Since Fasig-Tipton relocated its Florida select juvenile sale to Gulfstream Park in 2015, the pre-sale under-tack show has been relatively free of outliers on the stopwatch. That changed Monday when two pairs of horses turned in the fastest respective times at an eighth-mile and quarter-mile in the five editions that the Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale has held its current residence.
Two horses covered one furlong in :9 4/5 seconds, making them the first two juveniles to turn in sub-:10 second breezes since the sale has been held at Gulfstream Park. The breeze show has typically seen its fastest times during the initial sets earlier in the day, but the two bullet workers came in the second and fourth of five sets, displaying an even track throughout the day.
Hip 12, an Uncle Mo filly out of the placed Montjeu mare Coin Broker hit the mark during the under-tack show's fourth set in the early afternoon. Consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, the filly is from the family of Grade 1 winners Shared Interest and Forestry.
“We knew what we had when came down with her,” said consignor Dean De Renzo. “She has bloomed, and bloomed, and bloomed. We stretched when we bought her, she was $450,000 [at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale], so it's not as if she's just kind of a freak. She's supposed to be that way.”
The dark bay or brown colt is out of the unplaced Yes It's True mare Truelladeville, from the family of G2-placed stakes-winner Carpenter's Halo.
“He's advertised himself as a good horse all year, and everything we've done with him, he's been flawless,” said Ciaran Dunne of consignor Wavertree Stables.
The colt was a $115,000 purchase at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.
It was familiar territory for Dunne, who advised Westrock Stable on its $180,000 purchase of Sky Kingdom as a weanling at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Sky Kingdom, by Empire Maker, went on to become a multiple Grade 3 winner and stands at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky.
“He's a beautiful horse himself, a very laid-back horse,” Dunne said of Sky Kingdom. “To be honest, we thought he'd be a nice horse, but we didn't think he was as good as he turned out to be because he was so laid-back. He did everything quietly, and this horse is a lot like him, especially in the demeanor. It's his world, we're just living in it.
“We're biased, because we have him and he's an exceptional horse, but we have three other Sky Kingdoms on the farm, and we like them,” Dunne continued. “They're horses with good shape and a good way of moving. When we were doing our our first-season stuff, he was kind of our sleeper horse.”
The day's co-fastest quarter-mile times of :20 3/5 seconds were also spaced apart in the day, coming in the first and fourth sets.
First to hit the mark was Hip 82, an Uncle Mo colt out of the G1-placed Vindication mare Modification. A half-brother to G2-placed Sawyer's Hill, the dark bay or brown colt hails from the family of G3 winners Sky Alliance and Sky Mom. Hoby and Layna Kight consigned the colt, as agent.
“You hope that they work good, but that's phenomenal,” Hoby Kight said. “He's been training all winter like he was a good horse. For me, I paid a lot for him ($350,000 at the Keeneland September sale), so I'm really glad that he did work like I was believing he would. I was very excited with him.”
In the fourth set, Hip 139, an Into Mischief filly, rung the bell for consignor Tom McCrocklin, agent. The bay filly is out of the unplaced Empire Maker mare Specification, from the family of G1 winners Skimming, Marketing Mix, Wince, and Quiff.
With so many horses reaching times previously unseen at this particular sale's under-tack show, Kight theorized that the recent climates in South Florida had the track especially fast.
“We got all that rain last week, and they were sealing it,” he said. “All that rain they've had just makes it harder and tighter, and this racetrack is designed to take rain for the summers. That's what they do. The more it gets, the better it is.”
Dunne noticed a difference in the Gulfstream Park surface this time around, as well.
“It's a little quicker than it has been in previous years,” he said. “We don't do a lot of prep work here historically for that reason, but we came down here this year, and the first time on it, I said, 'Wow, we probably could have worked them here.'”
Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said said he didn't hear any negative feedback on the surface throughout the day, and noted that the Gulfstream track maintenance staff had been pleased with the surface's consistency throughout the winter.
However, Browning warned against putting too much of a focus on the eye-popping times, and he said he did not find any deeper meaning in the faster performances on Monday.
“I personally think times are overemphasized at under-tack shows across the United States,” he said. “I think it's one of the tools buyers should utilize in assessing the horses, but the last time I looked, we didn't run any races at an eighth of a mile. It can certainly be indicative of speed and some talent. If I were a consignor, I'd be thrilled if I had the fastest work, but it's just part of the equation. I don't think it means anything dramatic.”
To view the full results from Monday's under-tack show, click here.
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