By Esther Marr and Glenye Cain Oakford
A Harlan's Holiday colt from the family of two-time Japanese champion Hishi Akebono brought $250,000 to lead the first session of the Fasig-Tipton October sale Oct. 21.
"Tristan is largely to blame, because he kept pushing me, and he did the right thing," said de Meric of his son, who was seated beside him. "He's a beautiful colt, well bred, by a top stallion, and he's about as nice a walker as you'd ever see in a yearling. We're excited to have him. We were pretty much fully extended to get him, but that's what you've got to do to buy one that looks like him."
De Meric said the colt would likely end up with Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stable.
"This horse is identified for the racing stable, rather than as a pinhook," he explained of the colt, who was bred in New York by Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm. "When you're buying for an end user, you can maybe be a bit more elastic. But that's a kind of horse you're just glad to have in the barn, no matter which way he ends up."
Added Tristan de Meric: "He was obviously a standout here at this sale. He's the kind of horse we all go for, and it seemed like everybody was on him, but you can't hide one like that in this kind of company."
The colt's aforementioned half brother Michael With Us won the March 11 OBS Championship (Colt and Gelding Division) Stakes at Ocala Training Center and also ran second in the Sept. 7 Kent Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park. He holds a record of 2-5-2 from 12 starts, for earnings of $170,698.
Both Michael With Us and his $250,000 half sibling are out of the winning Unbridled's Song mare Unbridled Melody, who fetched $325,000 at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The youngest offspring out of Unbridled Melody, a full brother to Michael With Us, was born May 5.
Appearing under the third dam of Unbridled Melody is two-time Japanese champion Hishi Akebono, French highweight Librettist, and group I winners Dubai Destination and Agnes World.