The stakes races were the brainchildren of the National Association of 2-Year-Old Consignors, a group founded in 2001 to promote juvenile sales and work with sale companies to insure integrity at auctions."The purpose of the races was to help the middle-market horse," said Mike Mulligan, an NATC officer and owner of Leprechaun Farm near Ocala, Fla. "We figured the big gun 2-year-olds would stay up at Saratoga so the guy with the $50,000 to $150,000 horse would have a legitimate shot to win one of these races." The divisions are open to any 2-year-old consigned by an NATC member who also is a contributor to the organization's advertising fund.NATC turned to Delaware Park because it was centrally located on the East Coast and had some discretionary purse money from its lucrative slot machine business. Delaware Park was attracted by the concept and took a shot."I just thought because of the all the parties concerned--the consignors and the buyers--that there was good money involved, and usually where there is money, there is quality," Abbey said. "It looked like it would be a good deal and it turned out to be a really good deal."The NATC Futurity for colts/geldings attracted 14 horses, of which two scratched. The winner was Crafty Guy, a son of Crafty Prospector out of Sheepish Grin. The colt was bought back for $120,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales selected 2-year-old in training sale at Calder Race Course. Michael Gill now owns the colt and John Robb is the trainer.
The NATC Sorority Futurity for fillies attracted a field of 11 and was won by Collymore Hall, a daughter of Concerto out of Dame Georgette. She was bought for $230,000 by leading owner Eugene Melnyk out of the OBS select sale at Calder.