Curlin colts tops bouyant sale

4 min read

From Thoroughbred Daily News USA

The fifth renewal of the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale proved to be one for the record books on Wednesday, with record average and median with the auction’s highest gross since moving to Gulfstream in 2015.

Six horses brought final seven-figure bids, led by a Curlin (USA) (Smart Strike {USA}) colt who sold for US$3.65 million to Jamie McCalmont and Donato Lanni, as agents for Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and undisclosed partners, after a protracted bidding duel with an unidentified phone bidder.

Curlin (USA) x Achieving (USA)

“He was such a stand-out this horse,” McCalmont said. “He has a stallion’s pedigree and is by a great stallion. He was the obvious sales topper. Once a horse goes over $2 million, it can go anywhere. It is very exciting to be involved with a horse like this.”

It was the most paid for a North American juvenile since 2006. The juvenile was consigned by Crupi’s New Castle Farm.

Coolmore took home four of the top six horses either acting alone or in partnership. Their new additions include Lot 142, a $1.65 million American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile {USA}) colt; Lot 119, a $1.3-million Curlin filly; and Lot 15, a $1-million Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday {USA}) colt.

"He has a stallion’s pedigree and is by a great stallion. He was the obvious sales topper." - Jamie McCalmont, agent for Coolmore

It was no surprise to see a colt from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah summon $1.65 million and it was even less of a surprise to see that the winning bid came from the Coolmore contingent, who stands the three-time Eclipse winner and has been quite active at the sales for his progeny. Jamie McCalmont signed the ticket on behalf of M.V. Magnier, who was in attendance earlier in the session, but was not in sight when the hammer fell on Lot 142.

“He didn’t do the fastest time [:10 2/5], but his gallop out was one of the fastest gallop outs. He just kept going at the same pace. He comes from a great place to buy horses with Eddie Woods. Let’s hope he can be somewhere close to where his father was.”

Watch: Lot 142 American Pharoah x Spice Island breeze

Bred in Florida by CESA Farm, he is out of GSW Spice Island (USA) (Tabasco Cat {USA}), which makes him a half-sibling to GI Florida Derby winner and GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box (USA) (Pulpit {USA}). The bay was purchased by Woods’s pinhooking partnership Quarter Pole Enterprises for $215,000 at Keeneland September.

“Did I think he’d bring that? Not in my wildest dreams,” said Woods, who sold last year’s $1.2-million co-topper Instagrand (USA) (Into Mischief {USA}). “I’m thrilled.”

Woods continued, “He is a Phaorah. They have style, they move, they have class, they are quiet. This horse was beautiful. He has a head on him you’d kill for. He went in :10 2/5, but it is not the work. That is the thing. You see, the :9 4/5 don’t win Derbies. They win first time out and might win something going around one turn. The good horses are the ones that gallop on out and are the big, free-moving horses with pedigree.”

“He is a Phaorah. They have style, they move, they have class, they are quiet. This horse was beautiful." - Eddie Woods

In all, Fasig-Tipton sold 59 juveniles for a total of US$29,115,000. The average was US$493,475 and the median was US$375,000. During the 2018 auction, 61 horses sold for US$23,495,000. The average was US$385,164 and the median was US$295,000.

“I think we saw the marketplace today that we were hoping for in many regards,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. “The upper end of the market was obviously fantastic, there was great competition and great depth of buyers and bidders on a large number of horses today. So, overall, we were very pleased with the vibrancy of the market.”

There were 188 juveniles catalogued for Wednesday’s boutique auction, with 100 ultimately going through the ring and 41 of those failing to find buyers.

“It was a 2-year-old in training sale,” Browning said. “So the RNA (pass-in) rate and the scratch (withdrawal) rate is a little higher than you would hope for. There are a lot of evaluative tools that go into buying at a 2-year-old sale. That’s why the horses that jump through all the hoops bring a significant premium. And right now, the consignors have other alternatives, so they are not forced to sell. We’ll see a lot of these horses at later sales and you’ll see some of them on the racetrack.”