War Front Colt Tops Strong Midlantic Opener

War Front Colt Tops Strong Midlantic Opener
Photo: Lydia Williams
Hip 274 by War Front sold for $520,000.
A War Front   colt from the consignment of Eisaman Equine, agent, sold to Steve Young, agent, for $520,000 to top a strong first session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale May 19 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
The session-topping colt, produced from the winning Wavering Monarch mare Judy's Magic, breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5 at the under tack preview. Bred in Kentucky by E. H. Beau Lane III, he did not reach his reserve price on a final bid of  $190,000 when offered by Beau Lane Bloodstock at last year's Keeneland
September sale.
"He's a super-nice horse," said Young, who purchased the colt for an undisclosed client. "He possibly could have brought more money under different circumstances. I think there may be a bit of a ceiling here today."
The colt's family has generated its share of headlines recently. Sold late in the session as Hip 274, the colt is a three-quarter brother to a War Front colt who set a European record for a breeze-up sale at Tattersalls Craven sale in April, selling to bloodstock agent Jamie McCalmont for about $2.03 million (1.15 million guineas).
"I saw the tape of him," Young said of the Tattersalls sale topper. "He breezed unbelievable on the grass. I appreciate that the horse brought that kind of money, but there was competitive bidding (involved) that wasn't represented here."
A More Than Ready   half sister to recent Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) winner Stopchargingmaria sold for $510,000 and was the top-priced filly of the day.
John Moynihan, bidding on the phone for Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables, secured the bid on the filly, who breezed an eighth of a mile in the co-fastest time of :10 1/5 at the first under tack preview May 14. She sold as Hip 187.
"She looks like she has talent; she looks like she is fast," said Moynihan of the filly when reached by phone. "If she goes out and wins a stakes race for us, she'll be a wonderful addition to our broodmare band."
Bred in Kentucky by Harvey A. Clarke and Fred Seitz' Brookdale Farm, the filly is out of the stakes-winning Montbrook mare Exotic Bloom and was consigned by Stephens Thoroughbreds, agent.
"We know she's a really nice horse. The win on Friday didn't hurt her," said Clarke referring to Stopchargingmaria's timely victory in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes May 16 at Pimlico Race Course. "She's a really nice filly, and the mare was a beautiful mare."
Clarke and Brookdale sold the filly's dam to Stonestreet Stables for $500,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton November sale. Moynihan indicated Exotic Bloom is in foal this year on a cover to Medaglia d'Oro  .
"She's got similarities to the mare, but she is very More Than Ready--her color and her stature," Moynihan said of the dark bay or brown filly. "We know the mare has the ability to get a good horse from the Black-Eyed Susan winner. It gives you a little bit of confidence that this filly could also be good."
Stopchargingmaria, bought by Mike Repole's Repole Stables for $220,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s 2013 March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, now boasts earnings $874,000 following her latest win for trainer Todd Pletcher. The daughter of Tale of the Cat   was a multiple stakes winner last year at two, annexing the Tempted Stakes (gr. III) and the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack. 
Bridled Tranz, a son of Unbridled's Song--La Maestranza, by Storm Cat, consigned by Wavertree Stables (Ciaran Dunne), agent, attracted a final bid of $500,000 from Jake Ballis on behalf of Matthew Schera. 
Bred in Kentucky by Town and Country Farms Corp., the colt was purchased by AEI Investments for $170,000 out of the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings.
"I liked everything, really," said Ballis of the colt (Hip 289) who breezed a co-fastest eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 at the first under-tack preview. "His breeze was phenomenal; he walked well and he has a very good mind."
Ballis indicated the horse will be sent to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. 
Schera, a commodities broker in Greenwich, Conn., entered the ownership ranks last August and has four horses with Mott. He also has runners with trainer George Weaver and with Chuck Lawrence at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md.
The Midlantic sale left the blocks with a flurry as three juveniles each fetched $400,000 early in the session.
Hip 13, a colt by Tapit   out of the winning War Chant mare Wild Chant, sold to Aaron Cohen, who signed the ticket in the name of his ARC Bloodstock for Earle I. Mack. 
Wild Chant is a half sister to 2014 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Untapable (by Tapit) and grade I winner Paddy O'Prado  , who was third in the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Consigned by Bobby Dodd, agent, the colt breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5 at the under-tack preview. Additional graded stakes winners in the female family include second dam Fun House, Early Flyer  , Olympio, Tapizar   and Pyro.
"The page is beautiful," said Cohen. "The colt is very athletic, (he had) a great breeze. He's got a big heart. What do they sayhe checked all the boxes. He's a nice colt."
Bred in New York by Gallagher's Stud, the colt was consigned by Denali Stud to the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale where he failed to meet his reserve on a final bid of $270,000.
Young signed for the very next horse through the ring, a colt by War FrontWildlife Festival, by Seeking the Gold, consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds. 
Selling as Hip 14, the colt, bred in Kentucky by G. Watts Humphrey Jr., was an RNA (reserve not attained) at the OBS March sale, drawing a final bid of $190,000. Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds bought the colt as a yearling for $100,000 out of the Lane's End consignment at the 2013 Keeneland September sale. 
"He's by one of the best sires in the world," said Young of the colt who drilled an eighth of a mile in a co-bullet :10 1/5 at the first under tack preview. "I liked this horse in March when I saw him. He's had a really good two months. Basically, I think he is twice the horse he was in March. He trained great. He stuck out like a sore thumb."
Early fireworks continued with Hip 17, Materiality, a colt by Afleet Alex   out of the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Langfuhr   mare Wildwood Flower, also going to Young as agent.
The colt worked a furlong in :10 2/5 at the under tack preview.
Consigned by De Meric Sales, agent, the colt marched into the ring with an important page update. Not reflected in the print catalog, the colt is a half brother to Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) winner My Miss Sophia, who most recently finished second to Untapable in the Kentucky Oaks and has earnings to date of $397,800. 
Acquired as a yearling for $260,000 by Venture Six out of the Glennwood Farm consignment at the Keeneland September sale, the colt hails from the female family of grade I winner Afleet Express (by Afleet Alex) and multiple graded stakes winner Fiftyshadesofhay, and was bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther.
"There's a big pedigree update there," noted Young. "He stands on his own merit. The female family has already crossed very well with Afleet Express winning the (2010) Travers (gr. I). When you scratch away at the pedigree, there is a lot of two-turn, Saturday afternoon distance in that situation."
Nick de Meric related that the horse enjoyed a smooth winter. 
"He's a beautiful colt. He did everything right," de Meric said. "He made my job very, very easy. He's the kind of horse you wish you had a barn full like him. He was zero maintenance. He handled everything so beautifully up here. Someone's going to have a lot of fun with this horse. We look forward to seeing him as a 3-year-old."
Hip 111, a colt by Tapit--Chiloe, by Awesome Again  , sold for $300,000. Young signed the ticket as agent for the dark bay or brown colt who is from the family of grade I winner Cuvee, grade II winner Will He Shine and graded stakes-placed Harpoon.
An RNA at $345,000 at Fasig-Tipton's Florida sale at Adena Springs, the colt breezed an eighth in :10 2/5 at the under-tack preview. Hartley/De Renzo bought the colt, bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, for $250,000 out of the Darby Dan Farm consignment at last year's Keeneland September sale. 
All told, the active day of trading resulted in across-the-board increases. A total of 168 horses sold during the first session for gross sales of $11,553,000, a nearly 60% increase from gross sales of $7,235,000 registered during the opening session a year ago on 121 horses sold.
Sale average rose 15% to $68,768 from $59,793 during the corresponding session in 2013. Median price was $34,500, up from $32,000 last year. Fifty-nine horses were reported as not sold compared to 26 on the first day last year.
"You hope people all land on the right horses to get competition going, so we were very pleased with the outcome," said Paget Bennett, Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sales director.  "It was nice all the way through, so we kind of had it beginning to end, and it was nice to end on a high note as well."
A total of 34 juveniles sold for $100,000 or more in the session compared with 22 (including post-sale transactions) in the first session last year.
Looking ahead to the second day of the sale, Bennett said, "It will be hard to match today, but we have some nice horses coming through tomorrow. We will see some definite high spots."
The second and final session of the sale continues May 20, beginning at 10 a.m. EDT and will be streamed live at bloodhorse.com/fasigtipton.

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