By Sarah Mace
The 2023 renewal of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, the first of just two juvenile auctions on this year’s calendar to feature breezes over a dirt track, turned out to be a winning venue for high-end New York-bred juveniles. The auction took place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium on Monday and Tuesday, May 22-23.
The New York-bred topper, a Gun Runner filly bred by Barry Ostrager, brought $450,000, while four more New Yorkers were hammered down for $320,000 and up. New York-based Solomini’s first crop continues to draw competitive bidding, with a Rhapsody Farm-bred Solomini filly selling for $290,000.
New York-breds fared well not only at the top end of trading at the auction, but proved popular overall, with very few individuals left behind on the sidelines as RNAs. Of 91 juveniles offered, 81 sold (including 6 private sales) for an 11.0% RNA rate. The number solidly outperformed the sale buyback percentage of 14.2%. As to average and median, the New York-bred cohort ended up within shooting distance of the numbers generated by the overall sale. New Yorkers sold for an average price of $79,031 and a $45,000 median, while the full sale posted a $92,788 average and $50,000 median.
Bidders waited until Tuesday’s concluding session of the two-day auction to anoint the New York-bred sale topper, Hip 406, a dark bay or brown filly by Gun Runner who went to Flurry Racing Stables for $450,000, the ninth-highest-priced horse at the auction.
Bred by Barry R. Ostrager and foaled on March 14, 2021 at Hidden Lake Farm, the filly is the first foal out of Rocky Policy, a Maryland-bred multiple stakes winner who earned nearly $450,000 in 39 starts over six racing campaigns. Ostrager claimed Rocky Policy for $40,000 out of a winning effort in Del Mar on August 1, 2019 before she went on to win the Turf Amazon Stakes at Parx that September 21.
When the sale filly was unveiled as a weanling at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall mixed sale, she RNA’d for $145,000. In turn, as a yearling, she sold to Lugamo Racing Stables at the Fasig-Tipton Preferred New York-bred sale in Saratoga for $175,000. She was offered at the Midlantic May sale by De Meric Sales, Agent, who sent her out for a sharp furlong breeze in :10 1/5. Breeze Video. Virtual Inspection.
Rocky Policy, who is also a half-sister to stakes winner Money Fromheaven and stakes performer B Determined, produced a Game Winner colt in 2022 and full-brother to the sale filly on April 3, 2023.
Fewer than 30 hips after the New York-bred topper, another New York-bred female found favor with bidders: Hip 433, a chestnut filly by Carpe Diem who became the third New York juvenile to bring a final bid of $350,000. (See further below on Hips 127 and 268.)
Bred in partnership by JD Business Ventures LLC, Brushy Hill Stable & Carpe Diem Syndicate and foaled on February 15, 2021 at Schuylerville Thoroughbred Farm, the filly went to Michael Lund Peterson (Donato Lanni, Agent) for $350,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5. Breeze Video.
A pinhooking windfall, she rewarded consignor Grassroots Training and Sales, LLC, Agent by appreciating more than eleven-fold in value after they purchased her as a yearling for $30,000 at the 2022 OBS yearling sale. The first time she changed hands she was virtually a steal when purchased by Marysue Stable for $17,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Fall mixed sale.
The Carpe Diem filly is the second foal out of Secret Wonder, a winning Kentucky-bred daughter of Quality Road who is out of a stakes performer and a half-sister to a stakes performer. She has a yearling filly by Instagrand and was bred in 2022 to Honest Mischief.
Two more juveniles, a colt and filly, each fetched $350,000 in Monday’s opening session at the Midlantic sale. The colt, the top-selling New York-bred male at the auction and offered as Hip 127, is a dark bay or brown son of Liam’s Map bred by Winter Creek Farm. Foaled on March 8, 2021 at Saratoga Glen Farm, he was purchased by Kerri Radcliffe, Agent, for $350,000 after consignor Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables Inc. sent him out to a :10 2/5 furlong breeze over the dirt. Breeze Video. Virtual inspection.
The Liam’s Map colt is the third foal out of Darby Blush, an unraced Kentucky-bred daughter of Arch who has produced two starters: Grantham, a Grade 2 performer and juvenile winner by Declaration of War, and Sweet Blush, a placed runner. The colt’s second dam is Doo Lang, a stakes winner in France and half-sister to group winner War Officer and stakes performers Dance Land and Verdura. Fourth dam Wandering Star is a stakes winner and graded stakes producer. Darby Blush last changed hands at public auction when purchased by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock for $80,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November sale.
Well-regarded as a yearling, the Liam’s Map colt sold to L.E.B. at the Fasig-Tipton New York Preferred New York-bred yearling sale for $280,000. Darby Blush has a current yearling by Street Sense and was barren in 2023.
Likewise bringing $350,000 in Monday’s opening session and topping the day’s female New York-bred offerings was a filly from the first crop of Vino Rosso, Hip 268. Bred by the perennially successful partnership of Sequel Thoroughbreds, LLC & Lakland Farm and foaled on April 14, 2021 at Sequel Stallions, the filly went to West Bloodstock Agent for Repole Stable for $350,000. She posted a :10 1/5 eighth in the under-tack show and for her inaugural date with the auctioneer. Virtual Inspection. Breeze Video.
The Vino Rosso filly is the second foal out of Lunar Gaze, a multiple stakes performer and earner of over $200,000. Lunar Gaze’s Gun Runner filly, Oak Street Beach, brought $335,000 as a yearling at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale, and finished second in her first start at Gulfstream Park on May 12, 2023. Becky Thomas purchased Lunar Gaze for $90,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale with the sale filly in utero. Barren in 2022, Lunar Gaze produced a filly by Catalina Cruiser on January 23, 2023.
The sale filly’s second dam is stakes winner and graded stakes performer Saarlight. Under the third dam we find stakes winner Currency Quest, dam of multiple Grade 1 winner and millionaire Elloluv.
The final member of the “New York-bred $300,000-and-up” quintet was Hip 89, a chestnut colt by Lookin at Lucky who turned heads when he breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 (one tick off that session’s bullet) on Tuesday, May 16 for consignor Top Line Sales LLC. Breeze Video. The winning bidder was West Point Thoroughbreds, L.E.B. Agent, who purchased the colt for $320,000. This was the youngster’s first trip through the sales ring.
Bred by Torie D. Gladwell, Martha A. Gladwell & Jordan Wycoff, the colt was foaled at Stonegate Stables on April 30, 2021. While several of the top sellers at Fasig-Tipton were the offspring of younger mares, this colt is out of proven producer Caribbean Lady, a winning daughter of Speightstown who has already produced four winners from five foals to start. Her most successful offspring is 2022 Empire Distaff winner Let Her Inspire U, by Practical Joke, who brought $500,000 as a juvenile and has earned over $400,000. Caribbean Lady is also a half-sister to multiple graded winner Halory Leigh. The colt’s third dam, Natural Grace, is also a stakes winner. Caribbean Lady currently has a yearling colt by Practical Joke and was bred in 2022 to Honest Mischief.
Finally, the beat goes on for New York-based sire Solomini, whose first runners are headed to the races in 2023. At OBS April, Solomini sired two of the four top-selling New York-bred juveniles, led by the New York-bred topper, who fetched $700,000. At the just-concluded Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale, Hip 506 was purchased by Bregman Family Racing/Jackpot Farm/Swinbank Stables for $290,000.
Bred by Rhapsody Farm, where the chestnut filly was foaled on April 9, 2021, Hip 506 captured the attention of Silver River Thoroughbred as a weanling, when they purchased her for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Fall mixed sale.
She is the third foal out of Sweet Queen, a winner by Twirling Candy purchased by Rhapsody Farm for $52,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January mixed sale. Sweet Queen is a half-sister to Queen of the Castle, by Tale of the Cat, a Grade-3 and multiple stakes winner and producer of a stakes performer. Dam of Banterra, a multiple winner on the NYRA circuit, Sweet Queen has also produced a yearling full-sister to the sale filly and was bred back to Solomini in 2022.
Solomini, a chestnut son of Curlin, stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds for a 2023 stud fee of $6,500. Eighteen of Solomini’s juveniles have sold thus far for an average price of $125,778.
On the auction horizon, a pair of sales will wrap up the juvenile sales season. The OBS June Two-Year-Olds & Horses of Racing Age Sale will take place June 13-15 in Ocala, FL, and a new auction, the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic June Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, will be held on June 28. The latter is the last juvenile sale of the season and the only June sale to feature dirt breezes. Click here for New York-bred hips and links to their catalogue pages.