As buyers began their inspections in earnest on the penultimate day to the March 1 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale of 2-year-olds in training, with a few exceptions consignors were positive about the under tack show.
Conducted over Gulfstream’s main dirt track, the Feb. 27 workouts provided buyers with an opportunity to assess the racing potential of the some 120 horses that will go through the ring (160 were cataloged, with 43 withdrawn) during the sale that begins in Gulfsteam’s paddock at 4 p.m. ET.
Ciaran Dunne of Wavertree Stable said his horses worked as expected, but he was disappointed that a Tapit colt jumped a shadow en route to an eighth-mile timing of :10 4/5. Consigned as Hip 90, the colt produced from grade 1 winner Lady of Fifty was purchased privately after going through the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale as a RNA on a final bid of $625,000.
“You can’t prepare for one jumping a shadow but there are a lot worse things that can happen,” Dunne said. “We were pleased overall. It's a lot deeper racetrack than we train over at home... it's a tough racetrack and a majority of them don't handle it. The good ones manage to separate themselves."
Dunne said early morning traffic at the barns in pleasant, sunny and breezy weather had been steady and the format of having only one day between the workouts and sale was a workable formula.
As one agent at Wavertree’s barn expressed a desire for more time to inspect horses following the under tack show and before the sale, Dunne defended the arrangement.
“The beauty of this sale of having the breeze show on Monday and the sale Wednesday adds more of an impetus and creates a bit of buzz. I think it works to seller’s benefit that buyers have more pressure to make a decision."
Some horsemen and women said fewer horses returned from the under tack show with physical problems than last year, indicating the track was in better shape. Others say post-work x-rays do not necessarily tell the whole story since most of the horses do not undergo radiograph exams prior to breezing.
“We never know,” Dunne said. “We say he chipped an ankle or did this or that in the breeze show, but the fact is most of this was done before we got here.”
Except for one colt who sustained an injury during his work and was later euthanized, consignor Eddie Woods said his horses performed as expected.
“We had one mishap, which was unfortunate, but all the others fell into the spot they were supposed to,” Woods said. “They all came back OK.”
Torie Gladwell of Top Line Sales said she and her husband Jimbo were pleased with the performance of Hip 35, a Spring At Last colt who was one of five that breezed an eighth of a mile in the co-fastest time of :10. Since arriving at Gulfstream, the colt (Hip 35) has not worked over the track but had only galloped prior to the workout show.
“That was really good, considering that he had only galloped twice over the track,” she said of the colt who descends from the female family of two-time French group 1 winner and sire Creator (GB). “We were trying to protect him a little. But all winter he kept getting better and better.”