious workouts in preparation for a start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on August 2 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. But it was a case of Baffert knowing the horse and going on his Hall of Fame instincts.
“I’m going with a five-day schedule with him now,” Baffert said. “I’ve done that with other horses before. First time with a Triple Crown winner, though.”
“We’ll work him a half before we leave. An easy half; next Tuesday. He needed to get back to the track. That last one (work), he came out of it blowing a bit. Not today, though. He looked like he did it easy.
“If I wait too long with him, he starts to get antsy. He’ll work too fast when I put him back out there. I waited 14 days after Arkansas (Derby) and he went real quick. He needs to get out there.”
“The track here is a little demanding. But he just doesn’t make it look that way.”
“He’s right on course (for the Haskell). No excuses. He’ll be ready to go there.”
Head clocker John Malone was duly impressed. “He looked good; as good as always,” Malone said. “Some folks are saying they think he has lost weight. I don’t think so. He looks like he’s still growing.”

Oaklawn’s Rebel, Southwest Stakes to get purse hikes for 2016

Edited release:

Oaklawn Park, where American Pharoah launched the first successful Triple Crown campaign in 37 years, has made several enhancements to its 2016 stakes schedule – most notably increasing the purse of the March 19 Grade II Rebel Stakes from $750,000 to $900,000. American Pharoah dominated both the Rebel and $1 million Arkansas Derby en route to his Triple Crown success this year.


Further, Oaklawn also increased the purse of the Feb. 15 Grade III Southwest Stakes from $300,000 to $500,000. When coupled with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes in January, Oaklawn now offers more than $2.5 million in stakes purses for 3-year-olds with Triple Crown aspirations.


“It’s amazing to think of how far our 3-year-old stakes program has come over the last dozen years,” Director of Racing David Longinotti said. “The Rebel’s purse was $125,000 in 2003 and is now the richest prep in March. Thanks to the success of our overall business plan, we’ve been able to deliver on the promises we made to our racing fans several years ago. Our goal has always been to bring the highest quality of racing to Arkansas. This is a testament to that commitment.”


Since 2004, when champion Smarty Jones won the Southwest, Rebel and Arkansas Derby before victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Oaklawn’s 3-year-old stakes program has produced eight horses which have accounted for 12 Triple Crown race victories. In addition to Smarty Jones and American Pharoah, this list also includes dual Classic winner Afleet Alex, two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and champion 3-year-olds Summer Bird and Lookin at Lucky.


Oaklawn has also significantly boosted purses for several of its key stakes for older horses, highlighted by the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap, which was increased from $600,000 to $750,000 for 2016. The Grade III Razorback Handicap, the last local prep for the Oaklawn Handicap March 19, was increased $50,000 to $300,000. The boosts to the Oaklawn Handicap, which shares the card with the Arkansas Derby April 16, and the Razorback, which is part of the Rebel Day undercard, help create two of the richest days in Oaklawn history. Rebel Day will feature $1.5 million in stakes purses and Derby Day will feature $2 million in stakes purses.


“It’s going to be tough to duplicate this year’s Rebel Day when we had two champions making their seasonal debut with American Pharoah and Untapable in the Azeri, but we are definitely excited about the possibilities for 2016,” said Longinotti. “Multiple stakes days have proven successful all over the country and we feel confident we have created two of the best days of racing in North America.”

Other significant changes to the 2016 stakes schedule include a $100,000 increase to the Grade III Count Fleet Sprint Handicap April 10, which will now be worth $400,000. The Carousel Stakes for older female sprinters April 14 received a $50,000 boost to $150,000. In addition, all five Arkansas-bred stakes were raised $25,000 to $100,000 and the Northern Spur and Instant Racing Stakes, which share the card with the Oaklawn Handicap and Arkansas Derby closing day, April 16, were both increased $25,000 to $125,000.


Oaklawn’s 2016 Live Meet begins Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 and continues through Saturday, April 16. The highlight of the season will once again be the Racing Festival of the South, which runs Saturday, April 9 – Saturday, April 16 and features nine stakes worth $3,650,000.


Keeneland adds Condition of Sale in response to BHA steroid policy

Edited release:

Keeneland announced on Wednesday a new Condition of Sale which will allow buyers of yearlings and horses in training that are being exported to Great Britain, or via other countries the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) considers to have similar policies, within 60 days of purchase to be tested for anabolic steroids and substances prohibited by the BHA. The other countries as at the time of release are France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland and Sweden.


The Condition was created in response to the BHA’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules, a zero-tolerance policy for horses imported to Great Britain for training and racing that became effective March 2, 2015.


“By implementing this new Condition of Sale, which addresses the BHA’s enhanced policy, our British and European buyers will have added confidence that horses bought here can train and race in Great Britain,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said.


“The BHA’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules, which include a zero-tolerance approach to anabolic steroids, which the BHA considers to have no place at any stage in the life of a racehorse, were implemented in March 2015 and ensures that British racing not only adheres to, but exceeds where possible, the IFHA’s international minimum standards on this issue,” BHA Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation Jamie Stier said. “These Rules, like all BHA Rules of Racing, do not seek to regulate any international racing or breeding industries,” Stier added. “However, we welcome the proactive, constructive and collaborative approach taken by Keeneland to offer this extra service to their customers who are intending to purchase a horse to enter the British market.”


Keeneland implemented policy in 2008 regarding testing for the use of anabolic steroids in yearlings sold at its auctions. Since then, no horse has tested positive.


This new Condition of Sale mirrors Keeneland’s current Condition regarding anabolic steroid testing, which remains in place.


Keeneland’s 2015 September Yearling Sale will be held Sept. 14-26. The process will be implemented as follows:


– At the time of sale, the buyer will check the appropriate box for BHA testing on the Acknowledgement of Purchase and Security Agreement for horses which will be exported to Great Britain within 60 days of purchase. This can also be checked if the buyer intends to export the horse to France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland and Sweden within 60 days, before then exporting it directly to Great Britain.

– Keeneland will arrange for a blood sample to be taken by a veterinarian immediately after purchase and prior to the horse leaving the sales grounds. The sample will be sent to a laboratory in England selected by the BHA.

– If the BHA post-sale test is positive for anabolic steroids, the buyer has the right, within 24 hours of notification, to rescind the sale and return the horse to the consignor.

– The buyer will initially bear the cost of the test. However, if the test results are positive, the cost will shift to the consignor.

Taylor Made purchases interest in champion California Chrome

Taylor Made Farm confirmed on Friday that is has acquired Steve and Carolyn Coburn’s minority ownership interest in reigning Horse of the Year and dual classic winner California Chrome as well as stud rights to stand the son of Lucky Pulpit upon his retirement.


Perry Martin remains the majority owner.


California Chrome was recently diagnosed with a cannon bone bruise which will likely sideline him for the rest of 2015. The 4-year-old colt is slated to arrive at Taylor Made Farm this weekend, according to Ben Taylor, vice president of Taylor Made Stallions, and could return to training for 2016.


“That’s what we’re hoping,” Ben Taylor said of California Chrome’s possible return to racing. “You have to monitor everything but the vet reports we have are very optimistic he can make it back.”


Added Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, “California Chrome’s x-rays showed all of his joints to be remarkably clean. He has the early signs of bruising to the bottom of the cannon bones. Horses training at high levels for long periods of time, like California Chrome has, gradually get behind in the bone’s response to the stress because we train them and then ask them to stand in the stall for most of the day. Horses evolved as grazing animals and that is how their bone’s blood supply works best. So the treatment is to get them back to their natural state, let them be a horse in the paddock until the bone returns to normal. The return rate for horses with this problem is very high. When we researched prognosis for distal cannon bone bruising, we found that recovery rate was 95% after giving time in the paddock to heal.”


Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome captured four Grade I victories a year ago, and became just the fourth 3-year-old colt since 2000 to earn Horse of the Year honors, joining an elite group that includes Tiznow and Curlin. California Chrome’s biggest victories came in America’s first two legs of the Triple Crown – the  Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Those Classic wins were part of a six-race win streak that started at the end of his 2-year-old season, and also included a dominant win in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.


After finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes and off the board in the Pennsylvania Derby, California Chrome was beaten a neck while running third in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and closed his championship season with a victory in the Grade I Hollywood Derby on turf, giving him stakes wins on all three surfaces.


“We are thrilled to be part owners of such a historic racehorse as California Chrome, and are most grateful to Steve & Carolyn Coburn and Perry & Denise Martin for giving us this exceptional opportunity and entrusting him with our care,” Duncan Taylor, President & CEO of Taylor Made, said in a statement. “He embodies the incredible toughness and soundness of the throwbacks from his family. You won’t find many horses of his quality that made 18 starts in 23 months. He’s just now getting his first break from training.”


This year, California Chrome opened his campaign by running second to champion Shared Belief in the Grade II San Antonio and also earned an runner-up finish in the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan where he finished second. The chestnut colt was supposed to run during the Royal Ascot meeting in England but was scratched with a reported foot bruise. He had been stabled at Arlington Park with designs on a start in the Arlington Million before being diagnosed with bone bruising.


Bred by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome currently owns a record of nine wins, three seconds, and a third from those 18 starts and earnings of $6,322,650.

Champion Wise Dan sparkles in first breeze since ankle injury

Trainer Charlie LoPresti crouched down outside his office in his Keeneland shedrow Friday morning, eyes beaming with pride, and took in a view he’s been waiting to see since last year.

His champion charge, Wise Dan, had just put in his first timed workout since being sidelined with a non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of his right front fetlock last October. It was the 8-year-old gelding’s first serious move since last September – and darned if LoPresti and exercise rider Jenn Patterson couldn’t  find a stitch of rust on him.

“He’s an amazing horse, isn’t he,” LoPresti grinned, turning to an equally star struck Patterson.

Doing things normal horses just aren’t supposed to do has been the hallmark of Wise Dan’s future Hall of Fame career. On Friday, the two-time Horse of the Year added another log to that fire when he drilled four furlongs in 48.20 over the Keeneland turf course, moving with ease under Patterson and galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.60.

The return of Wise Dan to the worktab is a monster step forward as he attempts to comeback from the injury that knocked him out of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile – a race he had won the two years prior. LoPresti’s patient hand has been taking the cautious approach every step of the way since Wise Dan returned to his Keeneland barn in March, watching every move as Morton Fink’s homebred son of Wiseman’s Ferry progressed from tack walking to jogging to galloping to his full on return.

“Jenn said the last couple days she’s been on him “Charlie he just gets better every day I ride him”,” LoPresti said. “I just wanted to get through this breeze and make sure he’s okay. I’m just really happy for him (Wise Dan) because that’s what he wants to do. He wants to train, he wants to run. He’s happy doing what he does and you saw that today.

“Here’s a horse who hasn’t run since the Shadwell (Mile at Keeneland) last year and hasn’t had a work and comes up here and works 48 and change and out in 1:01 and (Jenn) never even moved on him. That tells you what kind of horse he is. It’s a big relief to me to know that he’s back and his ankle is good and he’s happy.”

Patterson was breezing Wise Dan for the first time in place of his normal exercise rider Damien Rock, who is recovering from knee surgery. Though she counts 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb and multiple Grade I winner Point of Entry among the many top horses she has been on in her career, Patterson said she can move Wise Dan right to the forefront of horses who have inspired chills.

“Charlie asked what I thought (of the work) and I thought we went in 50 and change,” Patterson said. “Then I heard the real time and I said ‘You’re kidding me’. He just does it so easily. He was so relaxed and settled, just getting over the turf really nice. He took me around there.

“He’s right up there. As well as he just did that breeze with it being his first breeze back I mean, you don’t come by that very often. Actually, I really never had. I’ve had a few horses fool me with how easy as they go, and he did that. He came back with his ears pricked, happy.”

Wise Dan hasn’t started since winning the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last October 4. That victory was the 11th Grade I win for the six-time Eclipse Award winner and came less than five months after he had undergone emergency colic surgery on May 16, 2014.

LoPresti said he plans to keep Wise Dan at Keeneland instead of shipping the chestnut gelding up to Saratoga. He added that “in a perfect world” he would like to run Wise Dan in the Grade I Woodbine Mile – a race he won in 2012 and 2013 – return to Keeneland for the Shadwell Turf Mile and attempt to claim the Breeders’ Cup Mile for a third time at Keeneland on October 31.

“I want to get through a couple of breezes with him and see where I’m at,” LoPresti said. “From what I saw today, he’s pretty fit.”

Wise Dan swept the Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year, champion older male and champion turf male in 2012 and 2013. He currently has 23 wins from 31 starts with earnings of $7,552,920.




Grade I winner Don’t Tell Sophia in foal to Medaglia d’Oro

Grade I winner and Eclipse Award finalist Don’t Tell Sophia has been retired and is currently in foal to Darley stallion Medaglia d’Oro, trainer and co-owner Phil Sims said Tuesday.

Don’t Tell Sophia had not raced since her runner-up finish in the Grade II Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs last November 27 and had not shown up on the worktab in 2015. Sims had the 7-year-old daughter of Congaree galloping on a regular basis throughout the Keeneland Spring Meet but said some lingering issues kept appearing in the bay mare, prompting the decision to go ahead and breed her.

“She’s doing well but  she had had some setbacks,” said Sims, who owned Don’t Tell Sophia in partnership with Jerry Namy.

Sims added that Don’t Tell Sophia, who is currently at KatieRich Farms in Midway, would likely be entered at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale.

“More than likely she’ll be in the November sale at Keeneland,” Sims said. “It’s going to be tough to sell her but you have to kind of stay in business.”

The journey of Don’t Tell Sophia had been the every bit the fairytale for her connections. Her pretty but large frame that would need time to grow into scared buyers off at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling sale and Sims was able to purchase her for the sale-minimum $1,000 bid.

Plagued by foot issues throughout her career, Don’t Tell Sophia was on the turf for her first couple tries against graded stakes company. Her slow-burn closing kick was most effective on dirt, however, and after earning her first career graded stakes victory in the 2013 Grade II Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs she returned to deliver her best season yet during her 6-year-old campaign in 2014.

Don’t Tell Sophia won three of her first four starts of 2014, setting her up for a showdown with eventual divisional champion Close Hatches in the Grade I Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland last October. With regular rider Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons, Don’t Tell Sophia delivered a career-defining outing when she rallied from last in the six horse field to score a 2 1/2 length victory and become just the second Grade I winner Sims had ever conditioned.

The big bay mare further stamped herself as one of the top older females in the country when she ran second to champion 3-year-old filly Untapable in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park last October 31. In her final 15 career starts, she was never worse than third and retires with 11 wins from 24 starts and $1,382,479 in earnings.





Champion Main Sequence retired due to tendon injury

Flaxman Holdings’ homebred Main Sequence, the reigning champion turf male and champion older male, has been retired due to a tendon tear in his left front leg, his connections announced Monday.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for Flaxman Holdings, said in a statement that “a thorough veterinary examination was carried out last week” after Main Sequence finished seventh in the Grade I United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 5. That outing was the first start for the 6-year-old gelding since his seventh place run in the Dubai Sheema Classic on March 28 and marked the first loss that the son of Aldebaran had suffered in North America.

When reached by the Herald-Leader Monday, trainer Graham Motion added that the injury is one that is not typically career-ending but that all involved believed it was not worth the risk with a horse who has already proven his class.

“He’s perfectly sound, but I think everyone feels he doesn’t owe any one anything and we’ve had a great run with him,” Motion said. “It’s certainly an injury he could come back from but to bring him back a year older after being a champion just doesn’t seem fair, it just doesn’t seem right.”

Main Sequence began his career with trainer David Lanigan in Europe, winning his first four career starts, but was transferred stateside to Motion for 2014 after enduring a 10-race losing skid in England.

The venture nearly took a tragic turn right off the bat as Main Sequence spent a month in a clinic in New York after becoming sick while in quarantine. Once back at full strength, the chestnut gelding bulled his way through the North American turf ranks, winning four consecutive Grade I races in the second half of 2014 including his half-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on November 1.

Main Sequence picked up where he left off during his 2015 seasonal bow, bursting through under jockey Rajiv Maragh to defeat rival Twilight Eclipse in the Grade II Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park on February 21. His Dubai venture saw him fade after racing closer up than normal and his usual late burst of speed was absent – now understandably so – in the United Nations.

“I mean he’s a horse of a lifetime,” Motion said. “Horses like him and (2011 Kentucky Derby winner) Animal Kingdom, you hope you get horses as good but you don’t get horses that duplicate what they do because they’re special horses. At the end of the day, I’m very fortunate to have had him. He’s going to have a great life, he’s in great shape. This is something he’ll recover from.

“You want these things to go on forever but that’s not reality, is it?”

Motion added that Main Sequence would likely ship from his base at Fair Hill to his brother Andrew Motion’s farm in Virginia to begin his healing process.

Main Sequence retires with nine wins from 21 career starts and $3,428,666 in earnings.

News of Main Sequence’s retirement is the latest unfortunate news in what been a brutal handful of days in the Thoroughbred industry. Maragh,  regular rider for Main Sequence, remains hospitalized in New York after suffering several fractured vertebrae in his back, a broken rib, and a small lung puncture in a spill at Belmont Park on July 10.

On Sunday, it was reported by multiple outlets that reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome was likely out for the year due to cannon bone bruising and Monday also brought news that undefeated Grade I winner Lady Eli was battling laminitis in both front feet after stepping on a nail with her left front foot while walking back to the barn after her win in the Grade I Belmont Oaks on July 4.





Unbeaten Lady Eli battling laminitis

Unbeaten multiple Grade I winner Lady Eli is currently battling laminitis is both front feet, according to a statement from trainer Chad Brown issued Monday.

Brown said that Lady Eli stepped on a nail on the horse path heading back to the barn following her 2 3/4 length triumph in the Grade I Belmont Oaks on July 4 and that the ailment has led to her developing the potentially fatal disease.

“Following Lady Eli’s impressive victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks on July 4, she sadly stepped on a nail on the horse path on the way back to our barn and injured her left front foot,” Brown said in the statement. “Despite our efforts, including a talented team of veterinarians, Lady Eli’s injury has led to her developing laminitis. Thankfully, we have assembled the best possible team of veterinarians and farriers to stabilize her and assist her through these difficult times. I ask that all of her fans keep this magnificent racehorse in their prayers and hopefully she will be back on the racetrack flashing her brilliance again.”

Daily Racing Form first reported news of Lady Eli’s condition.

Laminitis has no cure and was the crippling disease that led to 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat being euthanized in the fall of 1989. It also contributed to the death of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro as he was euthanized months after fracturing a hind leg in that year’s Preakness Stakes.

Owned by Sheep Pond Partners, Lady Eli is unbeaten in six career starts with $1,449,800 in earnings. The 3-year-old daughter of Divine Park capped off her 2014 campaign with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and was an Eclipse Award finalist for champion 2-year-old filly.

The dark bay filly has remained flawless this season, opening her campaign with a victory in the Grade III Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland on April 12 before taking the Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park on May 21.

Brown, who has conditioned such champions as Dayatthespa, Zagora and Stacelita, declared Lady Eli “probably at the top of the list” of horses he has been around in his career after she uncorked her brilliant turn of foot to take the Belmont Oaks.

Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale posts across-the-board gains

No matter which side of the fence one was on within the Fasig-Tipton grounds Thursday, life was likely equal parts exasperating and satisfying.



For buyers in the Thoroughbred marketplace, the competition for quality stock was stout. For consignors, the pressure to bring product that fit strict requirements to the table was unforgiving.


Demands on both fronts brought about results that left all key parties encouraged as the Fasig-Tipton July selected yearling sale delivered on its expectations, posting across-the-board gains in a continuation of market strength.


The single-day exercise stands as the first major yearling auction of the season. While hard and fast judgements can’t be made of such a small sampling of the yearlings that will come through the ring in coming months, the factors that drove the juvenile sale season to its success remained steadfast.


Led by a chestnut filly by leading sire Tapit that sold to agent Steve Young for a sale-topping $500,000, the overall gross of $20,005,000 from 205 head sold improved by 31 percent over last season when 162 horses sold for $15,253,000.


The average increased by 4 percent to $97,585 while the median jumped up by 10 percent to $77,000. The rate of horses not sold came in at 29 percent, an improvement over the 2014 figure of 31.8 percent.


“It was a very similar marketplace to last year, maybe slightly better than in 2014,” said Boyd Browning Jr., president of Fasig-Tipton. “All in all a good marketplace, a fair marketplace.


“I think the buyers would say if you were trying to buy quality horses, it was really difficult to buy the quality they wanted. I think the sellers would say it’s not easy selling horses right now, that you have to make sure you jump through most of the hoops. But there is a legitimate marketplace right now. There is a demand for horses.”


The overall quality of the yearling catalog was earnestly supported by both end users and yearling-to-juvenile resellers as 18 yearlings sold for $200,000 or more compared to the 10 that reached that level in 2014.

Those horses that hit marks of being both top physical offerings and passing veterinary criteria struck the balance of being hard to buy without spilling over into unrealistic levels.


“I think each of the horses we’ve brought have been strong in terms of the price they commanded, but at the same time I feel like we got value with all three of them,” said Aron Wellman, president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “Look, the market just continues to thrive. I think we’re seeing a higher volume of better horses and that could be as a result of people creating better matings.


“What I’m seeing in particular is maybe not such an upward trend as far as the prices are concerned, just more of those horses that people see quality in.”


The name Tapit has become synonymous with the best quality in the Thoroughbred industry, which is why Young viewed it as good value to get an offering by the Gainesway stallion at the half-million level.


Consigned by Gainesway, the Tapit filly is out of the stakes-winning mare French Dip, who is a daughter of Grade I winner Mayo On the Side.


“She’s very well balanced and has a beautiful hip on her,” said Young, who purchased the filly on behalf of an undisclosed client. “Being by a $300,000 stud, that’s what she’s supposed to cost.”


For the third consecutive year, the July yearling sale was immediately followed by a Horses of Racing Age auction. Though the crossover appeal helped bring in more end users, the latter suffered from a lack of top end quality and suffered declines in gross and average.

Where the past two years featured seven-figure sale toppers, multiple stakes winner Temper Mint Patty paced the action this year when she sold to Mike Repole for $350,000.  Last year’s sale benefited by featuring horses from the high-profile dispersal of stock from Eugene Melnyk and the lack of fireworks in this season’s catalogue contributed to the overall gross coming in at $3,996,000 from 65 head sold, down from the $8,426,000 generated by 109 sold in 2014.


The average fell from $77,303 last year to $61,477 but the median rose to $48,000 up from $35,000 a year ago.

“Last year, basically half the sale was the Melnyk dispersal which accounted for several of the top prices,” Browning said. “We knew coming in this year we had some nice horses but we didn’t have the absolute star power at the very top end. But it’s hard to make any comparison year to year on a Horses of Racing Age sale.”

Next Page »