Breakthrough Sale For Horses “With Turf Appeal”
With the appeal of turf racing growing in North America over the past seasons, Fasig-Tipton announced earlier this year their intention to hold the inaugural Turf Showcase Sale which is due to take place at their Newtown Sales Paddock complex in Lexington on 10 September.
In 2016 the percentage of North American races run on turf was an astonishing 85 per cent higher than it was back in 2004. This year 40 per cent of Graded stakes races run in North America will be on turf, with the purse for these contests significantly higher than that of dirt racing.
Last year, the average purse for racing on grass was 71 per cent higher than for a dirt race and over US$278,000,000 was awarded in purse money for turf races run that year.
Anna Seitz, client development and public relations manager at Fasig-Tipton, explained how the sale came to fruition.
“Turf racing has become much more popular in the States and someone came to the idea and said ‘what if you just do a turf-pedigreed sale?’,” said Seitz.
“There is now so much more prize money for turf racing in the US and so many more races, Woodbine for example has added another new turf course. So, we just put the feelers out to our consignors and everyone was very receptive. It just went from there and before we knew it we had 170 horses catalogued.”
A total of 171 lots have been catalogued for the sale with a number of shuttlers well represented including the returning Arrowfield-based Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux), Aquis Farm’s Artie Schiller (El Prado), Darley’s Exceed And Excel (Danehill), Medaglia d’Oro (El Prado), the Vinery Stud shuttle sire More Than Ready (Southern Halo) and The Factor (War Front), who stands the northern hemisphere season at Newgate Farm.
Unsurprisingly, the catalogue also includes leading US-based sires Elusive Quality (Gone West), Kitten’s Joy (El Prado), Scat Daddy (Johannesburg), War Front (Danzig).
“We have both US sires and those with international appeal. We obviously have a lot of American sires, but also then some European-based ones,” continued Seitz.
“It’s a select sale so we went and pre-inspected them. It was hard because it was a new idea and new concept so our team had to work hard. People that have seen the catalogue have been very excited and want to come.
“A lot of Europeans have bought horses in America and sold them at the two-year-old sales and made a lot of money, so that sale has been very appealing for that, but then also there are plenty of people who want to race turf horses and we’ve had a lot of interest from Japanese buyers. I think we’ll have a good mix of pinhookers and end users.”
Meg Levy’s Bluewater Sales has a 14-strong draft catalogued for the sale and said she had wanted to see another select yearling sale in Kentucky during September.
“I love the idea of having an additional select yearling venue in Kentucky in September,” Levy said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to see tried for many years. The horse business is fueled by a quest for the best mentality. Giving buyers more of what they want in the shortest amount of time is a good thing in my mind.
“The idea of showcasing sires and pedigrees that have shown an affinity for the turf is innovative and timely. Almost half of the graded stakes run in the US are run on turf.
“The Thoroughbred racing and breeding game has continued to become more global in the last 15 years. Technology has made pedigree and racing information easy to access. American racehorses and trainers have shown their prowess at international race meets like Royal Ascot. American breeding syndicates and stallion stations have expanded into European and Australian marketplaces. Many of the top American broodmare prospects over the last decade are successfully producing in Japan.”
US-bred runners been well represented at the major international race meetings over the years, including Royal Ascot where they have performed with considerable success, including the brilliant win of Tepin (Bernstein) in last year’s Queen Anne Stakes (Gr 1, 1m).
This year’s meeting was no exception, with a record number of US-bred runners, finishing the week with four winners, headlined by Lady Aurelia’s (Scat Daddy) win in the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr 1, 5f) and Caravaggio’s (Scat Daddy) victory in the Commonwealth Cup (Gr 1, 6f).
The late Scat Daddy was also responsible for siring the other two American-bred winners, Sioux Nation, who won the the Norfolk Stakes (Gr 2, 5f) and Sandringham Handicap (Listed, 1m) winner Con Te Partiro.
Scat Daddy has five lots catalogued for The Turf Showcase, a filly and four colts, including Lot 78, a colt out of Grade Two winner and Grade One-placed Last Song (Unbridled’s Song) from the family of Grade One winners Only Queens (Transworld) and Tactile (Slew o’ Gold).
“Worth noting, in our consignment we have two special physical yearlings out of Graded stakes winners, a Scat Daddy colt and a Candy Ride filly. We’ve also placed several yearlings by up and coming sire Declaration Of War, including one colt who is half to impressive maiden winner and TDN rising star by Candy Ride, Separationofpowers,” added Levy.
Standout lots include
Lot 56, a colt by Kitten’s Joy out of the winner Indian Spell (Indian Charlie) who is herself a daughter of the dual Grade One winner Proud Spell (Proud Citizen).
Lot 66, a filly by Verrazano (More Than Ready) out of the winning Danehill (Danzig) mare Josette who has produced six winners from seven foals to race and is the grandam of the Grade One winner Collected (City Zip).
Lot 87, a bay filly by Candy Ride (Ride The Rails) out of the Grade One winner Maryfield (Elusive Quality).
Lot 101, a filly by War Front out of the stakes-placed On Parade (Storm Cat) making her a half-sister to the Grade Three winner Parading (Pulpit) and the stakes-placed Protesting (A.P.Indy).
Lot 120, a filly by Declaration Of War (War Front) out of the European-bred Grade Two winner Sayedah (Darshaan) who has produced three winners to date including the Group Two-placed Battle Of Marathon (War Front).
Lot 142, a colt by Arrowfield Stud shuttler Animal Kingdom out of the dual Grade One winner Tout Charmant (Slewvescent) who has produced six winners to date, including the Grade Two winner and Grade One-placed Dancing House (Tapit).
Click here to view the catalogue.
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