Deirdre B. Biles

Saylor Ponders Future for Bird's Half-Brother

Saylor Ponders Future for Bird's Half-Brother

Paul Saylor said "I nearly fell out of my chair" while watching the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) on television. Like a lot of people, he was surprised by Mine That Bird's huge upset. But what really knocked Saylor for a loop was the realization that a juvenile Yonaguska colt he owned suddenly had become a half-brother to a classic winner.

Songandaprayer Colt Shines at Barretts

A Songandaprayer colt worked a quarter mile in :21, turning in the fastest time for the distance May 7 at Fairplex Park in Southern California during the under tack show for the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Fasig-Tipton to Offer Derby Winner's Sibling

Fasig-Tipton to Offer Derby Winner's Sibling

A Yonaguska half-brother to Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird has been added to the catalog of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training. The auction will be held May 18 and 19 at Timonium in Maryland. It starts two days after the running of the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), in which Mine That Bird is scheduled to compete.

Revenge Is Sweet for Puglisi at Derby

Revenge Is Sweet for Puglisi at Derby

Jeff Puglisi is a major buyer at sales of 2-year-olds in training, where some of his purchases have included graded winners Diabolical and Miraculous Miss along with 2008 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Sky Diva. But the New York brokerage firm executive had to make a private purchase to acquire an interest in his first Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner, I Want Revenge.

Friesan Fire No Longer Lost in Sale Crowd

Friesan Fire  No Longer Lost in Sale Crowd

A.P. Indy was the leading sire at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale based on the average price of $858,043 brought by 23 of his offspring. But Friesan Fire, who is by the 1992 Horse of the Year, got lost in the crowd and was bought back for $725,000 by the Vinery's Dr. Tom Simon, who bred the colt in the name of Grapestock.

Friesan Fire Sizzles in Final Pre-Derby Work

Friesan Fire Sizzles in Final Pre-Derby Work

Friesan Fire burned up the track April 27 at Churchill Downs, working five furlongs in a blazing :57 4/5 during his final serious move before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I). Wearing red and white blinkers and carrying jockey Gabriel Saez, the 3-year-old son of A.P. Indy turned in splits of :11 1/5, :22 1/5, :33 3/5, and 45:1/5. Friesan Fire galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.

Pioneerof the Nile Cruises in 1:01 Work

Pioneerof the Nile Cruises in 1:01 Work

Pioneerof the Nile didn't turn in the fastest five-furlong work April 27 at Churchill Downs, but that wasn't the goal for his trainer, Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker cruised through five furlongs in 1:01 and impressed onlookers with his long, free-flowing stride in his final breeze before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Downturns at OBS Spring Sale Are Moderate

Downturns at OBS Spring Sale Are Moderate

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, which ended its four-day run April 23 in Central Florida, turned in one of the best performances for a Thoroughbred auction this year even though it suffered setbacks in several of its key business figures. Compared to 2008, the number of horses sold rose 4.7% while the gross revenue fell 10.7%. The average price declined 14.7%, and the median price dropped 16.7%.

Snow Ridge Filly Tops OBS Second Session

Snow Ridge Filly Tops OBS Second Session

Sheikh Mohammed, represented by John Ferguson Bloodstock, bought the session-topping horse for the second day in a row at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. Dubai's ruler picked up a Snow Ridge filly for $180,000 April 21 after acquiring a $675,000 A.P. Indy colt during the auction's opening session.

A.P. Indy Colt Brings $675,000 at OBS

A.P. Indy Colt Brings $675,000 at OBS

A strapping A.P. Indy colt became one of the most expensive horses ever sold at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s spring sale of 2-year-olds in training when he brought $675,000 April 20. Jimmy Bell, the president of Sheikh Mohammed's Darley America operation, signed the sale ticket in the name of John Ferguson Bloodstock as the auction began its four-day run in Central Florida with increases in the number of horses sold, gross revenue, and average price.

F-T Midlantic Sale Has 500 Juveniles

F-T Midlantic Sale Has 500 Juveniles

Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 500 horses for its Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, which will be held May 18 and 19 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., immediately following Preakness Stakes (gr. I) weekend at Pimlico in nearby Baltimore. The number of offerings is down 23.1% from last year's total of 650, and that is by design, according to Fasig-Tipton's director of marketing, Terence Collier.

Redback Filly Stands Out at Tattersalls

Redback Filly Stands Out at Tattersalls

A daughter of Redback brought the highest price of 210,000 guineas April 16 during the second and final session of the Tattersalls Craven breeze up sale in England. Trainer Tom Tate purchased the 2-year-old filly for Dubai-based owner Jim Hay. Her consignor was Tony and Roger O'Callaghan's Tally-Ho Stud.

Hold Me Back's Connections Not Blue

Hold Me Back's Connections Not Blue

The connections of favored Hold Me Back were gracious in defeat following the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 11 and looking forward to running their colt next in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) in three weeks. The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway finished second, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winning longshot, General Quarters, while carrying the colors of Bill Casner's and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm, which bred the colt in partnership with Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

Looking Back: Keeneland Market Was Tough

Looking Back: Keeneland Market Was Tough

The Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training was the fifth and final major select juvenile auction of the year, and its results followed the downward trends seen at the earlier sales. Read what buyers and consignors had to say about the market in Lexington April 6 and 7.

Owner Not Angry With Mullins

Owner Not Angry With Mullins

Florida pinhooker Randy Hartley, who owns an interest in Gato Go Win, said he wasn't angry at trainer Jeff Mullins for an incident that caused the colt to be scratched by stewards from the April 4 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct the same day Mullins sent out I Want Revenge to win the Wood Memorial (gr. I).

Keeneland Gross, Average, Median Fall

Keeneland Gross, Average, Median Fall

Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, like just about every other Thoroughbred auction in recent memory, generated results that lagged well behind the previous year's statistics. The gross revenue for the two-day sale, which ended the evening of April 7 in Lexington, dropped 27.6% while the average price declined 15.5%. The median price fell 21.7%.

Keeneland April: More of the Same?

Keeneland  April: More of the Same?

Keeneland's April auction is the year's fifth and final major sale of 2-year-olds in training. The results for the previous auctions have been sobering, and most consignors are expecting to have a tough time again getting the prices they want for their horses April 6 and 7 in Lexington.

Vallenzeri: We'll Know His Fate Early

Vallenzeri: We'll Know His Fate Early

Will Vallenzeri find a new home this time around? It won't take long to find out because the chestnut colt is Hip No. 22 in the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training. He probably will go through the sale ring during the first hour of the auction's April 6 opening session, which begins at 7 p.m. (EDT).

Soul City Slew 'Grande' at Santa Anita

Soul City Slew 'Grande' at Santa Anita

Soul City Slew, who had run for a $50,000 claiming tag in March, pulled off an upset in the $126,000 Potrero Grande Handicap (gr. II) April 4 at Santa Anita Park in California, defeating favored Halo Najib by a half-length. It was the first stakes win of any kind for Soul City Slew, who had shown flashes of promise previously when he had finished third in both the 2007 Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) and the 2008 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II).

Kodiak Kowboy Rallies for Carter Victory

Kodiak Kowboy Rallies for Carter Victory

Kodiak Kowboy scored the first grade I victory of his career and became a millionaire in dramatic fashion, rallying late to edge the front-running Fabulous Strike by a head in the $300,000 Carter Handicap April 4 at Aqueduct in New York. It was the eighth win in 17 career races for Kodiak Kowboy, who was Canada's champion 2-year-old male in 2007.

Songandaprayer Colt Shines at Keeneland

Songandaprayer Colt Shines at Keeneland

In what has been a tough, grin-and-bear-it kind of year for sellers of 2-year-olds, Mike Akers of Dapple Bloodstock got a break from the bad news April 2 in Lexington. A son of Songandaprayer, which Dapple had purchased for $110,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Easter Fall yearling sale, turned in the fastest work at an eighth of a mile during the under tack show for the Keeneland juvenile auction. The dark bay or brown colt covered the distance in :9 4/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack surface.

Finallymadeit Heads Skip Away Field

Finallymadeit Heads Skip Away Field

The durable and talented Finallymadeit will be making the 42nd start of his racing career and his sixth during the current Gulfstream Park meeting in Florida when he takes on six challengers in the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (gr. III) April 4. He will break from the No. 2 post with Eduardo Nunez, his regular rider, aboard.

The Pamplemousse Sharp at Santa Anita

The Pamplemousse Sharp at Santa Anita

The Pamplemousse, with his regular rider Alex Solis aboard, turned in a sharp final tune-up March 31 for the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The 3-year-old son of Kafwain worked three furlongs in :34.80 seconds at Santa Anita Park in California. He was the fastest of 15 workers at that distance.

Dunne Good; Wavertree Tops Two 2yo Sales

Dunne Good; Wavertree Tops Two 2yo Sales

Even though the market for 2-year-olds in training has been tough, Ciaran and Amy Dunne of Florida-based Wavertree Stables have two big reasons to celebrate. Wavertree-consigned horses topped both the Fasig-Tipton Florida select auction and the Barretts March sale.

Juvenile Sale Review: Down 30% or More

When sale company officials, consignors, and buyers analyzed the Thoroughbred marketplace in the past, they often mentioned how well demand for the most expensive horses was holding up. But during the latest economic downturn, which has sparked financial crises around the world, even the top of the market is taking a pounding based on the combined results for the first four major select sales of 2-year-olds in training.

Weicholz No Newcomer to 2yo Sales

Steve Weicholz isn't a newcomer to shopping at the top end of juvenile auctions. The Boca Raton, Fla., resident is the new owner of El Kingdom, whose $450,000 price topped the recent Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of in training. Three years ago, through Bill Badgett, Weicholz purchased Justin Rules, a son of Mr. Greeley, for $525,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile auction in Maryland.

Looking Back: Reflections on OBS Market

Looking Back: Reflections on OBS Market

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered downturns of 30% or more in its gross revenue, average price, and median price after posting all-time highs for those figures in 2008. Here's what people had to say about the market at the auction, which was held March 17 and 18 in Central Florida.

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