When Fasig-Tipton president and auctioneer Walt Robertson tells the crowd that "the real deal" is in the sale ring, it is a signal that the horse on offer has the pedigree and conformation required to bring a huge price. We don't know which yearlings Robertson thinks are "the real deals" in the Aug. 6 opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sale in upstate New York. But following are some horses that buyers and consignors said have the potential to create a bidding frenzy:
Hip No. 30, chestnut colt by Distorted Humor -- Just a Bird, by Storm Bird. Consigned by Derry Meeting Farm, agent.
"He's a very nice colt, and he has a lovely temperament," said James Wigan, an adviser to Derry Meeting. "He's also by one of the best proven sires around." The yearling's dam didn't race, but she's a half-sister to grade III winner Recording and to stakes winner Smart Growth.
Hip No. 35, chestnut colt by Speightstown -- La Comete, by Holy Bull. Consigned by Four Star Sales, agent.
"His mother was one of those mares that we bought from the Wimborne Farm dispersal, and she's from a great family," said Four Star Sales' David Greathouse, whose family's Glencrest Farm bred the colt in partnership with Dan Tayloe. "She's got a nice Distorted Humor 2-year-old filly, and this colt is an outstanding individual by a very fashionable young sire that was as good as you get."
Hip No. 48, dark bay or brown colt by Vindication -- Marital Spook, by Silver Ghost. Consigned by Lane's End, agent.
"He's a half-brother to (grade I winner) Yonaguska, and he's a really, really nice colt," said Bill Farish of Lane's End. "He's sort of 'typey' and medium-sized, but very athletic with a great walk."
Hip No. 50, chestnut colt by Hennessy-- Mighty Lode, by Lode. Consigned by Woods Edge Farm, agent.
"He's very athletic and has a very good physique," said Peter O'Callaghan of this half-brother to grade III turf sprint winner Mighty Beau (by Rainbow Prospect). Other family members include grade II winner Sweet and Ready.
Hip No. 77, chestnut filly by Lion Heart -- Pretty 'n Smart, by Beau Genius. Consigned Eaton Sales, agent.
"She's really well-made," said Tom VanMeter of Eaton Sales. "She's big and 'scopey,' and has a great eye. She's probably our best filly physically." The yearling is a half-sister to grade III winner to Ashley's Kitty.
Hip No. 79, dark bay or brown colt by A.P. Indy -- Private Opinion, by Deputy Minister. Consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.
"He has a lot of A.P. Indy in him, and he's just a nice, big colt that could compete for sale-topping honors," said Tom VanMeter of Eaton Sales. The colt's winning dam is a half-sister to European stakes winner Wasseema. His other family members include champion Althea.
Hip No. 82, chestnut colt by Distorted Humor -- Queen of Money, by Corporate Report. Consigned by Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, agent for Mueller Farms. "He's a top individual, and if he can run, he'll be worth as much money as anything in here," said John Stuart of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services. "He looks like his daddy. Under the old Fasig-Tipton grading system he's a 6+, and that's right at the top. The 6s are stars, but there's only a few 6+s in every sale."
Hip No. 86, chestnut colt by Unbridled's Song-- Riboletta, by Roi Normand. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, "He's big, 'scopey,' and perfectly balanced for how much size he's got," said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency. "He's very correct, and his mother was just an absolutely sensational racehorse (whowon an Eclipse Award). If you're in a bad mood, you just go out and look at him, and it will put a smile on your face."
Hip No. 93, dark bay or brown colt by Speightstown -- Salty Farma, by Salt Lake. Consigned by Gainesway, agent for Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. This colt is the first foal out of stakes winner Salty Farma. He also is a member of his sire's first crop. Speightstown was a champion sprinter.
Hip No. 100, bay filly by Unbridled's Song -- Sharp Eyes, by Storm Cat. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
"She's got the right cross, and she's big and strong," said Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency. "She's got a nice, long neck, and she's athletic. She has the length of Unbridled's Song and the muscle of Storm Cat." Other Taylor Made yearlings that could do well, according to Taylor, are Hip No. 9, an Indian Charlie-Goldminess filly (from the family of European standout Peeping Fawn and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners Jazil and Rags to Riches); Hip No. 45, a Tale of the Cat -- Lovers Bend filly; and Hip No. 47, an Unbridled's Song-Makin a Statement filly. Hip No. 84, an Empire Maker -- Racey Player filly also has generated some buzz.