One of the truths made evident every year at the sales of 2-year-olds in training is that racing is about the individual, the burgeoning racehorse in front of you, as he shows his growing qualities both in a breeze before the sale and in physical conformation and manner at the barns.
Instead of pedigree’s paper tyranny at the yearling sales, the premium demand at the 2-year-old sales is for the young prospect who fills the eye, works impressively, and comports himself with distinction at the barn.
As a result, there are young athletes at the juvenile sales who would not earn high credits for pedigree frills but who are such strong and appealing prospects that they bring much higher prices than is common for their sires or dams.
One colt like this is Calculator, who won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and who sold at the 2014 April sale held by the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company. Calculator, cataloged as Hip 966, brought $132,000 on a bid from trainer Peter Miller, agent for Richard Pell.
Bred and consigned by Ocala Stud,Calculator is by the useful stallion In Summation out of the Alphabet Soup mare Back to Basics.
Ocala Stud stands In Summation, a speedy bay son of the Honour and Glory stallion Put It Back, and the Sham Stakes winner is the sire’s leading representative from his second crop. In Summation has done very respectably with his first and second crops, ranking 12th and 13th nationally.
Those are very solid results for a young sire who is advertised at $2,500 live foal for the 2015 breeding season. In Summation also has considerable appeal in Florida, the home for many of the best sires in this male line, which goes back to Kentucky-based Relaunch, his Florida-based sire In Reality, and his sire, Florida-based Intentionally.
This is the male line of Man o’ War, which has had a dual resurgence over the past couple of decades through In Reality and in particular his son Relaunch, who also sired Cee’s Tizzy, the sire of Horse of the Year Tiznow, now a leading stallion. In addition, Relaunch sired Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Skywalker, sire of champion Bertrando, a leading stallion in California.
The trademark of the In Reality line has been its speed, allied with precocity and class.
A big, progressive-looking gray, Calculator worked a quarter-mile at the OBS April sale in :21 1/5. Calculator stretched out impressively in his work for a stride length of nearly 24.5 feet, and he earned a BreezeFig of 62 for the work.
His professional attitude and robust construction, combined with his good work, made Calculator a popular prospect at the April sale, and he became the top-priced 2-year-old by his sire when Calculator sold for $132,000.
Calculator is the third named foal and second winner out of his dam Back to Basics, a gray daughter of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup (Cozzene), who is still standing at Adena Springs for the 2015 season.
Back to Basics is the fourth foal out of the Unbridled mare Christy Love, whose first three foals were all stakes winners: G3 winner Atticus Kristy (Atticus), Fiery Dancer (Atticus), and listed stakes winner Distorted Reality (Distorted Humor).
Christy Love also produced stakes-placed Myriad (Ghostzapper), who sold for $575,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale in foal to Giant’s Causeway. Also in 2013, Christy Love foaled a bay filly by In Summation.
Since producing Calculator, Back to Basics has foaled a 2013 gray filly by Kantharos (Lion Heart) and a 2014 gray colt by Overdriven (Tale of the Cat).
Like In Summation, those sires offer a great deal of speed and early maturity that are premium qualities for the stock brought to market at the 2-year-old sales. That is the model for producing athletes at Ocala Stud for more than half a century, and enough of them have class to match their speed and become important stakes horses.
We will doubtless be seeing more juveniles from Calculator’s family and sire at the upcoming sales this spring.
*The preceding post was first published at Paulick Report last week.