Which 2-year-old will top the Feb. 8 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. select auction at Calder Race Course? We don't know for sure, but here are some horses that were getting the most attention from buyers Monday at the sale barns:
Hip No. 171: Phone Trick
– Lark Creek colt. Consigned by Ricky Leppala, agent. Co-fastest quarter mile worker at :21 2/5 on Jan. 31. "He's one of those horses that you would never know he was in the barn," Leppala said. "He's never been a problem. He's never had a sick day, and he's never taken a bad step." Even though he's a May foal, he already stands just under 16 hands. "Even though he's got a sprinter's pedigree, he's got a lot of size and a lot of leg," Leppala said. "He looks like he can handle distance, and that should make him more attractive to people."
Hip No. 196: Ali the Great, Two Punch – Morning Tease. Consigned by Classic Bloodstock, agent. Named for the celebrated boxer who could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, this colt was one of the fastest workers at an eighth of a mile Jan. 31, covering the distance in :10 1/5. Really stretches out when he runs, skimming the ground with a long stride. "He kind of looked like a little chunk when I bought him (for $27,000 as a yearling), and now he's developed with a really lovely horse with a lot of scope," said Danzel Brendemuehl of Classic Bloodstock. Also has a sweet temperament and is eager to please in case you want a friend as well as a racehorse.
No. 104: Purse Collector, Delaware Township
– Chubbs colt. Consigned by Bruno De Berdt and Rudy Delguidice's Excel Bloodstock, agent. One of the fastest workers Feb. 6 into a stiff headwind, covering an eighth in :10 3/5 and improving on a :10 4/5 move Jan. 31. Purchased for $72,000 as a yearling. "He wasn't a real tall, stretchy when we bought him, but he had beautiful balance," Delguidice said. "He's an easy keeper, so it took awhile to get him fit because he's such a laid back horse, that's why you see him move up after each work." Also in the Excel consignment is Hip No. 197, a Yes It's True --- Mrs. Greeley filly, who equaled her stablemate's time Feb. 6 and is a half-sister to a graded winner at Gulfstream Park Saturday, Closing Argument. "I'm high on her," Delguidice said. "She's been training well."
Hip No. 195, Dance Master
– More d'Amour colt. Consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent. One of the fastest workers at a quarter Jan. 31 at :21 2/5. "He's a really nice colt, said Leprechaun's Mike Mulligan. "He works effortlessly, and he's obviously stunning on the end of the shank. He's big colt with plenty leg, and he's completely balanced in every way. He's the whole package."
Hip No. 193 – Exchange Rate
– Miss Virginia colt. Consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent. Among fastest workers at an eighth Jan. 31 with a :10 1/5 clocking. As a $65,000 yearling, "he was a real athletic colt and he stood over a lot of ground for type of horse he was," said Wavertree's Ciaran Dunne. "He also looked like a horse that there was a lot of improvement in. He's done everything we wanted him to do. He filled out, and he moves on the racetrack like he walks, like a cat."
Hip No. 100, Broken Vow
– Castle Gardens colt. Consigned by Moonshadow Farm, agent. Worked an eighth in :10 3/5 Jan. 31. "He's a big, strong horse; he looks like a linebacker, and he has speed," said Moonshadow's Mark Casse. In addition, Casse likes Hip No. 42, a Horse Chestnut – Sweet Nostalgia colt that is a half-brother to Canadian champion Added Edge. Conformation wise, the Horse Chestnut colt is a "better individual" than his half-brother, said Casse, who trained Added Edge. Worked an eighth in :10 3/5 Jan. 31.
No. 92, Artax
– Bonnie Byerly colt. Consigned by W.D. North, agent. One of fastest workers at a quarter Jan. 31, stopping the clock in :21 2/5. His sire was a champion sprinter and his broodmare sire, Dayjur
, was a champion sprinter in Europe. But he's from the family of female grass champion Soaring Softly, so he's got a shot at being versatile. "I've been showing him to all the right people," North said. "He's a horse that might really fast and can keep going."
Others to watch for:
Hip No. 86, Yes It's True
– Black Tie Royalty filly. consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent.
Hip No. 142, More Than Ready
– Guilty Pleasure filly. Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent.
Hip No. 51, Montbrook -- Unlimited Pleasure colt. Consigned by Ocala Stud Farms.