Washington's Pegasus Sale Returns After Hiatus

Washington's Pegasus Sale Returns After Hiatus
Photo: Chad B. Harmon
Belle Gallantey, a Pegasus sale grad, winning the Delaware Handicap

Six years ago, renowned Washington cardiovascular surgeon and researcher Dr. Mark Dedomenico staged a boutique sale of 2-year-olds in training as a way to introduce Northwest horsemen and women to his state-of-the-art Pegasus Training and Rehabilitation Center.

While the sale achieved its goal of showcasing the facility, it also produced multiple grade 1 winner Belle Gallantey, one of many winners emanating from the Pegasus sale that year and in 2012, the last year it was conducted. Now, the auction will be renewed Tuesday, March 21 in Redmond, Wash.

With 10 head withdrawn, 27 horses are scheduled to go through the ring during the sale that begins at 1 p.m. PT. A pre-sale training session is scheduled for March 20 during which the sale horses will deliver strong gallops, rather than the traditional juvenile sale breezes.

Initially purchased for $10,000 by trainer Mike Puhich, who oversees the Pegasus operation, at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, Belle Gallantey was sold as a 2-year-old at the Pegasus sale for $30,000. The daughter of After Market went on to win the Delaware Handicap and Beldame Stakes (both G1).

According to the Pegasus website, of the 45 horses sold or entered in the previous two sales, 43 (95.5%) have started, with 38 winners (88.3% of starters), through Dec. 31. Of that group, there have been a total of six stakes winners and sale horses who combined have won more than 125 races and earned more than $3.2 million.

"When we first started it, it was a showcase sale to drum up some new business—to let people know we were here and that we did good work as far as breaking new babies—and let them see the rehab facility," Puhich said. "We did really well ... as time went on a lot of those graduates went on to do some amazing things, especially considering the prices they were offered for."

The Pegasus team decided to bring the sale back following numerous requests.

Dedomenico, who campaigns an extensive stable with Hall of Famer trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and Jack Van Berg, and raced Eclipse Award winner Blind Luck in partnership, owns 95% of the horses on offer Tuesday. The 2-year-olds were purchased as yearlings at a sale in Washington or at the Keeneland September yearling sale, Puhich said, for the purposes of being put in the sale.

Included among the sires with offspring cataloged this year are Bodemeister  , Candy Ride  , Gemologist  Ghostzapper  , Graydar  , Into Mischief  , Malibu Moon  , Pioneerof the Nile  , Shackleford  , Sidney's Candy, Street Sense  , To Honor and Serve  , Uncle Mo  , and Union Rags  .

"When we bought some of these horses in September, they were by sires we thought could go either way and we're lucky that Shackleford and Gemologist have done some good things," Puhich said. "We mainly got some young mares in foal to good stallions at reasonable prices."

Although the Pegasus owner is prepared to take back and add to his stable any of the horses that do not meet price expectations, Puhich said Dedomenico also gets great satisfaction when sale grads achieve success on behalf of other owners.

"He thought that was the greatest thing in the world," Puhich said of Dedomenico's reaction to Belle Gallantey's achievements. "He never once said 'we should have kept that one.' It's more about getting new people into the game, generating some new bloodlines up here in the Northwest.

"We are more than happy to keep something if they don't bring enough here."

Catalog pages, Conditions of Sale, and videos and photos of horses consigned are available at www.pegasustrainingcenter.com.

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