Status Quo at FTKFEB Day One

LEXINGTON, Ky – Monday’s opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale, topped by the broodmare prospect Bling on the Music (Too Much Bling) (hip 68), set figures largely on par with its 2017 edition and in line with recent market trends.

Out of 300 horses catalogued for Monday’s session, 246 went through the ring and 181 sold for a gross of $4,143,200. With 65 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 26.4%, down from 31.1% a year ago. The average dipped 20.3% to $22,841, while the median ticked up 2.6% to $10,000. Nine horses sold for six figures Monday, down from 12 a year ago.

“I think it is the same marketplace that we have seen,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said. “There is a significant demand for quality. There was a lot of competitive bidding for those horses that jumped through the hoops. The market is still very, very, very difficult for a segment of the population. If a mare has a little age on her or is not covered by a marketable stallion, it’s tough. There were no significant surprises. I think the assessment is status quo.”

Browning added, “The numbers can be really misleading, especially at this range in the marketplace. I think we continue to see polarization. I don’t honestly think there is much change in the middle market, particularly in the broodmare section.”

The 4-year-old broodmare prospect Bling on the Music brought the day’s top price when selling for $260,000 to Oussama Aboughazale’s Sumaya US. The gray was consigned by Chris Baccari’s Baccari Bloodstock. Baccari made similar comments about the demand for quality in the market.

“I think it is like anything else. You have to show up with what they want,” Baccari said. “If you have what they want, they will fight over it. You just have to have that product.”

Machmer Hall and Select Sales’ Carrie Brogden was active as both a buyer and seller Monday, including purchasing the day’s top yearling, a Distorted Humor filly (Hip 189). She expressed similar sentiments to Browning and Baccari on the marketplace.

“I think it is all about the above-average,” Brogden said. “There is plenty of money for the above-average and below that, it is a free fall. We only had one RNA so far today. I think you have to be reasonable with reserves. If you have something in the market people no longer want, I think the only way to trade it is to walk in here with no reserve. Whether you are boarding Songbird or a $3,000 mare, they are still the same price to carry, expenses are still the same. The market is strong for the good stuff and the rest is the rest.”

The second session of the two-day sale gets underway Tuesday at 10 a.m. and includes a 57-horse supplemental catalogue, highlighted by a pair of mares in foal to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“The catalogue looks like it has some significantly better horses [Tuesday],” Browning said. “It should start with some sparklers and end fairly well, as well.”

Sumaya Takes Home the ‘Bling’

Oussama Aboughazale’s Sumaya US was the leading buyer at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale and the operation did not take long to make its presence known at this year’s renewal, going to $260,000 for the broodmare prospect Bling on the Music (Too Much Bling). Sumaya US bought eight mares overall during Monday’s session for a total of $476,000.

“I thought she was a very attractive mare,” Sumaya US farm manager Jody Alexander said after signing the ticket out back as International Equities Holdings. “We are looking for more mares to take to California Chrome on Southern Hemisphere and a few more mares to support him in the Northern Hemisphere. Plus, we are trying to get a few more mares for our stallion Protonico. She’s a pretty mare. They prepped her too well.”

As for his thoughts on the price, Alexander said, “I think everybody will be on all the better-looking mares. Somebody else liked her, too, or I wouldn’t have had to pay that much.”

Bred in Texas by W.S. Farish, Bling on the Music is out of the Action This Day mare Soft Music and is from the family of stakes winner Super Marina (Warrior’s Reward).

Purchased by Keene Thoroughbreds for $95,000 out of the 2016 Texas Thoroughbred Association 2-year-old sale, Bling on the Music (hip 68) won three of six starts and $153,167 for that operation and trainer Allen Milligan.

She had two stakes wins and was third in the 2016

GIII Pocahontas S. Claimed for $20,000 out of her final start in November, the 4-year-old mare was consigned Monday by Baccari Bloodstock.

“I know she is by the sire she is by, but she is a very good physical and has a good race record,” consignor Chris Baccari said. “I probably should have kept her myself to breed her, but I have too many horses in training right now. She is a very good filly.”

Glen Hill Picks Up a ‘Great Soul’

Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni signed the $220,000 ticket for multiple stakes winner Great Soul (Great Notion) on behalf of Glen Hill Farm Monday afternoon.

A $20,000 EASSEP RNA, the big bay mare was campaigned by breeders Steven and Jane Long and trainer Tom Proctor. Her record currently stands at 11-5-4-1 with earnings of $259,220 and is highlighted by wins in the 2016 Wide Country S. and 2017 Mrs. Penny S.

“She is huge and she can run, which is what carried her,” said Indian Creek’s Shack Parrish, who consigned the mare as hip 211. “She is going to race again. I thought it was an exceptional price, given the market.”

The 5-year-old mare is out of What Am I Gonna Do (Partner’s Hero), who is a half-sister to MSW Doing Great (Great Notion) and SW Heaven Knows What (Holy Bull).

“Tom Proctor trained her last year, so I watched her a bit,” said Glen Hill’s Craig Bernick, who will send the mare back to Proctor. “I was surprised to see her in the sale. She has a nice pedigree and can run in the Midlantic for us, being PA-bred and Maryland Million eligible. She will race again in 2018 and we have a lot of stallions we can send her to in 2019.”

Brogden Gets the ‘Gold’

Machmer Hall and Select Sales’ Carrie Brogden would not be denied on Hip 189, stretching to $105,000 to take home the filly by top sire Distorted Humor, who was the highest-priced yearling of the session.

“I think it is at her value. If she was perfect in front, we wouldn’t have been able to buy her,” Brogden said. “I think if she stays where she is, she is fine. With this kind of filly, we have more options. That’s what really appealed. She has plenty of page to be appealing no matter what she does in the future. Everybody wants a young, well-bred Distorted Humor filly in their broodmare band that has a body and a walk like that.”

Bred by Colts Neck Stables and Barry Weisbord, hip 189 is out of MSW Gilded Gold (Gilded Time), making her a half-sister to stakes winner Thieves Guild (Medaglia d’Oro). Thieves Guild sold for $310,000 carrying a foal by Speightstown at the 2016 Keeneland November sale and Gilded Gold hammered for $15,000 in foal to Kantharos at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. This is also the family of Canadian champion Hope For a Breeze (Briartic) and SW Pancake (Corinthian).

WinStar stalwart Distorted Humor cemented his status as a top broodmare sire in 2017 thanks to the exploits of Grade I winners Arrogate, New Money Honey, Elate and Practical Joke, to name a few.

“The reason we bought this horse is because my husband said no, but he didn’t stay here to hold my hand down,” Brogden said with a laugh. “So, since he left and wasn’t paying attention, my mom and I bought her! We figured she is out of a stakes winner and stakes-producing mare, so we can either go to the yearling sale or the 2-year-old sale or put her in the Machmer Hall broodmare band. Distorted Humor is becoming such an unbelievable broodmare sire, so we figured, with what we do at our farm, she could be a very versatile purchase.”

Brogden added, “She wasn’t perfect in the front end, but I was really happy with her. That was our last bid. I am just a huge fan of the sire. He is 25 now and is an unbelievable broodmare sire. She’s got a great bottom side of her pedigree, plus my mom and I are horse addicts.”

The Valentine’s Day foal  was consigned to the sale by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud.