It was an exciting night Nov. 7 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's Newtown Paddocks as I'll Get Along, the dam of dual classic winner and Horse of the Year candidate Smarty Jones, brought a top price of $5 million during the November select sale. Multiple grade I winner Toccet, selling as a stallion prospect, also topped the seven-figure mark, at $3.35 million.
Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds purchased I'll Get Along, in foal to Elusive Quality
and carrying a full sibling to Smarty Jones, from the consignment of Brent Fernung, agent for Cloverleaf Farms II. International bloodstock agent John Ferguson was the immediate underbidder, while David Plummer's ClassicStar Thoroughbreds was also active in the mix.
"We knew she would bring a lot, she's just an incredible mare," said Olin Gentry, who signed the sales ticket.
Thomas Gaines said, "This is just a huge vote of confidence in the entire industry, we're hoping the yearling market remains as strong as it has been in the previous years. We hope to sell some big-time foals out her."
Immediately after leaving the sales pavilion, Fernung said he was extremely pleased with her sale price.
"I'm just blown away. Ecstatic," he said. "We felt comfortable that we had the right people with the right money looking at her. I tried not to get hung up on what she would bring. I kept thinking of the $130,000 we purchased her for."
Cloverleaf Farms purchased the mare for $130,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November mixed sale from the consignment of Walnut Green, agent.
The one-day sale grossed $20,685,800, with an average of $102,914. The median was $27,000 with 201 horses finding new homes. Last year, the sale grossed $5,160,000, with 59 horses selling for an average of $87,458. The 2003 median was $45,000.
"She (I'll Get Along) was a fantastic mare," said Walt Robinson, president of Fasig-Tipton. "Who knew what she was worth? We found out tonight. It was an exciting night.
"Besides I'll Get Along, we had some really nice mares here tonight. The sale was active all day, and the babies sold really well."
Toccet, selling without a reserve, was purchased by Castleton-Lyons, with plans to stand the son of Awesome Again
at the Central Kentucky farm. Jim FitzGerald's Knockgriffin Farm consigned the 4-year-old horse on behalf of Dan Borislow.
Toccet, who was produced from the Cozzene
mare Cozzene's Angel and is from the family of stakes winners Courtly Candor and Miss Walkie Talkie, won the Champagne Stakes and Hollywood Futurity, both grade I at two, as well as the Remsen Stakes (gr.II) and Laurel Futurity (gr. III).
"Mr. Borislow was delighted with the sale," said FitzGerald who foaled and raised Toccet. "It was kind of bittersweet, having been in the business for 11 years. It was sad to see him sell his mares, but hopefully we will see him back in the game."
During the weanling portion of the auction, Gus Bell, agent, went to $385,000 to secure a daughter of Giant's Causeway out of the Exclusive Native mare Million Stories from the consignment of Jeffrey Morris' Highclere Sales, agent.
"She's a lovely filly," Bell said after signing the ticket. "She was lovely the first time I saw her and lovely today. I hope she stays that way."
Bell said the price was a strong, but "you always have to be strong with something like this."
The filly is a half-sister to grade III stakes winner Tubrok (by Rahy) and from the family of stakes winners Irish Daisy, Irish Silence, and Pearl Bracelet.
Mike Ryan, via cell phone with Fasig-Tipton's Boyd Browning, went to $210,000 for a daughter of Orientate
out of the South African champion sprinter Harry's Charm. The filly was consigned by Gainesway Farm, agent, for Antony Beck, president of Gainesway Farm.
The filly is from the family of South African stakes winner Enchanting and South African champion National Currency, who was raced by Beck.
"The dam was the fastest filly I ever bred and Orientate was the fastest colt," Beck said. "So between the two of them, I wish the new owner good luck and I think this will be a very nice filly."