Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Havre de Grace and a few other big horses from the Fasig-Tipton sale

Havre de Grace

During Mondays one-day Fasig-Tipton November sale, the bidding for reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace opened at $500,000 before escalating to her final price of $10,000,000, sold to Mandy Popes Whisper Hill Farm.

Below are photos of some other horses that attracted interest, while yesterday’s post included Cry and Catch Me ($3.5 million), Zagora ($2.5 million), Contested ($2.3 million), Musical Romance ($1.6 million), and Eden’s Moon ($1.525 million), plus the sale-topping foal, a daughter of Cry and Catch Me sired by Medaglia d’Oro ($620,000).
Broodmare prospect Havre de Grace showing to prospective buyers at the Taylor Made barn.

The 2011 Horse of the Year eventually sold for $10,000,000 to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm.
Pilfer (by Deputy Minister) sold for $1,950,000 carrying a full sibling to Grade 1 stakes winner To Honor and Serve (by Bernardini). She was purchased by Borges Torrealba Holdings.
Cactus Ridge's Grade 1-winning daughter Hot Cha Cha, carrying her first foal (by Kitten's Joy), was a $1,000,000 sale to Katsumi Yoshida.
Stuart Morris of consignor Dapple Stud feeding Hot Cha Cha an apple.
Brookdale consigned 2012 Derby-Preakness winner I'll Have Another's dam Arch's Gal Edith, a $950,000 RNA in foal to Gio Ponti.
Arch's Gal Edith, by Arch.
Coolmore's M.V. Magnier bought Untouched Talent, the dam of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister. Also consigned by Brookdale, she is in foal to Unbridled's Song and sold  for $5,000,000 -- the second-highest price of the sale. Untouched Talent was a Grade 3 winner by Storm Cat.
Hawk Wing's Grade 1 winner Cambina, a racing or broodmare prospect, was a $590,000 RNA from the Three Chimneys consignment.
Dust and Diamonds, second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint three days earlier, sold through Three Chimneys for $900,000 to Borges Torrealba Holdings.
The evening's most expensive weanling, a Medaglia d'Oro - Cry and Catch Me filly bought out of the Hill 'n' Dale consignment by Waratah Thoroughbreds. (iPhone photo)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Photos from Fasig-Tipton November sale

Zagora, two days after winning the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

On the morning of their November sale, a few sights from the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds.

Hip 113, a Hard Spun colt out of Medicinal.

Brushed By a Star, a day after winning the Grade 2 Chilukki S. at Churchill.

Grade 1 winner Cry and Catch Me -- you'd be hard pressed to find a more attractive daughter or son of Street Cry.

Cry and Catch Me's first foal is a gorgeous daughter of Medaglia d'Oro.

Grade 1 winner Eden's Moon.

Multiple stakes-placed Kiss in the Forest, impressive winner of an allowance at Keeneland on October 20th.

Four-time stakes winner Lotta Lovin.

Millionaire Somethinaboutlaura, in foal to Awesome Again.

May Day Rose, the winner of two Grade 3 races this season.

Refugee, the dam of 2012 Grade 1 winner Executiveprivilege.

2011 champion Musical Romance arrives on the sales grounds after a flight from California.

Two-time 2012 Grade 1 winner Contested.

Zagora showing to a potential buyer.



Friday, October 19, 2012

The Markeys and Alydar at Keeneland

I stumbled upon the gravesite of Admiral Gene and Mrs. Lucille (Wright) Markey today while wandering around the beautiful Lexington Cemetery with a friend -- never mind that we were on an mission to get a look at Henry Clay’s grave marker, which we managed not to find despite its being 120 feet high and visible from the road -- and was reminded of the touching video from their beloved Alydars 1978 Keeneland Blue Grass Stakes win, under Jorge Velasquez, below. Narrated by Jim McKay.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Final Curtain for Theatrical

Theatrical (March 13, 1982 - August 31, 2012)

Irish-bred Theatrical, who died on Friday, August 31 at the age of 30, was the firstborn Group 1 winner for Nureyev, from his sire’s first foal crop of foals (one foal resulted in 1981 from a test breeding in 1980). Theatrical was a late bloomer, so chronologically, Classic winners Sonic Lady (a foal of 1983) and Miesque (1984) preceded him to Group 1-winning level.

Racing initially as a homebred for Mr. and Mrs. Bert Firestone, the dark bay or brown Theatrical was trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld. He won his only start at two, and at three, he became a stakes winner with his victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial S.-G2 prior to finishing second in the Group 1 Joe McGrath Irish Sweeps Derby.

Theatrical made his North American debut in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Turf, in which he ran eleventh. Returned to Europe, his best effort was a second in the Grosser Preis von Berlin-G1. He returned to the U.S. a month later, placing a non-threatening tenth in the Budweiser Arlington Million-G1.

He remained in the U.S., with trainer Bobby Frankel. Although he was unable to win a stakes race at four, he was second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Oak Tree Invitational S. and third in the Hollywood Turf Cup Invitational -- all Grade 1 events -- in his only starts for Frankel that season. In the Breeders’ Cup, Theatrical was a neck behind 1986 turf champion Manila, and just ahead of Estrapade and Dancing Brave in third and fourth, respectively.

In January of 1987, he was switched to the barn of Bill Mott, under whose patient handling the temperamental, somewhat difficult horse came into his own as a five-year-old. In his debut for Mott, he was disqualified from second to 14th for bearing in during the running of the Bougainvillea Handicap-G2. Theatrical then put together a four-race win streak -- Hialeah Turf Cup H.-G1, Red Smith H.-G2, Bowling Green H.-G1, Sword Dancer H.-G1 (in which he was put up from second due to interference from first-under-the-wire Dance of Life) -- before the final loss of his career, a third (behind Manila and Sharrood) in the Budweiser Arlington Million-G1.

Theatrical rebounded with victories in three Grade 1 events: the Turf Classic S., Man o’ War S., and the Breeders’ Cup Turf. In the latter, he defeated Trempolino, fresh off a course-record win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Gary Stevens, working as an analyst for NBC’s Breeders’ Cup telecast, said (in the video below) that Theatrical, under Pat Day, “just jerked the heart out of Trempolino.” The final time of 2:24 2/5 equalled the course record at Hollywood Park.

Owned solely at this point by Allen Paulson -- who had bought 50% of Theatrical for $5 million in 1985 prior to purchasing the Firestones’ remaining 35% share (Irishman Michael Smurfit owned the other 15%) the night before the 1987 Breeders’ Cup over a dispute about whose silks he would carry in the race -- Theatrical was voted champion turf horse in the U.S. and retired to stud at Paulson’s Brookside Farm, having earned over $2.9 million with a total of 10 wins, three seconds, and two thirds from 21 starts.

A mile-and-a-half turf specialist, Theatrical was an anomaly for Nureyev, whose sons and daughters primarily excelled at a mile. Theatrical inherited his love of distance from his dam Tree of Knowledge’s sire Sassafras, who defeated the great Nijinsky by a head in the 1970 Arc. Tree of Knowledge was a stakes-placed winner by Sassafras, sire of 55 stakes winners, and in addition to Theatrical, she foaled Taiki Blizzard (a Grade 1 winner in Japan, but recognized as only a Listed stakes winner internationally) and the dam of 1994 turf champion Paradise Creek.

Theatrical's dam Tree of Knowledge in 1993, with a Mining colt who was never named.
Theatrical, who stood in Central Kentucky throughout his entire stud career, had the odds stacked against his emerging as a top sire in a country where precocity and speed on dirt are valued above all. Nonetheless, he became a notable stallion, due in no small part to Paulson’s belief in and support of his horse. After Paulson’s death, Theatrical moved to Hill ’n’ Dale Farm for the 2002 season, where he was pensioned in 2009 before his death on Friday.

Among Theatrical’s 48 Graded or Group stakes winners are these 20 Grade/Group 1 winners with their respective G1 wins:

~Golden Treat (1989 filly out of Golden Dust, by Dusty Canyon): Santa Anita Oaks [this filly was a half-sister to Belmont S.-G1 winner Bet Twice]
~Dahlia’s Dreamer (1989 filly out of Dahlia, by Vaguely Noble): Flower Bowl H.
~Marchand de Sable (1990 colt out of Mercantile, by Kenmare): Criterium de Saint-Cloud (at two)
~Madeleine’s Dream (1990 filly out of L’Attrayante, by Tyrant): Poule d’Essai des Pouliches
~Broadway Flyer (1991 colt out of Serena, by Jan Ekels): Sword Dancer Invitational H.
~Vaudeville (1991 colt out of S’Nice, by Riverman): Secretariat S.
~Pharma (1991 filly out of Committed, by Hagley): Santa Ana H.
~Duda (1991 filly out of Noble Tines, by Drums of Time): Matriarch S.
~Geri (1992 colt out of Garimpeiro, by Mr. Prospector): Oaklawn H. (on dirt); Woodbine Mile S.
~Zagreb (1993 colt out of Sophonisbe, by Wallow): Irish Derby
~Portland Player (1993 colt out of Spirit of Kingston, by Bletchingly): Victoria Derby
~Auntie Mame (1994 filly out of Lady Vixen, by Sir Ivor): Flower Bowl H.
~Royal Anthem (1995 colt out of In Neon, by Ack Ack): Canadian International; Juddmonte International; Gulfstream Park H. -- a G1 winner in three countries
~Run Man Run (1995 gelding out of Marshua’s Echelon, by Marshua’s Dancer): Malibu S.
~Astra (1996 filly out of Savannah Slew, by Seattle Slew): Gamely H. (twice); Beverly Hills H. (twice)
~Media Puzzle (1997 gelding out of Market Slide, by Gulch): Melbourne Cup
~Startac (1998 colt out of Tenga, by Mr. Prospector): Secretariat S.
~Shakespeare (2001 colt out of Lady Shirl, by That’s a Nice): Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational S.; Woodbine Mile S.
~Mrs. Lindsay (2004 filly out of Vole Vole Monamour, by Woodman): Prix Vermeille; E.P. Taylor S.
~Winchester (2005 colt out of Rum Charger, by Spectrum): Secretariat S.; Manhattan S.; Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational; Sword Dancer Invitational S.

~*Hishi Amazon (1991 filly out of Katies, by Nonoalco): Not included among Theatrical’s tally of G1 winners, Hishi Amazon won numerous races, including the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup, that were classified as Grade 1s in Japan only but that are now recognized internationally as Grade 1 events. She was a champion at two, three, and four.

Theatrical’s sons have sired such good horses as Commercante (E.P. Taylor S.-G1; by Marchand de Sable); Cosmo Bulk (Singapore Airlines International Cup-G1; by Zagreb); Eclair de Lune (Beverly D. S.-G1; by Marchand de Sable); Marchand d’Or (five Group 1 wins in France; by Marchand de Sable); Presious Passion (United Nations H.-G1-twice, Clement L. Hirsch H.-G1; by Royal Anthem);  and Starine (Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf-G1; by Mendocino).

As a broodmare sire, Theatrical is represented by G1 winners Coil, Dublino, English Channel, Karelian, Lord Shanakill, Numerous Times (a champion in Canada), Rail Link, and Wigmore Hall. Like his grandsire, English Channel (by Smart Strike) won a Breeders’ Cup Turf and earned an Eclipse Award as champion turf male. Rail Link (by Dansili) won the 2006 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Theatrical was a favorite of mine because of his connection to Nureyev, and I visited him a number of times at Brookside and Hill ’n’ Dale. He was a tough horse, very much the “alpha male” around the barn, but certainly (in my limited interaction with him) was not mean. The photos (taken with a film camera) in this post are from one of my earlier trips to see him at Hill ’n’ Dale.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Visit to the Spa

No summer season journey to Saratoga is complete without spending at least one morning trackside. I was able to sneak away before my duties peddling horses at the select yearling sale officially began and got to spend a few hours watching horses work out and enjoying a few races.

Here are some pictures:

Okay, this is NOT Saratoga. I detoured to Beulah Park, currently closed for the season, on my way to Saratoga Springs. Here, shot through a locked chain-link fence, is the homestretch and toteboard.
I had to include Dayatthespa (a two-time Grade 3 winner trained by Chad Brown) in this post, right? Seen here galloping over the main track at Saratoga.
Robin Smullen hugging Jersey Town, a dual Grade 1 winner, and a very kind horse to be around.
Jersey Town, owned by Chuck Fipke and trained by Barclay Tagg.
Dual Grade 3 winner Hunters Bay, owned by Stronach Stables and trained by Reade Baker.
Unknown horse.
Flashy 2-year-old colt Rei (Leroidesanimaux - Humoristic), a $490,000 OBS March purchase by Deuce Greathouse, in training with Mark Casse. Shown here with Shaun Bridgmohan up, on their way to Rei's first gate breeze.
Blurry, but this is a better view of Rei's amazing markings on the left (and only the left) side of his face.
A random Todd Pletcher horse. I just love how happy both horse and rider look as they break into a run.
This loose filly took a couple of turns around the Oklahoma training track.
I am *pretty* sure this is Grade 3 winner (and Classic-placed) filly Banimpire, trained by Chad Brown. She's the same shade of dark bay as her broodmare sire Kris S. Her second dam is by Nureyev out of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Detroit.
Do horses smile? It looks to me like multiple stakes winner (and Grade 1-placed) Beau Choix, trained by Barclay Tagg, is smiling...
Groom plays with the forelock of stakes winner Munnings Sister, another Fipke/Tagg horse.
Part of the charm of Saratoga, this across the street from the racecourse.
Four Star Sales sold this Bernardini colt out of Dawn Chorus to Fox Hill Farm/Tom McGreevy, agent for $700,000 -- the sixth highest-priced yearling at the Saratoga select sale.
Four Star also sold this great-walking Dixie Union colt out of Risk for $410,000 to John C. Oxley. (The background leaves much to be desired but without much space, we had to go with the flow.)
Another detour, to Niagara Falls. Can you imagine the stunning view from that ferris wheel?
Niagara Falls: American Falls in the foreground and Horseshoe Falls in the background.