Before the bidding on their Medaglia D’Oro colt opened Monday evening at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavillion on East Ave. in Saratoga Springs, the folks from Gallagher’s Stud knew some of the top names in racing were “on” their NY-bred colt because he’d been vetted by “all the good ones.”
When the hammer fell for the final time on the handsome bay colt (Hip No. 54), he was headed back home to his daddy’s connections at Darley Stud. With a final bid of $500,000, John Ferguson outlasted B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm and George Bolton of Curlin fame to secure the colt for Sheik Mohammed.
Breeder Marlene Brody says her dream for the colt is the same for every horse she produces at her farm in Ghent in Columbia County, “that he will be a Group winner and that he will be a great horse.” She’s proud of how well her NY-bred did in the sales ring and says she believes that Ferguson “was looking to buy a horse, a good horse.”
The 15-month-old colt inspires such hopes by virtue of his looks and pedigree (go to FasigTipton.com to see a Virtual Inspection video). His dam, the winning mare Summer Flash, is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and Champion two-year-old Stevie Wonderboy. Second dam Heat Lightning sold at the 2005 Keeneland November Mixed sale for $1.1 million in foal to Travers winner Birdstone.
Unfortunately, Summer Flash developed laminitis stemming from Potomac fever and it was thought best to put her foal on a nurse mare. Mrs. Brody recalls that it was “a stout, motherly quarter-horse-type mare” that took over for the ailing Summer Flash, who eventually lost her battle with laminitis.
To ease the loss of Summer Flash, Mrs. Brody has retained a half-sister to race. Coriander, a two-year-old by Corinthian, has yet to hit the track but is “doing everything right” in training.
A similar relaxed approach to his early lessons helped the colt ease smoothly into sales preparation around June 1st of this year. Farm Manager Mallory Mort notes that “we have a good feeding program so we just started doing some grooming and walking him free-hand and in the exerciser.”
Mrs. Brody adds, “We always liked him, but he does have a habit – he loves to sleep. I’ve heard that (Triple Crown winner) Affirmed would always nap before a race. I hope his habit serves him well in life.”
At the very least, it should serve him well on the van ride to Kentucky. Less than 12 hours after he left the sales ring, Summer Flash’s final foal was on a van heading from the foothills of the Adirondacks to the sloping fields of bluegrass country.
– Executive Director Tracy Egan