Magnier Stars at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale
by Nicolle Neulist
Six horses topped the million-dollar mark in an active Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in training. M. V. Magnier, of Irish breeding and racing powerhouse Coolmore, was the star of the show: his name appeared on four of those six largest tickets, including those for the two most expensive horses in the sale.
The most expensive horse in the sale, a bay colt by Curlin out of the Bernardini mare Achieving, sold for $3,650,000 to Magnier through agents Jamie McCalmot and Donato Lanni. The colt, consigned by Crupi’s New Castle farm as agent, is a half-brother to Arabian Hope (Distorted Humor), third-place finisher in the 2017 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (G1) as a three-year-old, as well as Counterforce (Smart Strike), winner of the 2016 Bachelor Stakes. Second dam Teeming (Storm Cat) produced Grade 1 winner Streaming (Smart Strike), winner of the 2013 Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1). His third dam is the blue hen Better Than Honour.
The Curlin colt is the fifth most expensive two-year-old purchase in American sales history; it has been over ten years since a two-year-old sold for more. The four to eclipse this mark include The Green Monkey ($16M at Fasig-Tipton Florida 2006), Stardom Bound ($5.7M at Fasig-Tipton November 2008), Ever Shifting ($5.2M at Fasig-Tipton Florida 2005), and Fusaichi Samurai ($4.5M at Fasig-Tipton Florida 2004). He is also the most expensive two-year-old by Curlin to sell at public auction — selling for over double his sire’s previous high mark for a two-year-old, set by Curlin’s Honor (Franscat, by Stormin Fever) when he sold for $1.5M at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale in May 2017.
Magnier also purchased the second-most expensive horse in the sale, a $1,650,000 American Pharoah colt out of the Tabasco Cat mare Spice Island, through agent Jamie McCalmont. Cataloged as hip 142, he was consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent VIII. Spice Island, herself a Grade 2 winner, has already produced Ice Box (Pulpit), winner of the 2010 Florida Derby (G1) and second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) that year.
The sale-topper was not the only Curlin two-year-old for which Magnier went to seven figures. Ben McElroy, as agent for Magnier and KSI, signed the $1,300,000 ticket for a Curlin filly out of the Luhuk mare Sarasota (ARG). Sarasota was a three-time graded stakes winner in Argentina. She has gone on to produce two United States graded stakes winners already: Grade 1 winner Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge) and Grade 2 winner Sarah’s Secret (Leroidesanimaux (BRZ)).
Magnier also signed the $1,000,000 ticket for an Into Mischief colt out of the Smoke Glacken mare Cor Cor. Cataloged as hip 15 in the sale and consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds LLC (Steven Venosa) as agent, the colt is the second foal out of his dam Cor Cor, a stakes winner sprinting on both synthetic and turf at age three.
Magnier purchased one other two-year-old aside from the quartet of million-dollar buys. Through agent Jamie McCalmont he purchased hip 51, a Bayern filly out of the Indian Charlie mare Hot Roots, for $500,000. She was consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds LLC. Listed stakes-placed Hot Roots is a half-sister to multiple G1-placed stakes winner Mother Mother (Pioneerof the Nile), who is currently on the Kentucky Oaks trail, as well as Commanding Curve (Master Command), second in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Two More Million-Dollar Horses
Another Into Mischief filly, out of the Empire Maker mare Specification, also soared into seven-figure territory — all the way to $1,500,000. She went to another buyer who has, in recent years, become a fixture at the top of the market: OXO Equine, who cracked the million-dollar mark for the fourteenth time since becoming active at the sales in September 2016. The filly, cataloged as hip 139, was consigned by Tom McCrocklin as agent. Her dam Specification has produced two winners, though no stakes winners yet. Though, this filly’s second dam Skimble (Lyphard) was a multiple Grade 2 winner at two turns on turf, and Skimble went on to produce Skimming (Nureyev), winner of the Pacific Classic (G1) in 2000 and 2001.
The one other horse to crack the seven-figure mark was hip 175, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare After Thought, who sold for $1,200,000. Bobby Dodd, Agent consigned the colt; Narvick International signed the ticket. Narvick International, already active earlier in the month at OBS, was the only buyer other than Magnier whose name showed up on five tickets.
The colt comes from a family with stakes form on both turf and dirt. Dam After Thought has already produced a pair of fillies who have won stakes on the lawn, Annulment (Broken Vow) and Youngest Daughter (The Factor). Second dam Let (A. P. Indy) was a G2 winner at a mile on the dirt; her two graded stakes winning progeny include Centre Court (Smart Strike), a G1 winner on turf, and Ravel (Fusaichi Pegasus), a G3 winner on dirt.
Market for Select Two-Year-Olds Strong
This being a select sale, one would expect strong performance given the recent activity at the top of the Thoroughbred sales market, and year-over-year statistics bore that out.
Among 100 two-year-olds to go through the sale ring, 59 were sold, and 41 were not sold. Though that is a lower number of sales and a higher RNA rate than last year (when 61 out of 91 hips were sold, a 67% sale rate compared with this year’s 59% sale rate, the gross sales were higher this year: $29,115,000, a 23.9% increase over the $23,495,000 spent at the sale last year. The $493,475 average price was a 28% increase over last year’s $385,164 average. Even the median saw a sharp uptick: $375,000, a 27% increase over last year’s $295,000 median.
On the strength of the two seven-figure hips, Curlin led all sires by average, with his two hips averaging out to $2,475,000. Among stallions who had more than one two-year-old sell, Into Mischief had the next strongest average. Four of his progeny sold, for an average of $900,000. Four sires had more than two progeny change hands: Uncle Mo (six sold, $395,833 average), American Pharoah (five sold, $702,000 average), Into Mischief, and first-crop sire Tonalist (three sold, $200,000 average).