A Deputy Minister colt named Dean of Students skimmed over the slop at Calder Sunday to post the fastest eighth-mile work during the final under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. The athletic bay covered the distance in :10, bettering his time of :10 1/5 during the auction's first under tack show on Feb. 16.
Many consignors kept the fastest workers from the first under tack show in their barns Sunday morning. But Kip Elser of Kirkwood Stables said he didn't hesitate to send Dean of Students to the track -- even after rain soaked the surface.
"I believe that a racehorse getting ready to run works once a week," Elser said. "If there had been anything wrong with him he wouldn't (have worked), and neither would the rest of mine."
Bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans, Dean of Students was being pointed for last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, but got sick, according to Elser. The colt is still owned by his breeder.
Dean of Students was produced from the stakes-winning Seeking the Gold mare Oxford Scholar. She is a full sister to Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) winner Seeking Regina, the dam of Interborough Handicap (gr. III) winner Seeking the Sky (by Storm Cat).
Elser described Dean of Students as a "no-brainer" horse that has always trained well without any setbacks in his development.
Salty Dog Destiny, a son of Salt Lake, turned in the fastest quarter-mile work Sunday, stopping the clock in :21 1/5. Produced from the stakes-placed Proud Appeal mare Proud Caitlin, he is a half-brother to stakes winner Devilish Erica (by Devil's Bag) and to stakes-placed Hunters Circle (by Trempolino).
Keith Asmussen purchased Salty Dog Destiny for $50,000 at the 2002 Keeneland September yearling sale. The colt is consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Florida auction by the Asmussen Horse Center, agent.
A Silver Deputy filly was the fastest worker at three furlongs, with a time of :34 3/5. Produced from the Ogygian mare Ligurian, she is a half-sister to stakes-placed Aspen Hill (by Tabasco Cat). Leprechaun Racing purchased the filly for $23,000 at last year's Keeneland September auction and is her consignor (as agent) for the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale.
While it was raining early during the under tack show, the showers stopped before lunchtime, and the track started drying out quickly after a brisk breeze developed. The wind blew across the track at an angle that made it more of tailwind than a headwind. Fasig-Tipton executive Boyd Browning described it as "a favorable crosswind."
A number of prominent buyers attended the workouts, including Irish bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne, New Mexico racetrack owner Stanley Fulton, and John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's bloodstock adviser. The crowd appeared to be a little sparser than usual, but the rain may have discouraged many casual spectators from attending.
The Fasig-Tipton sale is scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 11 a.m. (EST).