Newsletter (July 14, 2017)

Fasig Tipton’s July yearling sale in Lexington this week was pretty succesful. The average was up, and number not sold was down. A million dollar Medaglia D’ Oro filly made headlines, but to me the real news was that the middle market for yearlings was solid. One concern I often have with select yearling sales is that the upper end is healthy, but the middle of the market struggles. For a $94,000 average at this sale, you could compete, get a nice horse, and not have to apply for a loan to do it. And taking the million dollar filly out of the equation, the median was $70k, so there were good horses available at manageable price points. Sellers had to feel like they were getting decent returns if they were realistic about what they were offering. The secret is out on Maclean’s Music. The sire of the Preakness winner had five sell for an average of $186,000. Any guesses on his fee next year? More than his $8,500 in 2017, I’d imagine. Pioneerof the Nile’s son Cairo Prince continues to be popular with buyers. His weanlings averaged over $80,000 last fall and the group at Fasig Tipton averaged almost $142,000. He has two in the open portion of Saratoga’s August yearling sale, and nine in the New York-bred sale.

I really enjoyed watching and wagering on Prairie Meadows last weekend. Three graded stakes races, really good fields, and nice coverage by their on track simulcast team. One question though, why didn’t they run the Oaks, Derby and Cornhusker Handicap all on one day? Seems like they could have put together an all stakes pick 4, something like that, to increase handle and visibility. Instead, I was just playing the stakes races each day, and I probably wasn’t the only one.

Where does Arrogate stand at stud when he’s retired? Juddmonte’s Kentucky division doesn’t feel big enough. They have Mizzen Mast, who’s fine in his own right, but he’s there by himself. It would seem like they would want Arrogate at a major operation, to me anyway. Ashford is a possibility, they sold their Pegasus entry to Juddmonte, but that’s just speculating. And would Juddmonte sell the rights to Arrogate? How much would that cost? Would they syndicate him? It’s somewhat unusual because we probably would’ve heard where he was going by this point. Most colts with even a quarter of Arrogate’s resume and ability have their stud plans decided by now, but as of yet, nothing. Stay tuned, I suppose.

Some nice racing is coming up this weekend. Songbird is back, she’s entered in the Delaware Handicap (Gr.1) She’s 1-5 on the morning line, but hey, $2 gets you $2.40 in that market. (We’ll see if that’s what she actually goes off at.)  What’s there to say about her? She’s 12 for 13, the only loss coming by a whisker to a legend in Beholder in a Breeders Cup Distaff for the ages. The goal for Songbird is the BC Distaff again, and that’s shaping up to be another dandy. Stellar Wind, Vale Dori, maybe Unique Bella and Abel Tasman? Wow.

Time for some Indiana homerism. True, I am a Kentucky Wildcat alum, but as a native Hoosier, I’m always happy to talk Indiana racing. Saturday is Indiana’s biggest racing day and Indiana Grand has some great racing lined up, highlighted by the Grade 3, $500,000 Indiana Derby. You have two horses who ran in the Kentucky Derby entered, another graded stakes winner, and some promising colts from leading trainers all set for Saturday night in Shelbyville. Also on the card is the  $300,000 Indiana Oaks, with some quality fillies and there’s four additional stakes on the day. Good stuff.

Los Al has the Los Alamitos Derby (Gr. 3) on Saturday. Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt returns, now trained by Art Sherman, and Bob Baffert sends out West Coast, a colt who could head to the Travers with a good performance here. Still, it’s more than a two-horse race. Jerry Hollendorfer sends out Colonist, John Sadler has Cistron, Doug O’ Neill has three with a shot, and Kimbear is always a threat to land in the top three. It’s the last graded stakes race in California for three-year-olds only until the Malibu in December. Lots of colts with something to prove here, and should be a good betting race.

Chad Brown ran 1-2-3 in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks. The only other instance of one trainer doing that in a Grade 1 that I could think of was Richard Mandella’s trifecta in the 1997 Santa Anita Handicap, and again in the 97 Hollywood Gold Cup. Either way, it’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, and Chad is having quite a year. An Eclipse Award, a Preakness, and still a lot of Grade 1s out there to win, not to mention the Breeders’ Cup, of which he’s won eight races so far.

Del Mar opens on Wednesday! Saratoga in a week! Enjoy!



About shepracing

Thoroughbred racing, research and writing.
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