03/29/2007 11:00PM

Forest Wildcat colt latest success for Eisamans


OCALA, Fla. - Barry and Shari Eisaman operate their sales business as Eisaman Equine, and they have chosen to concentrate their offerings of 2-year-olds in training at the March select auction of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company.

Although there are two other select juvenile sales in February, Eisaman Equine begins its sales season with the OBS March auction.

Barry Eisaman said: "We discontinued going to Calder three or four years ago. The March sale fits the horses we usually have because it is a really good middle-market sale. More people come to the sale looking for a $100,000 to $150,000 horse. Also, it's simpler for us, instead of shipping all the way to Miami or California."

In addition to simplicity, Eisaman Equine can focus its quality stock on the single sale, with the result that "it's now the fifth year in a row that we've been leading consignor," Eisaman said.

More than volume is responsible for that accomplishment. The Eisamans have a straightforward philosophy in preparing their stock for auction.

Eisaman said: "My wife, Shari, and I own all the horses, and our main goal is for people to be pleased with what they buy from us and return as repeat customers. We prefer to gauge our success on the number of buyers who have success with our horses."

The recent major winners from Eisaman Equine consignments include Song of Navarone, winner of the WinStar Derby, and Terrific Challenge, who was entered in Saturday's Dubai Golden Shaheen.

In selecting yearlings at auction for resale as 2-year-olds in training, Eisaman said: "We are looking for an athletic body and conformation that is correct, the same as any reseller. I can't speak for everyone, but our approach is to break our horses as soon as we get them home from the yearling sales, and they get a lot of miles under them before we ever try speed work. We take a lot of time to get a very good foundation under our horses before anything else.

"The stresses of exercise on the bones and ligaments causes them to remodel and adapt properly to the animal's job as an effective racehorse."

A specific result of the Eisaman program for 2-year-olds was the saletopper at the OBS March sale, which concluded Wednesday. The premium colt was a rugged-looking chestnut by Forest Wildcat that Eisaman Equine consigned and sold for $900,000. John Ferguson Bloodstock, agent for Godolphin Racing, purchased the colt.

Godolphin is expected to keep the colt in the U.S., which would make him a further advertisement for its American program of racing and for the successful Storm Cat horse Forest Wildcat.

The sire of such fast horses as Grade 1 winners Wildcat Heir, Forest Secrets, and D'Wildcat, Forest Wildcat stands at Brookdale Farm outside Versailles, Ky. He is one of the fastest and most consistent sons of Storm Cat, producing medium-sized, typey stock with speed.

With those qualities, said Brookdale's Joe Seitz, "Forest Wildcat has always been a favorite at the 2-year-old sales, and every year you'll see a couple of high-number 2-year-olds by him."

This is not surprising, since Forest Wildcat - one of nine stakes winners from the third crop of foals by his now-famous sire - topped the 1993 OBS February sale of select 2-year-olds in training, selling for $325,000.

Forest Wildcat's sale-topping son breezed a quarter-mile at the March sale's first under-tack show on March 18, recording a time that was equal to the fastest for the distance.

The sale-topper also posted a solid BreezeFig number of 63 in his workout at OBS. To produce that rating, the colt ran a quarter-mile in 21.20 seconds, but more importantly than the time, he stretched out nicely to show a 25-foot stride while running at more than 42 miles per hour.

The colt picked up nicely after a slightly tardy start to his work, and that may indicate that he will have more scope for distance than his sire, who was a sprint specialist and has sired many quick racers.

Bred in Kentucky by The Answer LLC, a group that includes Machmer Hall owner Carrie Brogden, the Forest Wildcat colt brought $120,000 as a yearling. He is the first foal out of the Capote mare Whattacapote, and Brogden said: "We sold his dam in the November sale last year for $150,000 in foal to Lion Heart, but it was a good deal for us. We had purchased her privately for $35,000, and she certainly made us a profit."

Two months earlier, Machmer Hall had presented the mare's Forest Wildcat colt for sale at Keeneland September, where some faulted him "for being too big a yearling," Brogden said. "He is a massive horse, but he moves really well."

The colt's size and bulk did not bother Barry Eisaman, who evaluated the colt quite positively. He said: "The only complaint I have about him is that I can't find many like him. I could use two or three dozen like that. He's quick and sound, and he has a wonderful mind that allows him to relax and sleep, not waste energy on things. He's an outstanding prospect."

In the estimation of the commercial market, the big colt by Forest Wildcat was the outstanding athlete at the sale. His development came as a result of his breeding and of his management to this point.

Furthermore, "Dr. Eisaman has a great eye for what a horse can become," Brodgen said.

And over the course of the next year or two, we all can watch with interest to see what sort of colt he becomes at the races.