Where Are They Now? Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Graduates Span the Globe Three Years Later

A Fasig-Tipton sale in Kentucky is an unusual sight in September, and the only thing more unique than its presence the last time it happened was its premise.

In 2017, the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase took place the day before the marathon Keeneland September Yearling Sale, putting a group of selected yearlings on offer with pedigrees or physicals that suggested they’d be well-suited to run on the grass. While auctions specializing in horses of different ages and birthplaces are commonplace on the sale calendar, putting together a catalog with an eye toward their preferred surface was a step into uncharted territory.

The fact that there hasn’t been a Turf Showcase since then is a telling indicator of how the auction was received in the short term. The high-end commercial stigma around being labeled a turf horse is making granular progress, but it’s still nearly as hard for a turf-leaning horse to crack the upper echelon of a sale today as it was in 2017. However, each sale’s reputation as a place to find winners and pinhook prospects takes years to develop, keeping the jury out until further notice.

A full chart tracking the career of each Turf Showcase graduate can be found in the Sept. 9 edition of the PR Special by clicking here.

The graduates of the Turf Showcase are 4-year-olds of 2020, and the late-blooming nature of many top turf runners indicates there is still time for the story to be written on this group of offerings. Just like any cross-section of prospects, be they auction horses or athletes entering a professional draft, there are a wide range of outcomes, from heroes and underachievers, to hopefuls who end up making a splash in an entirely different field.

The star alum of the Turf Showcase by just about any metric out there was Legends of War, a Scat Daddy colt out of the unplaced Rahy mare Madera Dancer who sold to Hunter Valley Farm for $200,000.

Legends of War was shipped to Europe to enter the 2018 Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale for the Mayfield Stables of Ronaldo de Souza and Tanya Browne, and he brought the event’s highest price, going to bloodstock agent Stephen Hillen for 900,000 guineas (about $1.35 million).

The colt remained in Europe to begin his on-track career for owner Qatar Racing, winning on debut and eventually becoming a Group 2-placed runner in England. Legends of War was moved back to the U.S. for the start of his 3-year-old campaign, where Qatar Racing took on partners including C T R Stables and put the colt in the barn of trainer Doug O’Neill.

Turf sprinting proved to be the specialty for Legends of War, who earned his signature victory in last year’s G3 Franklin-Simpson Stakes at Kentucky Downs and parlayed that into a start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He last raced on the Saudi Cup undercard, and he will enter stallion duty in England next year.

Legends of War is the leading earner from the Turf Showcase graduates, having made $491,240 on the racetrack. His Franklin-Simpson Stakes triumph also makes him the only graduate to date with a graded or group stakes win through Aug. 19.

Legends of War has a lot of stamps in his passport, showing just how wide a net one relatively small sale can cast around the globe. The 145 graduates of the Turf Showcase have competed in the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, France, Italy, Japan, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Panama, Denmark, and Greece.

While many of the Turf Showcase graduates went on to race overseas, one of the most unique career trajectories came from Revamp, a Tapizar colt who sold to CDM Racing and Dominic Finn for $55,000.
He brought 60,000 guineas (about $90,000) the following year at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale, and did little to inspire in three British starts before selling again for 5,000 British pounds (about $6,333) 2019 Tattersalls Ascot June Sale. Such a firesale transaction may not project to big things for a horse still early in his 3-year-old season, but he found his level at Markopoulo Racetrack in Greece, where the gelding drew off to win the Greek Derby by 11 1/2 lengths over dirt.

The female graduates of the Turf Showcase have also begun to branch out into their next careers as broodmares, many of them entering the breeding shed for the first time in 2020.

Mirroring their own newcomer status to the breeding program, the Turf Showcase fillies have typically gone on to support the books of young stallions, including 2020 rookies Vino Rosso, Omaha Beach, and two to Audible. Others have been booked to newer stallions including Runhappy, Oscar Performance, Karakontie, Optimizer, War Correspondent, and Slumber.

The highest-profile stallion bookings among the Turf Showcase alumni so far have gone to Splashy Kisses and Peace Parade.

Splashy Kisses, a daughter of Blame, visited More Than Ready in 2019, and she was booked to Uncle Mo earlier this year. After selling for $30,000 at the Turf Showcase and being pinhooked for $100,000, Splashy Kisses went on to finish second in the G2 Pocahontas Stakes on the Churchill Downs dirt and third in the G3 Sweet Life Stakes over the downhill turf course at Santa Anita. She later sold for $240,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale before starting her breeding career.

Peace Parade drew the highest hammer price of the Turf Showcase, but she finished under her reserve with a final bid of $375,000. The War Front filly never entered a race, and she was bred to Candy Ride this year for her first mating.

A full chart tracking the career of each Turf Showcase graduate can be found in the Sept. 9 edition of the PR Special by clicking here.

The post Where Are They Now? Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Graduates Span the Globe Three Years Later appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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