A muscular bay Tale of the Cat
colt shattered the record for a 2-year-old in training sold at public auction Tuesday when his price soared to $5.2-million during the Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile sale at Calder Race Course.
Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferguson was the buyer, holding off Irish agent Demi O'Byrne and the Coolmore Stud team. Also in the hunt was New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, whose clients include Aaron and Marie Jones. The previous world record was the $4.5 million brought by Fusaichi Samurai (by Fusaichi Pegasus
) at last year's edition of the Fasig-Tipton auction.
"Obviously, he's a very nice horse," said Ferguson, who spoke with Sheikh Mohammed by cell phone during the bidding. "We had a pretty good idea he would make a good price."
The colt is the first foal from the winning 7-year-old Devil's Bag mare Carry All and is from the family of grade I winner and successful sire Seeking the Gold
. Florida pinhooker Robert Scanlon consigned the world record setter as agent.
"Sheikh Mohammed is a big fan of Seeking the Gold (who sired Dubai Millennium), and he's been a lucky horse for us," Ferguson said. "This was a chance to get into the family, so that was a help. We have horses at Robert Scanlon's training center, so we've been able to see this colt develop. He looks like he could be the real thing."
Jay and Cammie Brunker, with some foreign partners they declined to identify, bred the colt in the names of Grade I Bloodstock and Halcyon Farm. A Kentucky-bred, he had not been offered previously at public auction.
"That was twice as much as I thought he would bring," Scanlon said. "I thought if we got really lucky, he might bring $3 million."
About 30 hips later, Darley struck again by going to $2.9 million to acquire a son of Grand Slam
out of the unraced Storm Cat
mare Dama. Maurice Miller, agent, consigned the colt to the sale.
Miller originally purchased the colt for $450,000 at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Bred in Kentucky by Larry Byer, the colt is from the family of grade I winner and sire Corporate Report and grade III winner and sire Drachma.
The colt worked an eighth in :10 2/5 during the Feb. 20 under tack show.
Fasig-Tipton reported 147 horses sold for a gross of $50,132,000, an average of $341,034, and a sale record median of $200,000. Compared to last year, the gross and average increased 21% and 16.4%, respectively, from the former records of $41,586,000 and $292,859. The median rose 17.6% from $170,000 in 2004 while eclipsing the auction's former record of $175,000 that was set in 2001. The 120 horses that did not attain their reserve prices represented a buyback rate of 44.9%, compared with a 36.3% RNA rate last year.Hip-by-hip Results Fasig-Tipton Calder Sale