Zetta Z sells for record $2m price at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale

February 12, 2024

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale closed with a bang on Tuesday (Feb 6th) when the final session produced a tense bidding war, which ended with the sensational record sale of the in-demand Zetta Z for $2m.

Coolmore Stud’s new prized asset is dam to punter favourite Nysos, the unbeaten 3-year-old colt that stole the show to win the Grade III Robert B. Lewis by 7½ lengths in Santa Anita as recently as Saturday.

Nysos, who was sired by 2016 Derby winner Nyquist, has featured heavily on horse racing betting sites since last year, and has regularly been a popular choice in both the win and each way markets since making his debut in 2023.

With Zetta Z expected to dam more progeny with promise, Adrian Wallace, who led the charge for the buyer, admitted that the mare was a must-have.

“We targeted Zetta Z as soon as she was entered into the sale on Sunday. She’s a beautiful mare and stood out, being the dam of such a talented young colt with his whole future ahead of him.

“She was a must-have, and Mr [John] Magnier and MV were very interested in her from the beginning. She’s a wonderful mare and in foal to an exciting young sire and hopefully will be a nice addition to Justify’s book when the time comes.”

Across two days of trade, Fasig-Tipton reported that 372 of the 433 on display sold for a total turnover of $21,687,000 – which was a marked 53.7% increase in action from the previous year. The $58,298 per transaction average also jumped 66.1% when compared to a year ago, though 61 horses went unsold.

Hosted at the Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, Ky., the event’s record numbers were driven by the complete dispersal of Lothenbach Stables’ breeding stock and yearlings, which included bringing two seven-figure mares into view.

Remarkably, this was the first time ever that the February event saw individual sales of $1m or more. The previous best-seller here had been Pool Land way back in 2013, who went for $900,000.

Grovendale Sales cleans up at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale

Grovendale Sales enjoyed top billing at the sale and raked in more than anyone else at the event. They entered Zetta Z to proceedings on Sunday morning after her Nyquist son Nysos delivered an eye-catching display in the Grade 3 Robert B Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita the day before.

Speaking about the reception for Zetta Z, Grovendale Sales partner Chance Timm said “Pretty strong. Ones like that, with that kind of an update – everybody saw and recognised it, and Fasig did a great job of making everyone know.”

“We are thrilled with the result. It’s hard to predict what they can make at that level, but mares like her deserve to make a premium and a number like that because they’re scarce.”

Fittingly, the 14-year-old mare was the last horse into the ring on Tuesday and the showstopper became the third horse at the event overall to leap past a seven-figure sale price. Indeed, Coolmore finished as the biggest spenders at the Newtown Paddocks with their solitary splurge on Zetta Z.

“We were hoping we wouldn’t have to go so high, but it seemed every time there was a return bid coming back quickly,” said buyer Adrian Wallace.

“She’s very well-credentialled and beautiful. She looks like a $2 million mare instead of a $1 million mare.”

More big deals cut for Bell’s The One and She Can’t Sing

Elsewhere, two mares from Vinery Sales – who won the contract to handle the dispersal of Lothenbach Stables’ catalogue – also breached the $1m mark after some competitive bidding.

The higher-priced Grade-1 winning mare Bell’s The One, whose record of 13-5-3 from 27 starts earned north of $2m, eventually went under the hammer for $1.3m, while She Can’t Sing changed hands for slightly less ($1m).

She Can’t Swing was a Grade 3 winner by Bernardini and the broodmare prospect hails from the same kin as Grade 1 heroines Music Note and Musical Chimes.

The prolific Vinery Sales delivered the goods for Lothenbach Stables across the event and were one of the leading sales agents, selling 73 of the 78 horses it put on the market for a combined $7,098,500.

The second session at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale was particularly busy with the day’s top ten transactions earning sellers $300,000 or more with nine different buyers signing off on deals for new steeds.

In descending order, the second session’s top five short yearlings were by sires Into Mischief ($650,000), Twirling Candy ($300,000), Gun Runner ($225,000) and Medaglia D’Oro ($190,000 & $160,000).

Reports after close of business in Tuesday’s session revealed that of the 196 horses for sale, 175 were moved on, grossing $13,756,000 in total. 62 of those horses came from Robert Lothenbach’s stables, which is testament to the incredible work he did in developing his stud book before his death last year.

Speaking in tribute to Robert Lothenbach, Fasig-Tipton CEO and president Boyd Browning Jnr said: “It’s the reflection of a man who had a programme that raised and raced horses the right way.

“He had a long-term perspective and was in it for all the right reasons: He loved racing. That shared passion for racing ultimately fuels everything we do in our industry.”

Nice ex yesterday using longshot play under a couple faves

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