The fastest times were slower than they were a year ago during the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. But the auction firm’s officials and consignors said they weren’t surprised or disappointed for a couple of reasons.
The horses ran into a brisk headwind at Calder Race Course for much of the day Feb. 27. In addition, “we knew going into the under tack show that the track was different and that it would be slightly slower,” said Terence Collier, the director of marketing for Fasig-Tipton. “We asked them (Calder’s staff) to make it a safe, even, fair track, and from the comments I’ve heard from everybody who has been down here for 10 days, that certainly has been the case. It might not be loved by everybody, but it’s fair to everybody.”
Last year, the quickest time at an eighth of a mile was :9 4/5. This year, it was :10 1/5, with five juveniles turning in that clocking. They included two horses in Becky Thomas’ Sequel Bloodstock consignment – a More Than Ready – Love Sick colt and a Rahy – Mstoyou filly.
“Calder has never been my place to come because of the track surface,” said Thomas, who is returning to the auction with a consignment after a year’s absence. “I’ve had lots of difficulties on this surface. But I don’t think Fasig-Tipton could have done anything better to accommodate both the buyers and the sellers. It was an even, fair surface. I had all my horses X-rayed going in (to the under tack show), and I think they’re going to end up the same way going out that they were going in. I feel really good about it. Everything they’ve done has been so top end.”
The other horses that worked in :10 1/5 were a Dixie Union – Above Perfection filly, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent; a Sky Mesa – Dancewiththebride colt, consigned by brothers J.B. and Kevin McKathan, agents; and a Speightstown – England’s Rose filly, consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent.
“The track is a little slower, and the wind is blowing the wrong way; any headwind at all is hard,” J.B. McKathan said. “It will make it easier, probably, for the buyers to separate the horses than it was in Ocala (at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. February select sale of 2-year-olds in training), where so many horses went so fast. Kevin has been down here all week, and he said the track hasn’t been as fast. Even the prep times haven’t been as fast. But as long as the track is the same for everybody, I don’t think it (the quickness of the surface) is that important. If fewer horses get hurt, then that’s good.”
Added Patrice Miller of EQB consulting firm: “Obviously, if a horse can get down there in :10 1/5 or :10 2/5, it can run. But it’s not really how fast they go; it’s how they go fast, and I think most people are smart enough to figure that out. There were a couple of horses that went in :11.0 that looked fabulous.”
T Tebeau, a Trippi – Xtra Emblem colt, was the fastest worker at a quarter mile, covering the distance in :21 2/5. In 2008, the quickest time for a quarter was :21.
Consigned by Off the Hook, agent, T Tebeau is the second foal out of the 9-year-old winning Our Emblem mare Xtra Emblem and is from the family of grade I winner Bonapaw and grade II winners Luminaire and Wistful. Off the Hook purchased the bay colt for $95,000 at the 2008 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. August yearling sale.
Frolic On Wings, the only horse to work three furlongs, turned in a time of :34 3/5. Consigned by Peacock Ridge, agent, the Fusaichi Pegasus colt is out of the 17-year-old grade III winner Lindsay Frolic and is a half-brother to grade II winner Super Frolic and stakes winner Stormy Frolic. Stride Rite Racing bought Frolic On Wings for $180,000 at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale.
The Fasig-Tipton Florida auction is scheduled for March 3 at Calder. Selling will begin at 11 a.m. (EST).