One of the most talked about horses at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile auction isn't even on the backstretch of Calder Race Course. He's 10-year-old stallion named Speightstown , who stands at Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
The reason why Speightstown is a hot topic of conversation in South Florida is because the offspring from the 2004 champion sprinter's first crop are fast on the track and impressive physically on the end of a shank. They also look like they should be able to carry their speed over a route of ground, according to Mike Mulligan of Leprechaun Racing.
One of Speightstown's progeny in the Fasig-Tipton sale is Hip No. 176. Consigned by Robert McElroy agent, the colt is a half-brother to another champion sprinter, Lost in the Fog.
Here are three offspring of Speightstown to keep an eye on during Tuesday's auction:
Hip No. 186, a colt out of Daisies and Nites, by Saint Ballado. Consigned by Don R. Graham.
"He's went (an eighth of a mile in) :10 flat, galloped out great, and came back good," Graham said. "He's got the best disposition for a colt, and he's shown like a real gentleman. Everybody comments on how level-headed he is."
Hip No. 228, a colt out of Holiday Runner, by Meadowlake. Consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent.
"He's as solid as any horse we've ever brought down here," said Dean De Renzo. "He will go all day, and he galloped out after his work (an eighth in :10) that way. The rider said when she went to pull him up on the backside, he took off again, so we were pretty excited about that."
Hip No. 254, out of La Comete, by Holy Bull. Consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent.
"He's a lovely colt, and he's done everything right from the beginning," Mulligan said. "We've thought he was a special horse for three or four months. It's pretty well known he went out (after working an eighth in :10) the fastest of anything in the sale. I got him in :33 flat and some people got him in :33 1/5. Going into the turn, he switched to his left lead and just hit another gear and kept on rolling. He's a big, good-looking colt. They say he looks just like his father."
But Speightstown isn't the only stallion with attractive offspring in the Fasig-Tipton sale. Following are some 2-year-olds by other studs to watch:
Hip No. 46, a colt by Hennessy -- Reluctant Diva, by Sadler's Wells. Consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.
"He's a little bit scopier than most Hennessys," Woods said. "He has plenty of speed, but he looks he's going to go a little farther than your average sprinter."
Hip No. 55, a colt by Street Cry-- Sage Cat, by Tabasco Cat. Consigned by Scanlon Training Center, agent.
"He's got a fantastic attitude," said David Scanlon. "He's a horse that is just very laid back and takes everything in stride. He's a big, 'scopey' horse like the sire throws. He's pretty much got the whole package. He's a great mover; he's by the right sire; and he's got a great attitude for this. We really didn’t know how fast he was until we got here. For a horse his size, :10 2/5 and the way he did it was just a fantastic work. He probably stands 16 or 16.1 hands."
Hip No. 62, a colt by Sky Mesa -- Secondary School, by Honor Grades. Consigned by Cleveland Wheeler, agent.
This 2-year-old turned in the Fasig-Tipton auction's fastest work at an eighth of a mile, covering the distance in :9 4/5, and he is out of a stakes-winning mare.
Hip No. 68, a colt by Distorted Humor -- Shezsospiritual, by Fly Till Dawn. Consigned by Straightaway Farm.
"He could bring any amount of money," said Straightaway's Carl Bowling. "He went :10 2/5 and galloped out in :21 2/5 and :34 2/5. The only thing against him is he's an April foal and he's a little immature."
Hip No. 83, a colt by A.P. Indy-- Sophorific, by Danehill. Consigned by Nick de Meric, agent
"I just love this horse," de Meric said. "I broke and trained his full sister (Happiness for You), which was sent to Japan and broke her maiden at first asking. This guy is bigger and more rugged than her although she was a beautiful filly in her own right. The thing that impresses me the most about this horse is you absolutely can't get to the bottom of him. The farther he goes, the stronger he gets. It's not very often I have to pick one up on the backside with my pony to stop it from going around again, but I had to do it with him. I can't think of one horse in the last five years that I had to do that with. If there is a classic horse in my barn, it would be him."
Hip No. 99, a colt by Giant's Causeway -- Tomorrows Sunshine, by Silver Deputy. Consigned by Don R. Graham.
"He went :10 flat and looked like he was going in :11 2/5," Graham said. "He's like the Energizer Bunny; you can't get him tired. He's an April baby; he's still got some maturing to do. But he's got the best mind; he's showing just perfect." Graham said his consignment's other standouts include Hip. No. 222, a Sky Mesa -- Growth Stock colt, and Hip No. 139, a Seeking the Gold-- Angel Puss filly.
Hip No. 102, a filly by Storm Cat-- Trail Robbery, by Alydar. Consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, agents.
"She's elegant and has a long neck; she's a two-turn filly," Hoby Kight said. "She's the kind that can go to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)."
Hip No. 104, a filly by Mr. Greeley-- Tricky Laura, by Phone Trick. Consigned by M.W. Miller III, agent.
"We had to pay a lot of money ($375,000) for her as a yearling at Keeneland in September," Miller said, "but she has done extremely well at Payson Park over the winter and drawn a lot of attention to herself. She's really an excellent mover; she floated around the track there, and we have high hopes. She was nice when we bought her and, thank goodness, she's stayed that way."
Hip No. 116, a colt by Storm Cat -- Warm Mood, by Alydar. Consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.
"He's a good-looking, good-minded, classy-acting horse," said Woods of this full brother to Irish stakes winner Royal Tigress. The colt also is a half-brother to English group III winner Warm Heart and another added-money winner, Miguel Cervantes.
Hip No. 129, a filly by Elusive Quality -- Xtra Heat, by Dixieland Heat. Consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent.
"She's bigger than Xtra Heat is now as a broodmare," said Dean De Renzo. "We bought her for the most we’ve ever paid for a filly, $425,000. She's correct, and she's big-boned. Her hip is long. She has a big girth. She's aggressive and focused, and even though she's an April 30 foal, she can go right on to the races. Of course we're prejudiced, but we think she's the best filly on the grounds by 10 lengths. Added Randy Hartley: "This filly can go around this track three times and never get tired. I had to give her four scoops of feed (after she worked an eighth in :10) because she was hungry and she was mad she didn’t get lunch."
Hip No. 135, a colt by Pulpit -- Actceptional, by Noactor. Consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, agents.
"He's a good, good horse, and he worked good," said Hoby Kight. "He's not a big robust colt; he's leggy and he kind of looks like a filly, a big, pretty filly. But I think it's a good thing because the people who have the Pulpits say that the good ones and the ones that stay sound are the ones that are kind of leggy and feminine-looking. He thinks he's 10 feet tall and bulletproof, and he has from day one. An overachiever is what I call him." The 2-year-old was the Fasig-Tipton auction's fastest worker at a quarter-mile, stopping the lock in :21.
Hip No. 142, a colt by Mr. Greeley -- Are You Up, by Eagle Eyed. Consigned by Nick de Meric, agent.
"He's a nice horse with an athletic way of going, and he's by a now sire," said de Meric of this 2-year-old, whose dam was an added-money winner.
Hip No. 175, a colt by Two Punch -- Clever Phrase, by Clever Trick. Consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.
"He's a very popular horse," Woods said. "He's just gorgeous. This Maryland-bred juvenile also is a half-brother to grade II winner Ready's Image.
Hip No. 184, a colt by Storm Cat -- Country Romance, by Saint Ballado. Consigned by Ricky Leppala, agent.
"He's very correct," Leppala said. "If they knock him for anything, it would be his size. He's not a real tall horse, but he has a very good body and good balance, and he also has a good walk. It's almost impossible to criticize him except for his size. He's a very pushbutton horse. Jacinto Vasquez, who has been riding him for me all year, has been on the best in the world and he says he'll run all day long and he's got gears that normal horses don’t have. He's just a natural athlete."
Hip No. 194, a colt by Stormy Atlantic -- Deep South, by Unbridled's Song. Consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd, agents.
"He's a very, very nice horse," said Tony Bowling. "He has a great physical. When you see him on the end of the lead shank, I think he's about as pretty a horse as you would want to stand and look at. He has been unbelievably sound, and he has trained like a good horse since day one. I've loved him all year and I've been bragging on him hard."
Hip No. 250, a colt by Distorted Humor -- Kelli's Ransom, by Red Ransom. Consigned by Harris Training Center, agent.
"He's a really nice colt mentally, physically, and the way he moves," said Robert Harris, "and that horse (Distorted Humor) is just getting so good. He's crossing with everything."
Hip No. 252, a filly by Malibu Moon -- Kings Lynn, by Mt. Livermore. Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent.
"She's a beautiful filly, with a great physical," Niall Brennan said. "She's a very attractive, very sound, and very solid filly that trained impressively and then she breezed beautifully. She's also strong-willed, sassy if you like." Brennan said another horse in his consignment that is impressive physically -- "great size, strength, and balance" -- is Hip No. 236, a Not For Love-- I Ain't P T colt named Thedude. Brennan added that Hip No. 138, a Proud Citizen -- American Affair filly, stands out because of a "big and scopey" body that suggests she will go two turns.
Hip No. 262, a colt by Elusive Quality -- Lavender, by Smile. Consigned by Straightaway Farm.
"He's got the same cross as Smarty Jones, being by Elusive Quality and out of a stakes-winning Smile mare," said Straightaway's Carl Bowling. "I've loved him since the day I bought him as a weanling. He breezed in :10 1/5 and galloped awesome in :21 1/5 and :34. He will be a racehorse. He's 16.2 hands and weighs 1,300 pounds. He's a laid back, powerful horse."
Hip No. 270, a filly by Lion Heart-- Lullaby, by Unbridled's Song. Consigned by Scanlon Training Center, agent.
"She's got a lot of scope," said David Scanlon. "She's out of an Unbridled's Song mare and that's a hot cross, Storm Cat with Unbridled's Song. She's a full sister to (grade II winner) Griffinite, so she's got the pedigree. She looks like a colt; she's a big scopey filly. She' got probably one of the best walks I've ever seen on a filly. It's just a very big, loose walk. She's got a lot of Unbridled (the sire of Unbridled's Song) in her. She looks like a classic filly."