Any horse at any sale needs something to stand out, really stand out, in order to bring a premium price. At Monday’s auction of 2-year-olds in training held by Fasig-Tipton at Adena Springs South, raw speed was not the deciding factor for which horses were most attractive in the market.
Instead, as some consignors and buyers groused, so many horses were clustered a fifth of a second above or below :10 flat that the works “didn’t separate them.”
Other considerations actually became more important in separating the juveniles in training and sending buyers after one but not another. At the sale yesterday, a pair of young prospects sold for seven figures, with the top price being $1.2 million for Hoby and Layna Kight’s gorgeous Malibu Moon colt, Hip 126, who sold to Demi O’Byrne on behalf of Coolmore.
At $1 million was Hip 83, a bay son of leading sire Distorted Humor out of the graded stakes winner Delta Princess, by A.P. Indy. Sold to Al Shaqab Racing, this colt also had several qualities that marked him as a young athlete of merit.
In addition to turning in a fast work for a furlong in :9 4/5, the medium-sized bay showed himself to advantage on the track and in the show ring at the barns; he possesses an athletic and progressive physique; and he comported himself in a manner suitable for a half-brother to multiple champion Royal Delta (by Empire Maker).
One of seven young horses timed in the co-fastest breezes of the sale, the Delta Princess colt was outstanding in the way he did it. Clocked at nearly 46 miles per hour in his breeze, he had a stride length of slightly more than 25 feet, which was more than a foot longer than average at this select sale. All his efficiency scores and stride quality markers were positive, and the handy-looking colt scored the highest BreezeFig of the sale with a 72.
In conformation, the son of Distorted Humor showed some notable differences from his famous half-sister. Whereas Royal Delta has the height and scope common to the stock of Empire Maker, Hip 83 was more muscular. His action was quick on the track and marked with power.
Both offspring from Delta Princess, however, show plenty of quality, a fine head and an expressive eye. The million-dollar colt had a good walk, with sound feet, a well-developed shoulder, and a powerful hindquarter.
He also looked like he had been to the wars. His forelegs bore the white hairs from scars he had inflicted on himself in an altercation with a board fence at Adena Springs Farm in Kentucky, where the colt was born and raised.
This colt, born in 2012, is the first foal that Adena raised out of Delta Princess.
At the Keeneland November sale in 2011, Adena had bid $2.6 million for Delta Princess at the dispersal of the Palides Investments bloodstock. At that sale, the mare’s famous daughter had brought $8.5 million from Besilu Stables, and Delta Princess was carrying this colt.
So, there was considerable disappointment when the bright young prospect ran through a board fence not long before his appointed date with the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select sale last year.
Randy Hartley, who consigned the colt to the 2-year-old sales with Dean De Renzo, pragmatically noted that “if he hadn’t run through that fence, I don’t know whether I could have got him bought. He was a really nice colt, and the scrapes kept him affordable at the sale.”
Hartley and De Renzo purchased their future seven-figure 2-year-old for $350,000 at Saratoga.
When Hartley and De Renzo brought the colt to Ocala and began working with him, Hartley said that “he was all class. Smart and easy to work with. When I started galloping him in the fields after breaking, I knew he was something special.”
The colt progressed nicely through his early training and began picking up speed and strength in earnest for presentation at the premium juvenile sales, and Hartley said, “I actually wanted to keep him, but it’s our job to bring horses to the sales and sell.”
And as well as Hartley and De Renzo did their job, the colt matched them in doing his. Hartley said, “I hope they win the Derby with him.”
*The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.