The following post appeared earlier this week at Paulick Report.
Seven years ago, the successful horseman Fred Seitz left his Brookdale Farm operation in the hands of his sons, Joe and Freddie, and turned full-time to training racehorses. Seitz has met with successes along the way, but on Saturday, his colt Flashy Dresser remained unbeaten in two starts while winning the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky.
Flashy Dresser, from the first crop of the Holy Bull stallion Flashy Bull, beat some interesting classic prospects in the race, but Seitz is not hastening onto the classic trail with his lightly raced colt. Seitz said: “We want to do right by this colt. He’s a really nice horse, and the first step is to make sure he’s well, then go day by day and look at all our options.”
That philosophy is the one that Seitz has used since purchasing Flashy Dresser at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale for $70,000. An attractive and well-grown colt at the time of sale, Flashy Dresser was one of a very nice group of first-crop yearlings by his Airdrie Stud-based sire that were presented at the first yearling auction of the year.
Only two yearlings from the sire’s first crop sold for more money in 2010, which indicates that Flashy Dresser passed all the criteria for a number of interested parties. Seitz secured the colt through the agency of Jun Park, who signed the ticket at Fasig July. Seitz said that he buys all his racing prospects on the advice of the David Lambert Equine Analysis team, and Park is part of that group.
A lifelong horseman who grew up on a training farm in New Jersey, Seitz has embraced newer technologies in racehorse selection, and he said that he uses all of the Lambert group’s tools, such as cardio scans, mechanical evaluations, wind test, and genetics, which “they are quite deep into right now,” Seitz noted.
As a result of this purchase and others, Seitz had several 2-year-olds to train, and he said the decision to put Flashy Dresser into a sale of 2-year-olds in training “was a difficult decision, but we needed to sell some. He had worked well at Keeneland and was clearly a nice colt with ability.”
Out of the Two Punch mare Saltnvinegar, Flashy Dresser worked very well at Fasig-Tipton’s sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium in Maryland. He worked a quarter-mile in :22 2/5 with an above-average stride length of 24.16 feet and earned a DataTrack International BreezeFig of 57. It appeared that Seitz would have a handsome payday for his work with the colt.
A post-breeze radiograph, however, showed a chip in a knee, and Seitz bought the colt back for $80,000.
The owner-trainer said that he had Larry Bramlage take out the chip, “gave the colt a couple of months off after the surgery,” and resumed training without incident, “just like Dr. Bramlage said he would after the surgery.”
The colt progressed well through his winter training, and on March 4, the handsome chestnut colt won his début by 6 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park, going six furlongs on dirt, and won the Rushaway, going a mile and a sixteenth on Polytrack, only 20 days later. Flashy Dresser now has earnings of $73,065.
The colt has the potential to become the best racer that Seitz has conditioned, and the ever-humble owner gave the colt most of the credit. He said: “I’ve learned that a good horse will do what it’s capable of if you can keep them comfortable and happy.”
Seitz has obviously managed to do that with Flashy Dresser, who has progressed so well in his first two races. Like the colt, Seitz also is happy in his work. He said that “after getting out of the service, I worked as a hot walker and a groom, with the desire to train, but it was too migratory a life with three small children,” and therefore he and his family moved to Lexington and established Brookdale.
There, Seitz stood such important stallions as Deputy Minister, Crafty Prospector, Silver Deputy, The Minstrel, and Forest Wildcat, among others. In addition to standing stallions, Seitz built up a successful breeding and consignment operation that made him one of the most respected horsemen in the Bluegrass.
A bit more than seven years ago, Seitz moved his tack to the racetrack, where his early passion for the sport had developed and where success is finding him once more.