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More Than Ready colt tops Fasig-Tipton Midlantic opener

Figures in line with the corresponding session last year

The More Than Ready colt who will enter training with Simon Callaghan after selling for $750,000
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A More Than Ready colt that Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds had bought for $500,000 as a yearling was purchased by agent Ben McElroy for $750,000 to top Monday's opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of two-year-olds in training.

McElroy, accompanied by Southern California trainer Simon Callaghan, signed the ticket in the name of Ed Savant Jr.

The first session of the two-day sale produced numbers in line with the corresponding session of last year's record Midlantic sale.

Fasig-Tipton reported 172 horses were sold for gross receipts of $12,066,000, up slightly from the $11,537,500 paid for 162 lots last year.

View the catalogue and sale results

The average price declined one per cent from $71,219 last year to $70,151 Monday, and the median fell 10 per cent from $40,000 to $36,000. The 51 horses that did not sell represented 23 per cent of those through the ring, compared with a session RNA rate of 25 per cent in 2017.

Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said the numbers are indicative of the overall juvenile market this year.

"I think we have seen a fairly similar marketplace throughout most of the two-year-old sales this year," he said. "There is still some polarisation, but certainly more diversity and depth here as you would expect with a larger catalogue and a wide variety of horses that were on offer today."

Conducted on a sunny, humid day with temperatures in the high 70s, the first day attracted a diverse group of buyers.

"There was a large crowd here today," Browning said. "There was plenty of interest. It was a solid, solid day and that's what you hope for in this marketplace; for people to be rewarded for bringing high quality horses here but also find a marketplace for horses they are not willing to take to the races."

The session-topper, consigned as Hip 204, is out of the Unbridled's Song mare Embur's Song, the 2011 Canadian champion older mare and winner of three Grade 3 stakes who is a half sister to stakes-placed Dawn Raid, dam of three-time Grade 1 winner and Kentucky Derby runner up Exaggerator.

The colt had been purchased by Hartley/DeRenzo out of the Denali Stud consignment to last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.

Bred in Florida by Bridlewood Farm, the colt breezed an eighth-mile in 10.2 seconds, co-second-fastest time at the distance during the under tack show.

"I thought his breeze was pretty exceptional," Callaghan said. "He is a great-looking horse, with a great attitude and he did everything right. More Than Ready is obviously a very proven stallion. I thought this horse had a lot more substance than some of the More Than Readys."

Callaghan recalled seeing the colt when he was bought by Hartley/DeRenzo as a yearling.

"He was obviously a very good yearling," the trainer said. "I liked him then, and to pay a little more than that after you've seen him breeze so well and jump through all the hoops, it made sense."

"We are happy with the sale for a couple of reasons," DeRenzo said. "One, we get to watch him race right here in the United States and that is important to us to build our client base when you sell horses to good trainers and good racetracks."

Considering that the colt is by the prominent sire More Than Ready and the yearling price paid for the pinhook, DeRenzo said the partners would like to have received more.

"I think they got a bargain," DeRenzo said with a chuckle. "Of course, you always want more money for the More Than Ready. But it works. I can't do any better than that in many other places so the investment portion of it works for us."

The sale concludes Tuesday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds with a session that begins at 2pm local time.

With additional reporting by Meredith Daugherty

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There is still some polarisation, but certainly more diversity and depth

Key data

More Than Ready
E.W. Terms
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