Fasig-Tipton Florida's select sale of 2-year-olds in training made history last year when it produced the most expensive juvenile ever sold at public auction, a $4.5-million Fusaichi Pegasus
colt that was later named Fusaichi Samurai. A son of Stephen Got Even, later named Dubai Dreamer, brought $3.1 million to also surpass the previous all-time high.
Who are the potential sale toppers this year? Following are some of the horses that buyers, consignors, and sale company officials were talking about Feb. 28, the day before the sale:
Hip No. 265, Forestry
– Rare Bird colt, consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd. A $200,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling that is a half-brother to grade III winner Host (by Tabasco Cat). "He's a super individual," Bowling said. "He was when I bought him, and he continues to be. He just keeps getting better. He's going to be a big, growthy horse. He worked :10 2/5 on a day when that was tough to do, and he galloped out in :21 2/5 or :21 3/5, depending on who caught him, which was absolutely huge. He's cold and tight everywhere; he vets great."
Hip No. 93, Saint Ballado – Danzerella colt, consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd. An $80,000 Keeneland September yearling that is from the family of European champin Bakharoff. Worked a quarter of a mile in :21 4/5. Was at a awkward stage of development when he sold as a yearling and also had skin problems, but everything has "really come together" physically for this colt, Bowling said. "He's been a dream. It seems like everything has gone right with him."
Hip No. 344, Tiznow
– Thega colt, consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, agents. A $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling that is a half-brother to stakes winner Tiger Hunt (by Kris S.). "He's big and scopey, and he's done all the right stuff," Hoby Kight said. "He can run long and go fast. He's also got the pedigree and everything to be a Derby horse. If people want a Derby horse they've got to be liking him." Worked a quarter in :22.
Hip No. High Yield
– Here Comes Chelsea colt, consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, agents. "He's a little bit of a thicker colt than the Tiznow, who is scopier, but they're both big beautiful horses," Hoby Kight said. "They both stand 16-plus hands and weigh 1,200 pounds." Kight also said to keep an eye on two fillies in his consignment, Hip No. 137, a daughter of Cat Thief
– Godmother and Hip No. 303, a daughter of Grand Slam
– Silver Stockings.
Hip No. 354, Storm Cat
– Turbo Launch filly, consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds. "Whatever she brings, half of it is her broodmare value," Dean DeRenzo said. "What they're risking to race is probably only 50-cent dollars. She's kind of no brainer purchase. She's done everything right." Not big and physically imposing – she stands 15.1 hands -- but is well-made. She sold for only $385,000 as a yearling, below her sire's $500,000 stud fee. "She's an April foal, and I think she was smaller than most of the horses up there at Saratoga," DeRenzo said. "But after we purchased her, we must have had eight people want to buyer her from us for a profit. She's already been vetted six times at this sale." Worked an eighth in :10 3/5. The filly is a half-sister to stakes winner Turko's Turn, the dam of Horse of the Year Point Given
. De Renzo also likes Hip No. 49, a Forestry – Broad Dynamite filly and Hip No, 98, a Forestry – Designatoree colt.
Hip No. 305, High Yield – Skies of Blue colt, consigned by Crupi's New Castle Farm, agent. A $65,000 graduate of the Keeneland September yearling sale that worked an eighth in :10 2/5. "He's got good balance," said J.J. Crupi. "He acts like a good horse. He'll do whatever you want him to do. He'll stand out here in the road for an hour and let you look at him without jumping around. He shows real well. Nothing bothers him."
Hip No. 89, Grand Slam
– Dama colt, consigned by Maurice W. Miller III, agent. From the family of grade I winner Corporate Report, this colt sold for $450,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling auction. A strapping, handsome individual. "We love him," Miller said. "He really is the package. He's hard to fault. I don't remember having any horse over the years of selling 2-year-olds any more attractive and that has trained like he has." Worked an eighth in :10 2/5.
Hip No. 226, Golden Missile
– Ms. Copelan colt, consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent. A $360,000 Keeneland September yearling that worked a eighth in :10 2/5. "He's made right in every way," said Wavertree's Ciaran Dunne. "He's strong. He's correct. He's got good bone. He's got a great hip on him and a good eye."
Hip No. 58, Tale of the Cat
– Carry All colt, consigned by Robert N. Scanlon, agent. Has never been offered before at public auction. From the family of grade I winner and successful sire Seeking the Gold and grade I winner Fast Play. Worked an eighth in :10 3/5. "He's as good a horse as I've been around," Scanlon said. "He's a typical Tale of the Cat, but he's probably a little scopier than most of them. He's got more length to him. The main thing is that he's got a great mind on him."
Hip No. 266, Exchange Rate
– Raspberry Affair colt, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent. A $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling that is from the family of grade I winner Willow Hour. Worked a quarter in :21 4/5 and galloped out in :33 4/5 and :48 2/5, according to Niall Brennan. "He's what you call a 'no brainer,' " Brennan said. "He's an exceptional individual. We've felt that way about him for a long time. He's been a monster horse at home on the track. He's just one of those horses that just catches your eye and stands out. He looks like an older horse already." Also looking good in Brennan's consigment are Hip No. 293, a Mr. Greeley – Shadow On the Moon colt and Hip No. 108, a Gone West
– Dreams of Success filly.