When Greg and Karen Dodd shop a mixed sale for weanlings to resell later, they are zealous in their pursuit, often working until the very last one goes through the ring.
It was that diligence that took the couple to the Paramount Sales barn during the waning stages of the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale to find a colt from the second crop of Hill 'n' Dale Farm stallion New Year's Day that they purchased for $7,500.
During the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' June 2-year-olds in training sale June 13, the colt offered as Hip 235 through the Dodds' Southern Chase Farm consignment was purchased by Robert Barbara, agent for Joseph G. Bucci, for $205,000, yielding a large return.
According to BloodHorse MarketWatch data, after deducting costs that include the original purchase price and commission and estimated expenses from purchase to sale, the Dodds realized an estimated profit of $160,250.
The colt is out of the unraced Distorted Humor mare Sign Off, and his second dam is multiple grade 1 winner Imperial Gesture, a half sister to Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Sardula.
Karen Dodd recalls that the colt, bred in Kentucky by Gary and Mary West and consigned to Keeneland by Paramount Sales, was one of the last weanlings through the sale that year. The colt was Hip 4,277 in a marathon auction in which a total 4,474 horses were cataloged.
"It was awfully late; there weren't that many left when he went through the ring," Karen Dodd said of the colt bought under the name of Wind River Bloodstock. "We were trying to look at everything weanling-wise. He was a really well-made horse and was real correct. We bought him with the intent to sell him as a 2-year-old because of what we paid for him. We thought that if we put him in a yearling sale, we wouldn't get that much money for him, even though he was a very nice horse."
Once in the Dodds' hands, the colt had some growing pains he was able to overcome in time for the June sale.
"He went through an awkward stage at one point and was out of sorts," Dodd said. "But once he came around, he came back for the better. He is a super-minded and sound horse, and very fast."
Initially, the consignors tried to get the colt in the OBS April sale, but he was not accepted in that oversubscribed auction.
The colt turned heads during his under tack show workout before the June sale when he went a quarter-mile in :20 4/5. "He galloped out a half-mile in :45 3/5, and the rider had trouble pulling him up," Dodd said. "I thought he was going to go around (the track) again."
While getting a healthy profit like the one generated by the New Year's Day colt is attributable to hard work and the skills of the Dodds, Karen Dodd believes there are other forces at work, including divine intervention.
"The horse was a nice horse, but we had to get really blessed to be able to find that horse," she said. "I really feel like the Lord blessed us to find that horse."