Updated on 09/15/2011 1:36PM

Florida-breds could sell well in Kentucky


There are 73 yearlings with Florida-bred connections cataloged to sell at the Kentucky yearling markets this week. Two of these will be offered at Keeneland and the remaining 71 are headed for Fasig-Tipton's selected sale.

"I think prices will be about what they were last year," said agent Beth Bayer, who will take 19 of the 20 she nominated to the Fasig-Tipton sale. "I know that the pinhookers did not have a great year last year, but the demand for horses, I believe, will continue to be strong."

When Bayer was asked about the impact of the health problems in Kentucky this past spring and its possible impact on the yearling market, she said, "Florida was free of all these problems, and because of this I think buyers will look twice at horses who were bred and/or raised in Florida. It's not that the yearlings who were prepped in Kentucky this spring have any fundamental problems, it's just that the perception seems to be, judging from the interest I have had in my consignment, because there have been no health incidents in Florida, certain buyers will take this into consideration when it comes to their purchases."

Taylor Made is the agent for No. 46 at Keeneland. This is a February filly by Mr. Prospector out of Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird. The dam won the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga and had earnings of $716,712. She is the property of the Joseph and William Stavola. Their late father, Mike, was one of the original partners in Meadowbrook Farm, one of Florida's oldest on-going Thoroughbred nurseries, and later founded Stavola Farm. The other Keeneland offering with Florida connections is No. 152, a daughter of Irish River-Jolie's Valentine, by Storm Cat. She is a half-sister to the Grade 1 stakes-winner and sire Jolie's Halo and to the promising young Florida sire Mister Jolie(Valid Appeal). Lakland LLC is the agent for this filly. Contrary to the catalog, she is not eligible to the Florida Stallion Stakes, as Irish River was never a resident Florida stallion.

There are 11 resident Florida sires among the 71 Florida-breds cataloged to the Fasig-Tipton auction. The two sires with first crops are Diligence, who stands at Hartley-DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, and Semoran, a resident at Don Dizney's Double Diamond Farm.

Diligence, as most will recall, raced for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable. The gray speedster is a son of Miswaki out of Honeytab, by Al Hattab, hence his gray coloring. Diligence spent most of his time in the majors and won the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap, the Grade 3 Churchill Downs Handicap, and placed second in Champagne behind Eclipse champion Maria's Mon and the NYRA Mile, both Grade 1 races. Diligence had speed and was effective up to a mile.

Semoran is a son of Phone Trick out of Silk Brocade, by The Minstrel. As a 3-year-old Semoran won the Remington Park Derby, as a 4 year-old he won the Grade 3 Kentucky Club Classic Handicap, and he ended his competitive career at 5 with a close third in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Handicap behind Awesome Again and Silver Charm. All told he banked $860,035 in a four-season campaign that clearly showed he preferred a mile or more.

There are Florida-breds in this sale who are by former Mockingbird Farm stallions End Sweep, Valid Expectations, Valid Wager, Storm Creek, and Open Forum. Open Forum has been reportedly headed for a well-known Kentucky farm or the Orient. The gray son of Deputy Minister, however, is still roaming the paddocks of Mockingbird Farm. When one of the farm's office staff was asked if anything was in the works, the response was a chorus from the old standard: "Rumors are flying...."