From the Bloodhorse.
Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks were buzzing July 12 with buyers and consignors happy to be back at what they love after a year like no other in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reassured by the conclusion of a strong 2-year-old sales season and anticipating the upcoming summer meets at Saratoga Race Courseand Del Mar, buyers at The July Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale created an active market with competitive bidding throughout the day. Stakes winner Front Run the Fed brought the top price of the sale, going to George Sharp for $440,000 from ELiTE’s consignment.
Of 105 horses offered, Fasig-Tipton reported 79 horses sold in Monday’s horses of racing age sale for gross receipts of $5,905,500, an average price of $74,753, and a $50,000 median. The RNA rate fell to 24.8%. Last year’s sale saw 81 horses gross $5,072,000, with an average price of $62,617, a $30,000 median, and an RNA rate of 31.9%.
“I don’t think there were any real surprises today,” said Fasig-Tipton president and CEO Boyd Browning Jr. “A very active market. Very competitive bidding throughout the day. It’s the same story—the higher the quality of the horses, the more activity and interest there is in those horses.
“It was a very solid marketplace, lots of good commerce and trade. It was not crazy—there were no prices that were double what we thought horses would sell for.”
Browning added of the sale launched in 2013, “It is an encouraging start to the middle part of the July sale process—a significant component. The sale continues to have a real place in the calendar, a service to the marketplace.”
ELiTE finished the day as leading consignor for the third time since the sales agency’s founding in 2017, with gross receipts of $2,142,000 for 16 horses sold from 18 offered for an average of $133,875.
“We’ve been doing this for five years and we’re the leader in the space, and this was the most vibrant racehorse sale we’ve participated in,” said ELiTE co-founder Bradley Weisbord. “It was a really good sale, not only for us, but for the entire market.”
“Quality, quality, quality,” Browning said. “There is a great demand for racehorses right now, but they have to have a certain level of quality and have to get through most of the scrutiny.”
Front Run the Fed certainly met that criteria. The 5-year-old son of Fed Biz was bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stables out of the Posse mare Lawless Miss, and was previously a $300,000 purchase by Mike Ryan from Hunter Valley Farm’s consignment to the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Campaigned by Klaravich Stables and trained by Chad Brown, he is a stakes winner and has placed in four other stakes, two of them graded. After taking the Better Talk Now Stakes in 2019, he was runner-up in that year’s English Channel Stakes, and in 2020 was second in the Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G3T). Last season he also competed in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T), finishing sixth. This year he finished second in the Elusive Quality Stakes and last out June 20 was third in the Poker Stakes (G3T).
The bay will be transferred to trainer Caio Caramori in Kentucky. His record stands at 4-4-2 from 13 starts, with earnings of $392,150.
Sharp was the man of the hour, who, after being outbid on a few other horses, was able to finally clinch the best—if last—on his list.
“He’s a champ. He was the best horse in the sale, bar none, in terms of performance,” Sharp said. “Fearless (Hip 642, a $205,000 purchase by Repole Stables) is nice too, but I didn’t like the way he vetted out, so I decided to pass on him.
“Front Run the Fed vetted out perfectly. It showed in the price he brought. We are pretty happy. A little nervous, but pretty happy.”
The future for Front Run the Fed will be in the hands of Caramori. Plans for the horse include another crack at Kentucky Downs and possibly a race at Del Mar before pursuing the golden egg at the Breeders’ Cup.
“We wish them the best of luck,” Weisbord said of Front Run the Fed’s new connections. “I think Front Run the Fed is ideal for the $1 million race at Kentucky Downs that he was beat a head in last year (the Turf Sprint Stakes). He’s a grade 1-level turf horse and he got beat by two grade 1-level horses even in the grade 3 Poker last time … I know they’re really pumped up for a good season.”