SUMMARY OF THE 2017 Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2-Year-Old Sale

This past week’s Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old in-training sale, held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, was another in the line of Thoroughbred sales that everyone says, “The good ones were hard to buy. We had to extend to get the ones we wanted.”
Once the final hammer dropped, the average sales price and median were up about 10% over 2016’s sale. A 10% gain is a good thing…checking my investment portfolio right now.
In short, another fine sale by the folks at Fasig-Tipton.
Some of the highlights were the sale-topping $1.5 million chestnut colt by Curlin, out of Franscat. Curlin, the sire of last year’s Preakness winner, Exaggerator, has been hot in the sales ring. In addition, this is the female family of the very influential sire, Fappiano.
However, the three sires closer in the pedigree, Ogygian, Honour and Glory, and Lookinforthebigone, haven’t kept up their end of the bargain. So, in order to fetch this kind of price, the 2YO had to look and act the part. And, apparently he did.
This colt, out of Franscat, had a very nice breeze before entering the ring, going :10 flat.
Another Horse of the Year, Ghostzapper, was well represented by hip 516. Ghostzapper has really found his niche lately with the more moderate mares that have been bred to him.
Not many horses can have their stud fee drop by 90% ($200k to $20k), and make a recovery. Ghostzapper now stands at $75k and is getting all kinds of good racehorses, including, Shaman Ghost and McCraken. His daughters are proving to be good producers with Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion, Drefong, being out of a mare by Ghostzapper.
An interesting sire at the top of the results board is Claiborne Farm’s Orb, who is now standing at stud at the Paris, KY nursery. Orb is from the female family of the great Ruffian. This is also the female family of the great sire, Storm Cat. Whew! The potential is unlimited.
Dennis O’Neill purchased one of the Orb offspring, hip 373, for $710,000. That should make everyone pay attention. Dennis’ success in picking outstanding racing prospects is as good as anyone’s.
Sale Trends
While looking at the results, I noticed a high percentage of outs among some of the game’s top sires. Between Uncle Mo, War Front, and Tapit, they had nineteen horses catalogued, yet only three were listed as sales. Sixteen of the nineteen were either withdrawn from the sale, or not sold through the ring. The three Uncle Mo offspring sold for $45k, $225k, and $20k. Just one returned enough to cover his stud fee and training expenses. This is just another nod to the current environment at most thoroughbred sales.
Needle in the Haystack
This last section is going to be devoted to our “Needle in the Haystack” horse & pedigree. These selections are strictly based on pedigree. If they look good and sell well, even better.
Our first “Needle” is hip 137.
She is a filly by 2-year-old champion, Shanghai Bobby, out of Starlight Lady. Shanghai Bobby was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Eclipse Award winner in 2012. He had speed and he could carry it over a mile. No wonder Coolmore became partners with Starlight Racing.
And, they have hit a tape measure home run with the same profile runner & champion in Uncle Mo. Shanghai Bobby’s yearlings were well received last year with his average selling price at $115,000 from a stud fee of $20,000.
Starlight Lady did not race, but she was produced by the nice turf mare, Colcon, who earned $625,985. This is the same female family as Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, Flying Continental.
In addition to making this one an attraction is the fact that Starlight Lady’s first three foals are all winners. This cross with Harlan’s Holiday on top of the Gone West/Mr. P line should boost this filly’s chances of returning good dividends to her owners. Hip 137 sold for $145,000.
The next sale we will be profiling will be the OBS June sale of 2-year-olds in training.

There was concern down the backside when he took off like that. I was worried about him. Mike (Smith) let him run a little bit but he said he (Justify) saw something in the infield and he sort of spooked. He said I might want to put a little more bit on him to control him, and I told Mike he better start working out between now and then (Kentucky Derby May 5) to hold him down.“It was very exciting. Those are two really tough horses. I figure that race for Bolt d’Oro probably took a little bit out of him with McKinzie (in the San  Felipe on March 10), but they’re two really good horses. I think the whole field is really tough.“But Justify is just a natural and he’s just learning how to run. He has that big, beautiful stride . . . he reminds you a lot of Point Given, just a big, red train type of horse. He’s quick and he’s light on his feet. It’s just good that he showed up, he did what we thought and were hoping he was going to do. I just feel fortunate to have him. It takes a lot of the sting out of what happened to McKinzie. It’s a tough business but we’ve just got to keep going.”

Bob Baffert, Who conditions Justify - Justtify ran the Santa Anita Derby
  • Rob Murphy

    Rob Murphy

    A horse racing and thoroughbred enthusiast, Murphy has devised his own method for handicapping and breeding. Murphy's company, M375 Thoroughbreds, Inc., has bred, raised and raced successful horses such as Platinum Tiara, Swing and Miss, Diamond Studs, Strike Three and Golden Spikes. Murphy is a former Major League Baseball player. ...

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