Some 600 horses will fill the stable area at Timonium, Md., for Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s annual sale of 2-year-olds this month. Though some people do manage – somehow – seeing them all is a challenge.
Simply, it’s a big group of horses. They were bred in 15 states (one each from Arkansas and Kansas if you’re keeping score of the obscure), one Canadian province, plus Ireland and Korea. They represent consignors from Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas and Kentucky. They are by stallions whose names begin with every letter of the alphabet save X and Z.
And if history is any indication, somewhere in all of that are some future standout racehorses.
“The catalog got released online today,” said Fasig-Tipton’s Boyd Browning Jr. during a break from inspecting yearlings on a cold day in Kentucky April 16. “There are some serious horses in there. We’re very pleased.”
Since it was still in digital form, and couldn’t really be opened, we clicked on the catalog link and took a look at the horses, who work May 15-17 starting at 8 a.m. and will sell May 21-22 starting at 11 a.m. As you can imagine, there’s a little bit of everything in there.
A dose of racing royalty
Hip 567 is a half-brother to superstar stallion Tapit. No, really. The gray colt, consigned by Niall Brennan, is by Kentucky Derby-G1 winner Super Saver and out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels. Bred in Virginia by Heronwood Farm, she won a small stakes at Colonial Downs in 1998 for Jayeff B Stables and trainer Alan Goldberg before making an impact on the breed. Her son Tapit, who stands for $300,000, has sired 24 Grade 1 winners and was the leading sire of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her daughter Home From Oz (by Pulpit) produced Grade 2-winning millionaire Madefromlucky. Back a generation, the family includes champions Rubiano and Summer Bird. You may want to find some partners if you want to bid as her last five offspring to sell brought a combined $2.87 million.
Hip 162 is a half-brother to recent Grade 1 winner, and two-time Fasig-Tipton Midlantic graduate, Army Mule. Consigned by Scanlon Training and Sales for breeder Hope Hill Farm, the Old Fashioned colt will have plenty of people comparing him to his brother.
Hip 257 is out of Hip Hip, whose dam Praise produced among others major sires Congrats and Flatter in a wildly deep female family including Hero’s Honor, Sea Hero, Eastern Echo, Elate and Ironicus. The daughter of Arch, consigned by Harris Training Center, is named Support.
Hip 436 is a half-brother to major winner Zipessa, whose victories include the First Lady-G1 and Dr. James Penny Memorial-G3. The Cairo Prince colt, consigned by Niall Brennan, counts Perfect Soul (Ire), Flashy Bull and 3-year-old Gronkowski among his female family.
Hip 454 is a full-brother to Preakness-G1 winner Cloud Computing. The son of Maclean’s Music, consigned by De Meric Sales, sold for $190,000 as a yearling last year. His dam Quick Temper has produced four winners and is out of Grade 1 winner Halo America whose pedigree goes back to former Maryland-bred standout T. V. Highlights among others.
Keep digging, and you’ll find famous names at every turn of the page – electronic or paper – but that’s half the fun of a sale like this. There’s depth, quality and potential galore.
For some more insight, we turned to a few consignors.
SBM Training and Sales
Not many consignors ride their horses –
or those of others – in sale breezes, but Susan Montanye will be aboard 15 or so breezers a day during the three-day under-tack show at Timonium. Her consignment swells to 15 this year, after producing catalog cover girl Lady Ivanka in 2017. The Spinaway-G1 winner brought $80,000 and Montanye hopes for even better this year with 2-year-olds by Animal Kingdom, Hard Spun, Uncle Mo, Shanghai Bobby, War Front and others.
Hip 116. Uncaptured—Boo Girl colt. The dark bay Florida-bred (a $27,000 yearling purchase) was slated for an earlier sale, but fit better at Timonium. “He’s not the fastest horse in the world, he’s more of a two-turn horse, but he’s got some speed and a lot of class. I’ve been blessed to sit on some good ones, and that helps you be a good judge.”
Based in Aiken, S.C., she’s a regular in Timonium – as a buyer at the yearling sale and as a seller at the 2-year-old sale. Last year, she brought “something like 30” horses to the May sale and told herself “Never again” afterward. This year, it’s a more manageable 17.
“It was not a good experience,” she said of the bigger consignment. “Even if the horses are doing the job, it’s hard to have that many people and keep everything running smoothly. It’s enough of an all or nothing game anyway and why stack the cards against yourself?”
Like all consignors, she’s reluctant to play favorites but came up with a few to watch.
Hip 221. Violence—Fear This filly. Purchased at Saratoga for $250,000 last year, the New York-bred got past several growth spurts and heads to Timonium finally looking like a future racehorse. “She’d grow up, then out, then up. She looked swaybacked for a little while, then her rump went way up. We don’t like to train them when they’re doing all that so we’ve been really patient with her and it’s helped.”
Hip 427. Bodemeister—Plum colt. He should look familiar to Marylanders as his stakes-winning dam and her dam Bamba were bred by JoAnn and David Hayden. The bay didn’t meet his reserve at Ocala in March, but Frommer hopes for a rebound at Timonium. “He’s just grown into a beautiful horse. He didn’t get sold at OBS and I don’t have a clue why. I love him. He’s going to be a legitimate horse.”
Hip 285. Medaglia d’Oro—Joyful Victory filly. This is a bit of full circle for Frommer, who sold this filly’s dam (who went on to become a Grade 1 winner and earner of $1.2 million for Fox Hill Farms) as a 2-year-old. Those are big shoes to fill, but Frommer likes what she sees so far.
A Virginia transplant based in Florida, he brings a strong group to Timonium including two colts by Tapit, an Orb colt and a Super Saver filly.
Hip 34. Tapit—Wicked Deed colt. His full-sister Just Wicked won Saratoga’s Adirondack-G2 in 2015 for owner/breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds and another full-sister placed in a Grade 3. “He’s just very professional, does everything the right way and is pretty pushbutton. He has tons of manners. He came in that way, which is so important with some horses. People will always look at a Tapit. I’ve sold quite a few and there’s something about the good ones. Hopefully, he attracts the kind of attention I think he will.”
Hip 33. Munnings—Who’s in Love colt. He might have to contend for attention with his more ballyhooed stablemate one hip later, but the Maryland-bred makes Miles think of the future. “I don’t have a lot of money in him, we paid just $3,000 for him but he’s a nice horse and he’s got a great family a lot of people will recognize [including Who’s in Town, Who Did It and Run, Giant Run and Hangover Kid]. He’s precocious and has really grown up too, just a cool horse. He’ll be fun.”
C and C Stables
Consignor Courtney Young worked for Frommer and Eddie Woods before diving into the sales game herself. Her first consignment here last year resulted in three sales and another sold privately after winning a race late last year. Based in Maryland, with stalls at Pimlico, Young brings five horses this year, while continuing to build her business. The 443 area code might shock the Floridians in the catalog, but it works for Young.
“I hope to be Eddie Woods or Cary Frommer someday, but I’m content to start off small and every year try to increase the quality we buy and see what the results are,” she said. “I love Maryland. Having Pimlico is an extra step up. They’ve all done gate work and have been to the racetrack. If Timonium is your target, you can take your time with them and be ready to go in May.”
Hip 440. Bellamy Road—Princess Legacy filly. The Pennsylvania-bred half-sister to stakes winner Miss d’Oro had Young at hello. “When I saw her as a yearling I was like, ‘I want you if I can afford you,’ and got her for $23,000. She’s not flashy but has this je ne sais quoi about her. She’s very forward, looks the part, has a great attitude. Training, she’s like, ‘Let’s go.’ Before and after, she’s quiet and calm.”
Hip 387. Tritap—My Rib filly. The Maryland-bred is a half-sister to multiple regional stakes winner My Magician and from the family of Maryland Million winner Undercover, the graded stakes-placed Vielsalm and others. The gray sold for $21,000 as a yearling, but Frommer sold her half-sister for $220,000 as a 2-year-old in 2015 so there’s some potential. “She’s really matured and grown into herself, you can see it coming. This is a good year to see what people are willing to spend on a good Maryland-bred and this will be a good indication on what to spend at next year’s yearling sale.”
The Florida-based consignment is 16 strong, with sires such as Into Mischief, Uncle Mo, Curlin, Orb, The Factor, and Mucho Macho Man. Partner Mark Roberts couldn’t pull a few out of the mix for fear of minimizing some others, but did offer some advice for breeders and buyers.
“I’ll give you a horse I think is going to make a really, really good sire – Mucho Macho Man,” he said. “I have one coming to Maryland that didn’t get sold in March [Hip 581, an Oklahoma-bred] and I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen at the yearling sales and the 2-year-old sales. She’s a classy filly. He was a stone-cold racehorse. It’s going to be fun to see.”
White Pine Thoroughbreds
His last name might be consonant soup, but you’ll recognize first-time consignor Justin Wojczynski who ships in with five 2-year-olds from Aiken. Wojczynski works for Frommer, but is also starting an independent venture in White Pine Thoroughbreds. The May squad includes 2-year-olds by Malibu Moon, Central Banker and Kitten’s Joy among others.
Wojczynski and his wife Gemma Freeman, who works at Kentucky’s Stonestreet Farm, are already winners in 2018 as they welcomed daughter Elodie Anne April 11. The horses have a tough act to follow.
“It just seemed like a really good time to, instead of finishing up with Cary, try to do a soft launch with my own stuff,” he said. “It’s our first consignment anywhere.”
Like anyone else in the game, Wojczynski has people to thank – his parents Jim and Sandy, his wife, bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, early partners Charles Campbell and Joe Abernathy and a host of others. Wojczynski grew up in Michigan and got a degree from Michigan State, but headed to a racing career via jobs with Stonestreet, trainer Rusty Arnold and some time in New Zealand.
In 2015, Wojczynski and his partners bought Corporate Queen to pinhook, only to see her not make a sale the following year. Put in training, she won her debut at Laurel Park in January 2017 (a month after Jim Wojczynski died of cancer) and was sold to Gary Barber and trainer Mark Casse. She later finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan-G2.
“I admittedly felt slightly cheated that after backing me and believing in me, my dad missed our first success,” said Justin. “I watch that race from time to time and watch those final few jumps. Believe in whichever and whatever you so choose, but each time I watch it, to me he didn’t miss it at all.”
With a lift from Corporate Queen (and Jim), White Pine Thoroughbreds is off and running – to Timonium.
Hip 402. Noble Mission (GB)—On My Way colt. The Kentucky-bred cost $39,000 as a yearling in 2017 and is a half-brother to King Zachary, a $550,000 yearling of 2016 who was sixth in this year’s Wood Memorial-G2 for trainer Dale Romans. “He’s very professional, a handsome fella who ticks boxes for a sale horse. He’s good on the end of a shank, is fast and he’s good-training. I was going to sell him in March, but he didn’t have a real good breeze like he had when he had been training with me.”
Kip Elser grew up in Pennsylvania, and used to gallop horses at Pimlico before class at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Timonium fit in there somewhere, and when he comes back with a consignment for the May sale the place “just feels like home.”
His 2018 string numbers 13, including three for Maryland’s Country Life Farm plus some with a bit of international flair as they belong to retired French training legend Alec Head and family.
“When they come to see their horses it’s a treat just to talk to Alec and [his wife]Ghislaine,” said Elser. “To have somebody like that come see their horses go out is fun. I like just talking horses with them.”
The Head horses are Hip 483, a Mr. Sidney—Rumpus Room filly named Goodmorninsunshine, and Hip 574, a Mr. Sidney—Thin Air colt named Old Fort. Elser will also bring two Noble Mission (GB) 2-year-olds and has a Quality Road filly (Hip 450) he called “very fast” from a female family developed by regional breeder Dan Ryan.
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