Horse Racing

Into Mischief Colts Headline Strong OBS March Opener


by Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis

OCALA, FL–To no one’s surprise, Into Mischief–a $180,000 purchase at the auction 15 years ago–was the star of the show at the opening session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2022 March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training Tuesday, with two of his colts bringing seven figures during a strong day of trade.

Hip 257, a son of Zapara (Not For Love) was first to break the seven-figure barrier, bringing $1.1 million from Hideyuki Mori. It wasn’t long before Hip 277, a son of MGISW Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler) hammered for a cool million to Spendthrift Farm and the BSW/Crow Colts Group, with breeders Chester and Mary Broman staying in as partners. That New York-bred colt was also the second seven-figure OBS March seller for his dam, following $2-million 2019 topper Chestertown (Tapit).

First-crop sires also put in a very strong showing in Ocala Tuesday, accounting for six of the top 15 sellers. Three of those six were by Bolt d’Oro, including a $600,000 colt. Other freshman represented in the top 15 were Cloud Computing, Mendelssohn and Good Magic.

“Everyone is buying the dream,” Eddie Woods, who was the day’s top seller by gross with nine head bringing $3.042 million said of the popularity of the first-season stallions. “They hope that the young horses are the next coming and they will go with that rather than some of the proven stallions, always just hoping they land on the big one.”

The pavilion was packed by the delayed start time of 1 p.m. Tuesday and the back ring was even busier, which resulted in strong activity from start to finish. A total of 188 juveniles summoned $26,325,00 with an average of $140,027 and median of $77,500. The buy-back rate was 18.6%.

At the close of the equivalent session last year, 160 head changed hands for gross receipts of $18,482,500 with an average of $115,516 and a median of $62,500. The RNA rate was 20%. Those stats have since been updated to include post-sale transactions.

“I think one of the best things is how many people you see here,” said Ned Toffey of Spendthrift. “There is a lot of traffic, a lot of activity. It’s great when horses sell for $1 million and $1.5 million and all that stuff, but when you have good solid activity throughout the market, that is a healthier thing and that is what it feels like we’ve got so far.”

The OBS March sale displayed a very deep and diverse buying bench, with nine different entities purchasing the top 10 horses. Japanese horsemen were very active Tuesday, with Mori leading all buyers while purchasing four head for $1.65 million, and Katsumi Yoshida was third on the list, buying three for $1.08 million.

“We sold a horse for $30,000 and one for a $1 million and everything in between,” said Sequel’s Becky Thomas, who consigned the $1-million Into Mischief–Artemis Agrotera colt. “I think there are plenty of buyers here if you put your reserves right. I think it is a very solid market.”

Woods expressed similar sentiments, saying, “It’s a bloody good sale. In talking to my fellow consignors today, it is quite a sale if you have the right product, as always. They are paying you handsomely for them. Unfortunately, when you don’t have them, you struggle a little bit, but they were still getting sales.”

The second and final session of the OBS March sale will begin, as originally scheduled, at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Into Mischief Colt Lights Up OBS March

Last year’s leading General Sire Into Mischief parlayed his dominance on the racetrack to the sale’s ring Thursday when a colt by the Spendthrift stallion lit up the board with a session topping $1.1-million final bid from Hideyuki Mori, who was doing his bidding in OBS’s back ring. Narvick’s Emmanuel de Seroux was the immediate underbidder on the bay. Consigned by Eddie Woods, Hip 257 breezed an eighth in :9 4/5 during Friday’s breeze session.

One of only two seven-figure horses sold Tuesday, Woods admitted the result was welcome but somewhat unexpected.

“That wasn’t even close to what I was thinking, maybe halfway,” he admitted. “I knew he was going to sell well, but I didn’t think they were going to go as high as they did. It was just the case of the right people hooking up. There were two [buyers] that we really didn’t keep in mind as players–Hideyuki Mori and Narvick’s Emmanuel de Seroux. And away they went. The two Japanese entities just went at it.”

Out of Zapara (Not For Love), the May 12 foal is a half-brother to stakes-placed Basso (Cairo Prince). The 12-year-old mare is a half-sister to GI Santa Anita Oaks winner Hedonist (Alydeed), Seeking Daylight (Seeking the Gold) and SW Zaha (Kingmambo). This is the extended family of Canadian Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner Izvestia.

Bred by Brookstone Farm and Lee Mauberret, the colt was purchased by Woods’s Quarter Pole Enterprises for $180,000 at last summer’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale.

Asked about his distance limitations, Woods indicated the colt would definitely pack a punch at shorter distances.

“I’m not sure he’s going to go a mile and a quarter, I think he’s too quick for that,” he said. “But he’ll like a one-turn mile. He’s very fast.” -Christina Bossinakis

Artemis Agrotera Shines Yet Again at OBS

Back in 2019, the first foal by Chester and Mary Broman’s MGISW Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler), a Tapit colt named Chestertown, topped the OBS March sale at $2 million. The mare was a star yet again at this year’s renewal with her current 2-year-old colt by white-hot sire Into Mischief (Hip 277) summoning $1 million from Spendthrift Farm and the BSW/Crow Colts Group with the Bromans staying in for 25%. The colt will be trained by Brad Cox.

“He has been excellent all along,” Broman said. “I’m excited to stay in and race him.”

Hip 277 is a third-generation Broman New York-bred. The Bromans purchased his GISP third dam Immerse (Cox’s Ridge) for $350,000 in foal to A.P. Indy back in 1997 at KEENOV and the resulting foal was this colt’s second dam, SW & MGSP Indy Glory.

His dam Artemis Agrotera won the GI Frizette S. and GI Ballerina S. for the Bromans and her sale-topping son Chestertown is now a stakes winner. Her second foal Teetotaler (Uncle Mo) summoned $500,000 from White Birch Farm at FTSAUG and her 2019 foal Adversity (Arrogate) brought $335,000 at OBS April last year. She had another Into Mischief colt last year.

“He is a big, beautiful Into Mischief and obviously we love Into Mischief,” said Spendthrift’s Ned Toffey. “He is out of a heck of a mare and produced by a wonderful breeder. He had a nice breeze [:10 1/5] and Becky does a great job. We are happy to get him.”

He added, “When a horse is by Into Mischief and out of that kind of mare, they could be anything. There aren’t many that breeze like that.”

As for the price, Toffey, while standing across from Sequel’s Becky Thomas, who consigned the colt, said, “Don’t tell Becky, but we thought he would be more. We thought he could be the sales topper. When you get to this point, you never know where they are going to land. He is a very nice horse.”

Thomas laughed and said, “Mr. Broman was one of the original breeding right holders in Into Mischief.”

Toffey replied, “I don’t know if Mr. Broman remembers, but I went to his farm once to look at his offspring and he, very tongue in cheek, said, ‘Oh here is the one by that stallion you made me take.’ At the time, Mr. Hughes said, ‘If you want to breed to Malibu Moon, you have to breed to something else.’ His something else was he took a breeding right to Into Mischief.”

Thomas has sold and trained the whole family, including Artemis Agrotera.

“I love the mare, love the family,” Thomas said. “We have had everything out of that family. I am thrilled Mr. Broman gets to stay in, too.”

When asked how Hip 277 compares to his sale-topping half-brother, Thomas said, “As big as he is, this horse is very precocious. With Chestertown, I always felt like he needed a little more time. This guy has a great mind. I think he can be a horse that wins early and a horse that is going to win Classics.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Shah Gets His ‘Bolt’ at OBSMAR

Spendthrift Farm’s Bolt d’Oro continued to enjoy good energy during the initial day of the OBS March Sale, highlighted by

Hip 291, who realized a $600,000 from Kaleem Shah. The colt was the sole purchase Tuesday for Shah, who was accompanied by advisor Ben McElroy during the proceedings. Consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, the Jan. 25 foal zipped an eighth of a mile in

:9 4/5 Friday, the co-fastest time for the day.

“Visually, his breeze was very impressive,” said McElroy. “Obviously the time was impressive, but when I went back to see him at the barn, he was [physically] impressive as well.”

The colt was the highest priced juvenile by the sire at Tuesday’s session, with six of the offerings bringing over $200,000.

“We were hoping for less,” admitted McElroy of the final price. “But, I could see when he walked into the back walking ring, that there was a lot of attention on him.”

The bay is out of unraced young mare Beautissimo (Uncle Mo), a half-sister to SW and GSP Two Thirty Five (Stay Thirsty) who last sold while in foal to Tonalist for $50,000 at KEENOV in 2018. The Florida-bred, a $52,000 RNA at OBS last October, was bred by Loren Nichols. Hailing from a productive female family, the juvenile’s third dam, At The Half (Seeking the Gold), is responsible for MGSW Lu Ravi and Half Queen, the latter having the distinction as the dam of champion juvenile filly and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Halfbridled.

A dual Grade I winner, freshman sire Bolt d’Oro was also represented by a pair of colts that brought $400,000 on Day 1-Hip 51 and Hip 300.

“After seeing his stock here at the sale, it’s hard not to be impressed with Bolt d’Oro,” said McElroy. “He’s stamping them. They all seem to have good minds on them.”

-Christina Bossinakis

West Point & Talla Reach for the Clouds

West Point Thoroughbreds and Mike Talla were quite active at OBS Tuesday, securing four juveniles, topped by a $560,000 colt from the first crop of GI Preakness S. victor Cloud Computing (Hip 190).

“He was everything we liked, his breeze, his looks,” Talla said. “We are thinking this could be an up-and-coming stallion. We are taking a chance, but he checked all the boxes. If he was by a better known, more experienced sire, he would have been over $1 million. We are really excited we got him.”

Talla and West Point’s other purchases include a $410,000 Adios Charlie filly (Hip 213), a $310,000 colt by Bernardini (Hip 56) and a $250,000 Accelerate filly (Hip 150). West Point also bought four others either alone or in partnership.

“We are finding the market very active, but very reasonable,” Talla said. “We have been very fortunate. We have bought exactly what we wanted to buy for about what we wanted to pay for it or slightly less. This was more than we thought he would be, but we are where we wanted to be overall. We still have a few more tomorrow.”

Paul Sharp and Liz Crow purchased Hip 190 under their Whetstone Stable partnership for $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale. Bred by Ralph Colville, the :9 4/5 breezer is out of the Montbrook mare Tara Brooch.

“We liked the way he moved and the way he carried himself around the barn,” Sharp said. “When we bought him, we weren’t sure what the market would bear. We try to buy a mix of proven and freshman sires.”

When asked how the colt has developed since his purchase, Sharp said, “He developed just like you would hope one would. He got better every day.”

This colt is from the first crop of 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing, who in turn is from the first crop of Maclean’s Music. This sale comes on the heels of a fantastic year for Maclean’s Music, who sired his first champion in Jackie’s Warrior and another Grade I winner, Drain the Clock. Cloud Computing started his career at Spendthrift at $7,500 and currently stands for $5,000.

“I think he has a chance of being a very good sire,” Sharp said of Cloud Computing. “We have two more at the farm. They both train very similar to this horse. Their composure is something that I really like. They seem to take everything in stride. I am sure, given a good book of mares, that Cloud Computing will be a good sire.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Mendelssohn in Demand at OBS

A filly by Mendelssohn garnered plenty of attention for her freshman sire when realizing a final bid of $525,000 from agent Chris Gracie at the OBS March sale Thursday. Offered as Hip 125, the Mar. 15 foal was consigned by Niall Brennan Stables. During Thursday’s initial breeze session, the dark bay negotiated an eighth of a mile in :10 flat.

Out SP Simply Confection (Candy Ride {Arg}), the Florida-bred is a half-sister to recent GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. winner Simplification (Not This Time). The 10-year-old mare is a daughter of MSP Ballado’s Halo (Saint Ballado), who is also responsible for the dam of MSW & MGSP Inflexbility (Scat Daddy), SW and GSP Halo Again (Speightstown) and GSP Fundamental (Arch). This represents the family of dual champion and Hall of Famer Ashado and Grade I winner Sunriver.

“She is a very nice filly and worked very well,” said Gracie, signing the ticket for an undisclosed client. “She has a very nice female family–she’s half to a very good horse.”

Bred in Florida by France and Irwin Weiner, Hip 125 was

purchased by Brennan and a partner for $95,000 at the OBS January Sale under the name Democracy Bloodstock.

She RNA’d for $190,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and

was withdrawn from Fasig’s October Sale.

“[The buyer] is after big pedigree fillies,” confirmed Gracie, adding, “She’ll go back to the farm in Pennsylvania and we’ll reevaluate [where she will go] from there.”

In regard to the filly’s young Coolmore sire, Gracie, a former jump jockey who operates out of his Southeastern Pennsylvania base, said, “Mendelssohn looks like he could be a very nice stallion. He’s definitely got the credentials to be a very good stallion. We’re looking forward to having one by him.”

Mendelssohn was also represented Tuesday in Ocala by hip 204, who sold for $350,000 to Corbin Blumberg, agent for North Star Racing; hip 115 who sold for $200,000 to Dennis O’Neill and hip 208, who sold for $140,000 to Emerald Sales, as agent for Michael Eiserman. –Christina Bossinakis

Nass Returns to the Well

Fawzi Nass went to $425,000 at last year’s OBS April sale for a Munnings filly from the Eddie Woods consignment and she turned into undefeated G3 UAE Oaks winner and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Shahama. With Gerard Butler as his representative, Nass returned to the well at OBS Tuesday, securing a regally bred Gun Runner colt (Hip 93) from Woods’s barn for $600,000.

“He’s been bought for Fawzi Nass in Dubai. I’m just the guy waving the catalogue,” said Butler after signing the ticket. “He bought a very nice filly here last year from Eddie Woods named Shahama. She is one of the top fillies in Dubai and she is coming over here to Todd Pletcher.”

Butler continued, “He is a lovely horse with a great pedigree. There is an awful lot to like about him. He had everything, top to bottom.”

Bred by Runnymede Farm and Catesby W. Clay Investment 2, Hip 93 is a half to champion Lady Eli (Divine Park), a five-time Grade I winner and earner of nearly $3 million. Woods sold Lady Eli for $160,000 at the Keeneland April sale and she brought $4.2 million from John Sikura at the conclusion of her career at the 2018 Keeneland November sale. The :21 3/5 breezer is also a half to MGSW Bizzy Caroline (Afleet Alex) and GSP Princess Caroline (American Pharoah).

“We sold Lady Eli, so I was driven by my heartstrings a little bit, but he is a very good horse,” Woods said. “He is a beautiful mover and acts like a good horse at the end of the day.”

In addition to his strong female family, Hip 93 is by last year’s leading freshman sire Gun Runner, who continues to do no wrong in 2022. He currently leads the second-crop sire list with a trio of black-type winners this season, including GIII Withers S. winner Early Voting.

Gun Runner is the type of stallion where there won’t be that many of them at the 2-year-old sales and none of them will have that type of pedigree,” Woods said.

Woods hit another homerun later in Tuesday’s session, selling an Into Mischief colt he acquired for $180,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga Select Sale for $1.1 million. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Tapit Colt Goes to Sano

Still flush off an impressive victory in the Mar. 5 GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. with Simplification (Not This Time), trainer Antonio Sano and Tami Bobo returned to spend some of those newly earned funds on a colt by Tapit at Tuesday’s opening session of the OBS March Sale.

Offered by de Meric Sales, Hip 26 was purchased for $350,000 on behalf of longtime Sano clients Bobo in a 50% split with Luis Gavignano.

“My client Luis Gavignano really wanted a Tapit for a long time,” said Sano, who was purchasing an offspring by the sire for the first time. “I saw the horse work and I thought, ‘I really like this horse.’ So, I told Tami about the colt and they [partnered] to buy the horse.”

During Thursday’s breeze session, the grey worked an eighth in :10.1.

“I liked his work and I really liked the pedigree,” said Sano explaining the decision to take the plunge on the colt. “I’ve never paid that much for a horse in my life. Usually, my price range is between $40,000-$60,000. So this was quite a bit more.”

The $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling purchase is out of Grade II-winner Part the Seas (Stormy Atlantic), who is already responsible for SW Oceans Map (Liam’s Map). This is the family of Canadian champion turf horse Portcullis.

During Thursday’s opening session, Sano also secured Hip 41 (Khozan) for $40,000 (video); Hip 71 (Klimt), who was secured for $30,000 (video); and a colt by Cupid (Hip 174) for $25,000.

“I liked that the Klimt colt, like Simplification, both are both out of Candy Ride mares,” explained Sano. “I saw similarities between the two horses.”

A major factor directing many of his sales’ purchases, Sano offered, “The [maternal] grandsire is very important for me. It’s definitely something I look at.”

Looking ahead to what’s next for the big horse in the barn, Sano said that Simplification, who was runner-up in the GIII Holy Bull S. prior to taking the Fountain of Youth, will make his next start in the Apr. 2 GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream.

“In the Holy Bull, he broke badly,” said Sano. “After the race, I told Tami, ‘Don’t worry.’ Because after the finish of that race, he galloped out very strong. I was confident going into the Fountain of Youth and he ran the way I expected.”

Sano previously won the Fountain of Youth with Gunnevera (Dialed In) in 2017.

According to the native Venezuelan, if everything goes according to schedule, Simplification will work two more times in Southern Florida before heading to Churchill Downs Apr. 30.

“There are five weeks between the Florida and Kentucky Derby,” he said. “I hope he runs well in the Florida Derby, but the ultimate goal is the Kentucky Derby. We’re very excited about him.”–Christina Bossinakis





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