Potential buyers and their advisers have flocked to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to examine the 152 horses cataloged in this year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings Aug. 5 and 6. Following are some of the first session horses (hips 1-76) turning heads.
Hip 4, chestnut colt by Smart Strike —A Bit of Pressure, by High Yield
"He's as smooth a Smart Strike colt as you'd like to have." —Kerry Cauthen of Four Star Sales, agent for Glencrest Farm
Hip 5, bay filly by Tale of the Cat —Acadia, by Silver Deputy
"The Tale of the Cat is a big, leggy filly with a huge walk." —Pat Costello of Paramount Sales, agent for Randal Family Trust
Hip 16, bay filly by Tapit —Bending Strings, by American Chance
"She has settled in great. She is getting out a lot and is out of the stall all day. Tapit is such a hot sire right now and she is a homebred and the fourth foal out of the mare. We raced her dam who made around $800,000 in earnings." —John Gunther of Glennwood Farm
Hip 18, bay colt, by Distorted Humor —Blushing, by Maria's Mon
"He is a very good, physical colt by a world-class sire, Distorted Humor. They can run anywhere. He has a real pedigree (out of a full sister to champion Wait a While)." —Craig Bandoroff on Denali Stud
Hip 23, bay filly by Distorted Humor —Cascading, by A.P. Indy
"She's a very popular filly. She's a great mover and had that immense pedigree. She's a great filly to look at and very seldom do you get an opportunity to pursue a filly like this one." —John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent
Hip 27, dark bay or brown colt by Arch —Century Park, by General Meeting
"He's a very nice colt. Arch is one of these stallions that's having success all over the world. So you feel like you have a really wide audience to sell him to. Anywhere they run races, Arch is winning them. This horse reminds me a lot of Blame (by Arch), dark bay, medium size, but just great balance. He looks like racehorse." —Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent
Hip 33, dark bay or brown colt Medaglia d'Oro —Crystal Current, by A.P. Indy
"He's a standout. A good-bodied horse with a great walk," said Meg Levy of agent Bluewater Sales. "He'll be a two-turn kind of horse." Crystal Current is a stakes-winning full sister to Majestic Warrior , curently second on the leading second-crop sire list.
Hip 34, dark bay or brown colt by Distorted Humor—Delta Princess, by A.P. Indy
"Frank (Stronach) buying the mare was a big investment, hopefully for the long haul. This being a colt, for our operation, having a filly would have been perfect for us. But having the colt and having the opportunity for him to value himself is a good thing as well." —Eric Hamelback of Adena Springs on a half brother to two-time Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) winner Royal Delta, champion filly at 3 and champion older mare last year.
Hip 37, bay colt by War Front —Design for Life, by Aptitude
"He's been a very popular horse. He's smoother than some of the other War Fronts and he's still coming on. There's still so much left in him." —Kerry Cauthen of consignor Four Star Sales, agent for Glencrest Farm
Hip 43, bay colt by Tapit—Dress Rehearsal, by Galileo
"He's an absolute walking machine. He's bigger than a lot of the Tapits that I've seen." —Kerry Cauthen of consignor Four Star Sales, agent, on the son of grade III winner Dress Rehearsal
Hip 44, bay filly by Galileo—Elusive Wave, by Elusive City
"Of course the Galileo filly is getting a lot of attention, a lot of looks. She's the first foal out of a group I winner and she's a beautiful filly." —Pat Costello of consignor Paramount Sales, agent
Hip 53, bay colt by Medaglia d'Oro —Funny Feeling
Mill Ridge Sales as agent sells this well-balanced colt with good bone and a good walk out of stakes winner Funny Feeling, a full sister to grade I winner Jimmy Creed. The colt's second dam, grade I winner Hookedonthefeelin also produced multiple grade I winner Pussycat Doll.
Hip 57, bay colt by Giant's Causeway —Half Queen, by Deputy Minister
"You have a top sire in Giant's Causeway and this yearling is a half brother to champion filly Halfbridled. It doesn't get much better than that." —Kerry Cauthen of consignor Four Star Sales, agent
Hip 69, bay filly by Dynaformer—Indy Pick, by A.P. Indy
"A perfect horse is a 7; a 6+, you've usually got one or two of those in a sale; if they're a 6 they make it to Saratoga; a 5+ is a select yearling with maybe a few minor issues, and a 5 is just a horse. I've been doing this since 1982, and this is the first 7 I ever had. So physically, she's pretty special." —John Stuart of consignor Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent, referencing a Fasig-Tipton grading system
Hip 74, chestnut filly by Congrats —K. D.'s Shady Lady, by Maria's Mon
Consigned by Woodford Thoroughbreds, agent, filly picked up a big catalog update when her half sister Lady of Fifty won the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 3 at Del Mar.
Hip 76, bay filly by Indian Charlie—Kid Majic, by Lemon Drop Kid
Part of the last crop Indian Charlie, the filly is out of stakes-placed Kid Majic. She is also out of the family that produced grade I winners J P's Gusto (out of second dam Call Her Magic) and Proud Spell.
Eric Mitchell, Ron Mitchell, Claire Novak, and Emily Walden contributed to this story.