Saying he had found the equine equivalent of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James, trainer Eddie Plesa paid $450,000 for an El Prado colt March 18 during the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida. As of early afternoon, the price was the highest of the auction, topping the $425,000 Indian Charlie–Hollywood and Wine filly that sold March 17.
Plesa acted on behalf of Steve Weicholz of Palm Beach, Fla. The underbidders on the colt, named El Kingdom, included David Ingordo, who was standing with Sasha Sanan, who is the son of Padua Stables’ Satish and Anne Sanan.
Dr. Barry Eisaman and his wife, Shari, offered El Kingdom in their Eisaman Equine consignment. The couple bred the gray or roan colt in Kentucky in the name of EICO Stable.
“There’s nothing not to like about him,” said Plesa of El Kingdom, who worked a quarter mile in :20 4/5 prior to the OBS sale. “He’s a handsome horse, moves great, and worked faster than he was supposed to work, so he’s not a typical El Prado. He comes from a great background at Eisaman Equine. They (Barry and Shari Eisaman) bred him, and they’ve had him the whole time. They have a good handle on him, and I trust what Barry and Shari have to say.”
El Kingdom is out of the 18-year-old Dynaformer mare Rabiadella, who scored in the 1994 Senorita Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III) and the 1995 Monrovia Handicap (gr. III). He is a half-brother to 2001 Canadian Handicap (Can-IIT) winner Diadella (by Diesis), who also finished second in the race in 2002 and third in 2003.
A Macho Uno filly out of Rabiadella's winning daughter by Touch Gold, Forbidden Kiss, sold for $360,000 during the opening session of the OBS March auction.
“When you look at him (El Kingdom), he certainly fills your eye up with what he is,” Plesa said. “He kind of reminds me of LeBron James. When you come through here and looked at all these horses, they’re young horses getting ready to start their careers. He looks like an individual that could easily pass for a horse that is older than he is, so in that way, he is the LeBron James of the sale, and we were lucky enough to get him. Hopefully, we’ll be saying the same thing a year from now.”
El Kingdom’s expensive price, according to Plesa, was no surprise.
“Honestly, yes, I did expect it; I thought he would be the sale topper,” the South Florida-based trainer said. “The market is not as good as you would like to see it as a seller, and hopefully, we were just positioned to take advantage of that and get him at somewhat of a discounted price. Two or three years ago, he would have brought more money.”
Weizcholz, El Kingdom’s new owner, “is a retired person,” Plesa said. “He’s been to the sales before and has kind of been out of the business until recently. I have a horse or two for him, and I liked this horse. He (Weizcholz) listened to me and stepped up to the plate and bought this horse.”
Shari Eisaman bought Rabiadella, carrying El Kingdom, for $85,000 from Four Star Sales, agent, at the 2006 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
“He was always easy to work with, and he just fit into the pack,” Eisaman said. “He did everything right. He was push-button everything from the minute he was foaled. When I got him over here (to OBS), he really loved the synthetic racetrack. He just woke up. He was like, ‘I kind of like running on this cushy stuff.’ ”