When the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale ended Sept. 9, Olin Gentry and trainer Bob Baffert of Legends Racing rushed to the barn area to look at more horses and get ready for the next day’s selling. It’s been a busy auction, so far, for the new racing venture, whose formation was announced just prior to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in June when a presentation was made to potential investors in New York.
"We’re going to keep looking; we don’t know how long exactly, but certainly for the foreseeable future,” Olin said.
Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, and Nick Zito will train the horses purchased by Legends, which was the third-biggest spender and the biggest domestic spender during the two select sessions that opened the auction, paying $6,655,000 for 10 yearlings. Their haul Sept. 9 included a $1.2-million Storm Cat– Turko Turn colt (which is a half-brother to Horse of the Year Point Given), a $1.15-million Unbridled’s Song – Zing colt (which is full brother to grade II winner Half Ours), a $1-million El Prado – Swift and Classy colt, and a $1-million Mr. Greeley – Tempest Dancer colt.
“The timing is great because we’re able to take advantage of a soft market,” Baffert said.
Gentry agreed to some extent, but added that Legends wasn’t paying what he would consider bargain basement prices in a shopping effort that is focusing quality.
“We’re very pleased with how it’s worked out, and we’re very happy with what we’ve gotten here; we couldn’t be happier,” Gentry said. “There were several colts that we really wanted that we got. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we got a lot of it. I felt like market was pretty solid, certainly on the ones that we were trying to buy. One of the advantages of having Nick Wayne and Bob is they all have their all have their own distinct impressions and styles, so that’s why there is real good synergy with this.”
Legends, which is known officially as the Thoroughbred Legends Racing Fund, is the brainchild of Olin and Thomas Gaines of Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds and Investment banker Tripp Hardy. Legends was the second-biggest spender at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, paying $3,275,000 for nine horses.