07/14/2014 12:50PM

Fasig-Tipton July: Unbridled's Song colt sets bar high at $400,000

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By Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

A colt from the penultimate crop of the late Unbridled’s Song sold to Sandford Racing for $400,000 to take over as the top price of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales, as agent. Taylor Made Stallions stood Unbridled’s Song – whose top runners include Eclipse Award winners Will Take Charge and Midshipman – until his death last July at age 20. The son of Unbridled, a popular commercial sire, was instrumental in building that facility’s reputation.

“It's one of those things where the timing's bad because he was in great health until the last couple weeks of his life and we thought we'd have him for another three or four more years and unfortunately it didn't work out that way,” Taylor Made’s Mark Taylor said of the late sire. “It's similar to Sadler's Wells over in Europe. I think he got a knock that he wasn't the greatest sire of sires, and then all of a sudden when he's 20 years old, he produces Montjeu and Galileo, so I don't think it's a coincidence. Unbridled's Song steadily got better and better mares as he got older, and as he increased his reputation, so I think we're just reaping the fruits of how good he was and the increased opportunity he got in his later years.”

The Sandfords’ interest in the colt was piqued because they own Almost Famous, an Unbridled’s Song colt who is pointing to the Ohio Derby this weekend. That colt was a $500,000 purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton Florida March sale of 2-year-olds in training.

“There's not many [Unbridled’s Song offspring] left,” Charles Sandford said. “I liked him, my trainer loved him. We went all-in. He went for more than I wanted to spend. Obviously, somebody else liked him too. We're here to play. We'll be in on a few more before the day's over, but he was a nice start to the day. I've had to sit here for a couple hours and the anticipation on a nice colt's always fun, and then with the bidding process, it gets crazy.

“I hope to walk out of here with a minimum three or four, tops five or six. We're here to play. We won't last long at this rate,” Sandford added of the market at the first yearling sale of the season.

Sandford said that his high-ticket purchase would go to trainer Patrick Byrne, who conditions Almost Famous.

The colt is the first foal out of the winning E Dubai mare Bet On the Blue, whose seven stakes placings included a third in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes. This was the first foal offered at public auction out of the mare, who herself sold for just $8,000 as a 2-year-old at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale.

“He was a colt that was a foal share with the Unbridled's Song Syndicate with [breeder] Hal Snowden,” Taylor said. “I had seen the horse a few times out at his place, and he was a really nice horse. We were kind of torn to go to this sale or maybe wait until [Keeneland] September, but he was coming along and progressing well, and we decided to showcase him in here. We figured he'd be a standout. I thought that was very well sold, but we knew he was going to bring a lot of money. I didn't know whether he would bring $250,000 or $300,000, or $350,000, but I knew he was going to be one of the better horses we had to sell in this group of yearlings. It turned out a lot of people wanted him.

“I think it just goes to show you the legacy of Unbridled's Song,” Taylor continued. “His sons are really starting to click over now.”

Bet On the Blue’s second dam is a full sister to Irish Two Thousand Guineas winner Spinning World, who made two trips to the U.S. to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, winning in 1997 and finishing a close second in 1998. It is the extended family of sprint champion Aldebaran, Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Domedriver, and Grade/Group 1 winner Chimes of Freedom, Denon, Pathfork

The seventh dam of the Unbridled’s Song colt is the blue hen Best in Show, whose family’s current representatives on the track include multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches. Best in Show’s daughter Blush With Pride captured the 1982 Kentucky Oaks and is the dam of Better Than Honour, dam of Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil, as well as 2009 Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron. The family is also responsible for prominent sire El Gran Senor.