Among the talented youngsters at tomorrow’s Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s March auction of select 2-year-olds in training is a pair of colts by leading sires Smart Strike and Storm Cat.
The Smart Strike colt, who sells as Hip 93, is a bay out of the Dixieland Band mare Dixie Holiday. The mare has already produced the stakes winner Holiday Runner (by Meadowlake), who is the dam of G1 winner Seventh Street (by Street Cry).
The Smart Strike colt breezed an eighth at the OBS under-tack show in :10 1/5, one of the quickest and most visually pleasing breezes at the show. The bidders’ judgment of the latter quality — how a young racehorse handles its breeze has become increasingly important as these young athletes are pushed to race at speeds past what they are likely ever to use in an actual race. But the ones who can handle such things are given great regard by purchasers and advisers looking for highly trained athletes.
The Smart Strike is a medium-sized and neatly made bay colt. He has outstanding balance and quality, moving well at the as he is shown, and he regularly rattles the shoes on his front feet with those on his hind, as he extends himself at the walk as well as at a gallop.
The Storm Cat colt is from the last sizable crop by America’s perennial leading commercial sire and is therefore one of the sire’s last juveniles in training to go through this type of auction. Selling as Hip 135 from M & H Training and Sales, this bay colt will have some boutique value due to that distinction alone.
The colt needs a touch of elan as a sales prospect because he breezed a furlong in :11 1/5, which is a fine time tuning up for a race but is considered too slow for this type of sale. This colt also hails from an elite female family as his second dam is the marvelous broodmare Razyana, the dam of leading sire Danehill. This is the family of Kentucky Derby winners Northern Dancer and Cannonade, as well as the top sire Halo and champion La Prevoyante.
Buyers’ response to this pair of colts will tell us quite a lot about the depth and energy of the current juvenile sales market.