Here we go again, folks. The first yearling sale of 2016 will take place July 12 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s base in Lexington, and of the 347 cataloged, 122 (35%) are by 23 stallions that entered stud in 2014. This is a wildly divergent bunch of freshmen, ranging from classic winners to brilliant sprinter-milers, as well as a few that never got a chance to show their full range of talents due to injuries at inconvenient times.
We have biomechanically analyzed all of these newbies, most of which stand in Kentucky, and have some insights to share with what the market might expect and what the market might get. We’re going to focus on the 10 that have a half-dozen or more cataloged. This will leave out much-anticipated names such as Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winners Animal Kingdom and Orb, as well as two-turn grade I winners Fort Larned, Power Broker, Take Charge Indy, Point of Entry, and New Year's Day. We will get to them in the future, depending on the rosters of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga and Keeneland September auctions.
These are the stallions with six or more in the Fasig-Tipton July sale: Justin Phillip, a grade I sprint winner, and Graydar, a late-developing son of Unbridled’s Song who was a grade I winner around two turns.
Expect pinhookers to jump on both, the former because of his speed, the latter because his sire has a devoted following. Justin Phillip is by First Samurai, a son of Giant's Causeway, who has few sons at stud, but Justin Phillip’s superior blue-hen dam, Ava Knowsthecode, has produced promising young sire Algorithms among other stakes winners.
Distorted Humor’s son Alternation has 11 cataloged, and this one was a late-developing horse who specialized in two turns. It will be interesting to see if they have a pinhooker’s “look,” and the sale buyers’ list will tell us that.
Both Flat Out and Violence have 10 cataloged. Flatter’s versatile son Flat Out won grade I races at 5, 6, and 7, at a mile and around two turns, and is clearly the most fascinating of the group. As is the case with Alternation, market acceptance might be best gauged from the buyer list here, but more likely we’ll get a better bead at Saratoga and Keeneland.
Violence, on the other hand, is likely to light up the board because he is by Medaglia d'Oro and looks like him, had an impressive juvenile career, and in his only start at 3 was second to Orb in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). He is a large horse, and if he passes on his size, he is likely to have a major impact at the sales.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Oxbow has eight cataloged and with Overanalyze, who has seven, already had some pinhooker’s checkbooks open. Both are likely to get 2-year-old-sale types, but the question will be what else might they bring to the table. Paynter is another with a potentially large following, and he was certainly brilliant when right. By an established sire-of-sires in Awesome Again out of a full sister to Tiznow, he is likely to get strong-looking middle-distance types.
We wrap-up with a pair that might catch some by surprise—Liaison (with seven cataloged) and Soldat (with six). The former is by Uncle Mo’s sire, Indian Charlie, and was an excellent juvenile whose modest 3-year-old season was trumped by a good 4-year-old campaign. He might surprise a few bidders and may become a pinhooker’s delight.
Soldat is the only stallion in this bunch not in Kentucky (he’s in Florida). The son of War Front was a turf specialist at 2 who won the Fountain of Youth on the dirt before tailing off a bit. There are obviously reasons that he’s got a half-dozen in this sale and attention should be paid.