American Pharoah Filly Sets Pace At Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale

Buyer enthusiasm for offerings from the first crop of American Pharoah remained strong on Saturday night, when Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds went to $450,000 to land a filly by the Triple Crown winner and establish the early price to beat at the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale.

The transaction also continued a run of success during this week’s sales for breeder Sunnyfield Farm and consignor Summerfield Sales, which sold a $1-million American Pharoah colt on Monday during the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale.

The bay filly sold Saturday, Hip 329, is out of the unplaced Distorted Humor mare Visions of Annette, whose two foals of racing age have not started. Grade 1 winners Evening Jewel, General Challenge, and Notable Career can be found in the extended family.

Randy Hartley, who signed the ticket, said the filly would be pinhooked at a two-year-old sale in 2019.

“We feel like there’s going to be a thinner market of [American Pharoahs] in the two-year-old sales, and we want to try to have some,” he said. “They’re pegging all the marks right now. All the heart scans we’ve been doing on them have been an A-plus-plus.”

Hartley said his operation has been a supporter of American Pharoah from the stallion’s first season at Ashford Stud in 2016, and he planned to send five mares to him in 2019. The horseman deemed the best weanling and yearling currently on Hartley/De Renzo’s Ocala, Florida farm to be by American Pharoah.

An admiration for American Pharoah and his foals, paired with a clear market demand for the stallion’s offspring, made securing a number of American Pharoah’s yearlings early in the season a priority to ensure Hartley/De Renzo would have stock to sell next year. The operation bought a $525,000 American Pharoah colt out of stakes-winner Funfair on Tuesday during the Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.

“You always want to get a bargain, but for me at the end of the day, I think that’s going to end up being a bargain for one of those,” Hartley said. “A lot of times, I think people wait until September to try to pick one up, and sometimes it gets even harder.”

The Nielsen family’s Sunnyfield Farm sent two mares to American Pharoah in his debut book, and both were standouts in their catalog during this year’s Saratoga yearling sales. Francis Vanlangendonck of Summerfield Sales credited the operation of Joanne Nielsen and her son Jerry for preparing both yearlings at their Bedford, New York farm.

“It’s nice when a plan comes together, and Joanne’s the one that did it,” Vanlangendonck said. “They got the horse ready, sent her to me for three days and we sold her. You can’t have horses like that without clients like the Nielsens.”

Vanlangendonck said there were plenty of similarities between the two yearlings, both in physical definition and mental capacity, but he wanted to avoid having two similar products cataloged in the same sale and risk diluting each other’s appeal.

Having the lone American Pharoah yearling in the New York-Bred catalog was going to make whichever one was entered stand out among the offerings, and it was ultimately decided to send the filly to the later sale.

“Both of them, from the side, they just walked out like an athlete,” Vanlangendonck said, comparing the two American Pharoah yearlings. “They handled it. She got out 94 times yesterday. She never backed up, she never slowed down, just like the colt did in the first sale.

“These horses have a great mental capacity, and that’s what Bob Baffert told me when I asked him what American Pharoah was like,” he continued. “American Pharoah just wanted to go home and go to sleep. This filly and the colt we sold the other day, we’d show them all day, and as soon as we’d shut down, they’d lay down and go to sleep. No issues with the mental part, it was wonderful.”

The hammer price was $50,000 off the record price for the New York-Bred sale, which was achieved last year when Ciaran Dunne’s Waves Bloodstock went to $500,000 for a Cairo Prince colt.

The 2018 edition of the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale enters with nothing but wind behind its sails.

The auction comes off arguably the strongest renewal in its history last year, in which it posted all-time high gross, average, and median returns and sold the most expensive offering in the sale’s history, a $500,000 Cairo Prince colt. More recently, a crush of New York-breds have been making the program look good on a national stage, including Grade 1 winner and classic-placed Audible, the Whitney Stakes exacta of Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits, and Voodoo Song, who won the G1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga less than two hours before the first horse entered the ring.

The sale will take place Saturday and Sunday in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York, beginning each day at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

This year’s two-day auction features 325 entries, which is 11 percent larger than last year’s 292-horse book.

The 2017 sale finished with 182 horses sold for a record $16,214,000. The average sale price closed at an all-time high of $89,088, while the median hit a record $69,500. The buyback rate closed at 25 percent.

As such, this sale’s level of success might not necessarily be measured in gains or declines. It’s very possible that this year’s sale could blow last year’s out of the water. The pages are strong and the horses back them up at the end of the shank. However, finishing just below last year’s record returns would still make this one of the New York-Bred sale’s all-time renewals.

To view the online catalog, click here.

To view the sale’s results, click here.

To watch live video of the sale, click here.

The post American Pharoah Filly Sets Pace At Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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