Uncle Mo colt steals the show during Gulfstream Sale
Trio of seven-figure lots sold during first two-year-old sale of the season
Consignor Cary Frommer enjoyed a big evening at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale of two-year-olds in training, with a pair horses from her draft bringing seven figures to the same buyer.
Lawrence Best, a newcomer to the horse industry who buys under the OXO Equine banner, purchased the sale-topper, an Uncle Mo filly who is a full sister to stakes-placed Mighty Mo, for $1.5 million (£1,221,750/€1,425,381) and a More Than Ready colt for $1.1m.
Frommer's two big sales, and the $1.45 million paid by Coolmore's M V Magnier for a Bernardini colt who dazzled onlookers all week, fueled a strong market for the well-bred, well-conformed juveniles offered at the boutique sale conducted in Gulfstream Park's paddock.
From 160 cataloged, 73 lots were withdrawn, with 74 selling for gross receipts of $25,115,000 (£20,448,630/€23,865,635), an average price of $339,392 (£276,332/€322,508) and a $270,000 (£219,915/€256,568) median. All three statistical categories represent gains over last year's sale, with the gross up 14 per cent, the average up four per cent, and the median up eight per cent.
The 13 horses that did not sell this year represented a 15 per cent not sold rate, but must be taken into context with the large number of outs.
Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr said the results show a continuation of polarization within the marketplace, with intense competition for offerings perceived by buyers to be the best racing prospects.
"It was very, very hard for people to buy horses tonight, because it was an intense competition on the horses they wanted," he said. "We continue to live in a polarized market. It's really good when you get the stars lined up, but it's not easy getting the stars lined up. There are a lot of people who want to buy good horses.
"There were more faces and more activity than I've seen in recent years here, and that bodes well for the rest of the two-year-old season. Horses are still going to have to work well, video well, and have decent conformation at the end of the shank to sell well."
The sale-topping filly was bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall and bought by Frommer for $250,000 from Dromoland at last year's Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale.
The filly is from the female family of Group 2 winner Lotus Pool and was initially purchased in the name of Nitiosagan Farm as a weanling for $50,000 from the Select Sales offerings at the 2015 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
"She was so incredibly busy," Frommer said of the pre-sale activity, as buyers inspected the filly. "The poor thing walked and walked and walked for every single person who came to Gulfstream. She was just so popular and always walking. Sometimes that happens and it still doesn't work out. It certainly doesn't work out this way very often."
This year's sale also marked the second in a row in which Frommer sold an Uncle Mo juvenile for seven figures. Last year, an Uncle Mo colt Frommer purchased as a yearling for $90,000 was sold for $1m.
Best, who made his first purchases at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale, said both two-year-olds will be sent into training with Chad Brown.
"I like well-bred fillies and Uncle Mo is obviously a high-class horse," said Best, adding that he liked the More Than Ready colt "because I just liked him."
Best, who is involved in the medical devices industry, said the two horses he bought were the only two in the sale he was interested in. Of the amounts paid for the pair, Best said, "you make your calls and you live or die with them."
The More Than Ready colt is out of the stakes-winning War Front mare Tensas Punch and from the extended family of Grade 1 winner Liaison. Bred in Kentucky by Gunpowder Farms, the colt was bought by Frommer for $235,000 from the Allied Bloodstock draft at the same Fasig-Tipton July sale where she bought the sale-topper.
"I think they were standouts in the sale, but I was surprised at those prices," said Frommer, who is based in Aiken, South Carolina, and buys and sells in partnership with Barry Berkelhammer.
The Bernardini colt acquired by Magnier had one of the co-fastest pre-sale workouts, covering a furlong in ten seconds, and has a stallion prospect pedigree.
Consigned by Hartley/De Renzo, the colt is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Ocho Ocho Ocho and boasts Personal Ensign as his third dam. Broodmare of the year Grecian Banner is in his family. Bred in Kentucky by Chadds Ford Stable, the colt was bought by Hartley/De Renzo for $350,000 from Paramount Sales at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale.
Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales, who signed on behalf of Magnier, said there was little not to like about the colt.
"We thought this was the best horse in the sale," he said, noting the colt had a slow start before finishing well in his workout. "He had a beautiful work. He's a lovely colt. The good horses here bring a lot of money and the ones with a little issues fall through the cracks and don't sell well."
For more US racing, sales, and bloodstock news visit bloodhorse.com