Updated on 09/17/2011 10:19AM

Danehill colt draws Euro-record bid


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Americans Stuart and Anita Subotnick got the Tattersalls April 2-year-old auction off to a rousing start Monday when they paid a European record 260,000 guineas, about $428,610, for a Danehill colt.

The price shattered the record of 180,000 guineas, set last year at this sale.

The Danehill colt is out of the unraced Silver Hawk mare Silver Bubble, who herself is a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Hawkster. Silver Bubble has two winners to her credit: French winner Silver Solver and British victor Definate Spectacle.

Bansha House Stables of Ireland sold the record colt, whom it had purchased last year for a relatively paltry 50,000 euros, or about $54,000.

Agent John Hassett Jr., signed for the colt on the Subotnicks' behalf and said the colt would race for the couple's New York-based Anstu Stables.

Another American with keen interest in the Tattersalls results was consignor Kip Elser, who arrived at Tattersalls after selling an $850,000 El Prado-La Gueriere colt at Keeneland's 2-year-old auction Tuesday. Elser's South Carolina-based pinhooking operation, Kirkwood Stables, consigned six horses at Tattersalls.

Among them was a $109,900 Intikhab

-Tochar Ban colt that sold Thursday to James Delahooke. The colt originally was entered in the 2002 Keeneland September sale as a yearling, but consignor John Greely III scratched him then.

"I've been going there for years, but I took last year off after the 9-11 attacks," Elser said of the Tattersalls spring 2-year-old auction. "It's been a good market and hopefully it's still a developing marketing. I go there to do something different and get into a different market.

"There are a lot of grass pedigrees in the United States that a lot of people steer away from and that can do well in England. But you can't kid yourself. You have to have a good horse that goes well and is fit enough to perform well."

Fitness is key, Elser said. Unlike American juvenile sales, the Tattersalls auction has all horses work the same distance, three-eighths of a mile, on Newmarket's Rowley Mile Course. The demands of a Tattersalls "breeze-up" sale, as the 2-year-old sales are called there, reflect the English style of racing in the same way that American juvenile sales, with their emphasis on speed over dirt, play to American racing stables' needs.

"They have to breeze farther than they do here, and they have to finish up hill," Elser said. "But it's easier on them to breeze on the grass. And they don't have to fire off from the pole the way we demand that they do here. They can take a little while to hit their best stride. They have to be fast enough, they have to be strong enough, but they don't have to be quick in the way they have to be over here.

"But, make no mistake," he added, "it takes good horses to win races over there, and it takes good horses to sell over there."

Two Yates 2-year-olds top work tab

Two juveniles from Michael Yates's Shadybrook Farm agency were at the top of the quarter-mile work tab at Monday's under-tack preview for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's April 2-year-old sale.

The auction will run from April 22-25 at the OBS facility in Ocala, Fla.

The fastest workers at 21.20 seconds over a quarter-mile were Hip No. 88, a Concerto-Carol's Sparkle filly, and Hip No. 190, a Minister's Mark-Dance Naturally colt.

Two other juveniles posted the day's fastest eighth-mile time of 10.20 seconds. They were Hip No. 108, a Cape Town-Changing Fortunes filly, and Hip No. 131, a Forest Wildcat-Clever Kat filly.

Hip No. 161, a Southern Halo-Costa filly, was the fastest worker over three-eighths, stopping the clock in 34.20.

The Monday preview show was the first of four consecutive days of public workouts that start at 9 a.m. daily.

Specialty seminars open to the public

The April 24-27 Rolex Three-Day Event, an Olympic-level equestrian competition that takes place annually at the Kentucky Horse Park, will also include a pair of seminars on breeding and veterinary matters.

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital will host a one-day seminar for owners and breeders, with topics including competing the pregnant mare; shoeing for high performance and soundness; and current joint therapies. Speakers include renowned equine reproductive specialist Dr. Michelle LeBlanc. Cost is $5, and tickets are available at the Horse Park's visitor center.

Dr. Gary Lavin, owner of Longfield Farm and a prominent member of Keeneland's selection team, is among a panel of experts who will discuss conformation, breeding, and athleticism as it applies to event horses at the first annual "Event Horse Breeders' Symposium" on April 24-25. The seminar costs $25. Information is available at www.phr.com.