‘May It Be A Long, Fun Ride’: Half-Brother To Rachel Alexandra On Offer At Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale catalog is filled with sterling pedigrees, but even among the very best of the breed, there are still some pages that can bring a page-turner to a full stop.

Seeing a name like Rachel Alexandra’s high up on the page can have just that anchor-throwing effect.

Tuesday’s session of the elite Saratoga sale will feature a half-brother to the 2009 Horse of the Year, from the first crop of Spendthrift Farm‘s Bolt d’Oro. They share plenty of similar blood, with Bolt d’Oro being the son of Rachel Alexandra’s sire, Medaglia d’Oro.

The Bolt d’Oro colt is the ninth foal out of the Grade 2-placed stakes-winning Roar mare Lotta Kim, who gained notoriety with her first foal when Rachel Alexandra rocketed to the top of her class, with wins against male competition in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, Haskell Stakes, and Woodward Stakes, en route to Horse of the Year honors.

In the years that followed, breeder Dede McGehee’s Heaven Trees Farm has typically offered the colts out of Lotta Kim at auction, meaning the opportunities to buy into the family have been few and far between. The colt to be offered on Tuesday will be just the fourth to go through the ring during the yearling season, three of which have hammered for $400,000 or more.

“It’s hard to find a fault on him,” Heaven Trees manager Adolfo Martinez said about the Bolt d’Oro colt. “This kid’s been perfect from day one. He’s played the part the whole way. He’s not had any trouble, he’s very easygoing, good head, good mind, great body.”

Besides Rachel Alexandra, Lotta Kim’s best runners have tended to be her colts. Dolphus, by Lookin at Lucky, finished second in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, and he now stands at Darby Dan Fam in Kentucky. The Awesome Again colt Wooderson finished second in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, and he entered stud in Arkansas.

The Heaven Trees operation has obviously had outstanding fortune crossing Lotta Kim with the Medaglia d’Oro line, and Martinez said McGehee didn’t want to stray too far from that line. The added size Bolt d’Oro brought to the table, along with a lower stud fee than top commercial sire Medaglia d’Oro, led McGehee to send the mare to the rookie stallion.

“We went to look at the stallion at Spendthrift, and he’s a very good-looking horse,” Martinez said. “[McGehee] liked his race record. She was also not looking to go super expensive. The Medaglia d’Oro she had before was a little on the smaller side. Of course, the mare’s 20 now, so she was a little cautious about her maybe giving you an ‘old mare’ foal, just a smaller foal.”

Lotta Kim delivered a Bernardini filly on March 21, and she was bred to Curlin later in the season. However, the 21-day checkup revealed she had lost the foal, and McGehee elected to give the mare the season off, instead of trying her again. Martinez said a decision hadn’t been made for a 2022 mating, but given the mare’s age, they would give her a thorough evaluation before deciding whether to send her back to the breeding shed or pension her.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consigns the colt at the Saratoga sale, marking the first time the operation has worked with Heaven Trees at the auction.

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Martinez said Heaven Trees normally preps its yearlings in-house, but the labor shortage that has handcuffed many businesses across the country hit the Lexington, Ky., farm, as well. Heaven Trees will also work with Hill ‘n’ Dale at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but Martinez said he expected the farm’s slate of offerings for the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale will be prepared by the Heaven Trees staff.

Hill ‘n’ Dale has handled plenty of horses with household names in their pedigrees, but general manager Jared Burdine said he knew what he had with this colt.

“He’s a gorgeous horse that’s got a stallion’s pedigree,” Burdine said. “He glides across the ground. He’s a big, long scopey-looking horse, definitely that classy Saturday afternoon type.”

Martinez said he wouldn’t be able to make it to Saratoga to watch the colt sell, but he was excited at the thought of which buyers might try to chase the horse, and what the future might hold from there.

After all, he’s got some awfully big shoes to fill.

“I hope he satisfies his new connections as well as he’s satisfied ours,” Martinez said. “We love him. He’s a special horse, and it’d be great to follow him around. I hope he gets in the right hands, and may luck be on his side, and the connections’ side, too. May it be a long, fun ride for whoever gets him. That’s all I ask.”

The post ‘May It Be A Long, Fun Ride’: Half-Brother To Rachel Alexandra On Offer At Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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