By Frank Angst and Esther Marr
Mandy Pope, who made a splash with major broodmare purchases late last year, went to $420,000 to land a Bellamy Road colt Monday, July 15 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.
"He is just an extreme athlete," said Pope, who owns Whisper Hill Farm in Florida. "Everything about him and his frame. He was always poised and did everything the same every time. He would walk up and down the stalls and he had such forward movement. He has a long stride, and virtually that makes a Derby horse.
"He'll go to my farm, and then Goldmark Farm to be trained, and then hopefully we'll take him all the way to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)."
Consigned by Gainesway, agent as Hip No. 191, the Bellamy Road colt turned heads on the sale grounds.
"We're excited and he is a great prospect and wonderful colt," said Gainesway director of sales Michael Hernon. "He is big and bold, correct, and was on all the major buyers' lists."
In November Pope landed major broodmare prospects Havre de Grace and Plum Pretty for a combined $14.2 million in Kentucky sales at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland.
She purchased the Bellamy Road colt about two-thirds of the way through Monday's one-day yearling sale and at that time he was the highest-priced colt and second-highest priced yearling overall, although she had hoped he would sneak through for a lower price.
"I was hoping for a lot less, but he was a standout horse here at the sale," Pope said. "He passed the vetting, heart scan, everything. You really couldn't find anything at fault with him other than being by a stallion that's not really prolific at this time."
The colt is out of the stakes-winning Affirmed mare Affirmed Dancer, who has produced five starters, all winners, including grade III winner La Gran Bailadora and stakes-placed Fun in D' Sun and Affirmed Cat. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Robert Trussell Jr., John Jones III, and Gainesway Thoroughbreds.
The sale continued a strong day for Gainesway, which through about two-thirds of the sale had consigned two of top three highest-priced yearlings.
"We have a lot of gratitude as the consignor of these horses and we are selling consistently well," Hernon said. "People buy from us with confidence"
Emily Walden contributed to this story