04/10/2008 11:00PM

One-horse offering quite lucrative


LEXINGTON, Ky. - One big winner at Keeneland's select 2-year-old sale last week was one of its smallest consignors. That was equine dentist Jon Jazdzewski, whose one-horse consignment earned $230,000 for its Cat Dreams filly out of Siphonophora.

That might not sound like much when you compare it with the sale-topping Storm Cat colt's $800,000 price tag. But when you consider that Jazdzewski's filly cost him just $10,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale last year, Hal Earnhardt's winning bid for the filly - whose sire is a son of Storm Cat - looks very good indeed.

Jazdzewski and two partners - his wife, Patience, and Lexington resident and stay-at-home mother Susan Dare - put up the funds to buy the bay filly with the aim of reselling her at the Keeneland auction. But the filly almost didn't make the cut because Keeneland's selection team wasn't sure her pedigree was fashionable enough.

"Jon had called in to nominate this filly, and, being by Cat Dreams, it was not likely to happen," said Keeneland's deputy sale director, Tom Thornbury.

Thornbury said that Gary Lavin of Keeneland's selection committee "went out to look at the filly, and when he came back, he said, 'She's Storm Cat. She's perfect, she's lovely.' He gave her a top physical grade. So we told Jon we'd take a chance. It worked out beautifully."

Jazdzewski, 38, had pinhooked before on a small scale through Florida-based agent Tony Costanzo. But this time Costanzo was busy at another sale, and so Jazdzewski decided to handle the process himself. He got some help from friends Mike Crowder and Larry de Merrit, who did the initial breaking and training. But when Hip No. 163 arrived on Keeneland's sale grounds in early April, Jazdzewski was in charge by himself.

"But I called Tony about five or six times a day," he said.

Jazdzewski is an experienced horseman. A former bush-track rider from Wisconsin, he now makes his living rasping down the teeth of everything from yearlings to stallions.

"I see a lot of good horses," Jazdzewski said of his day job. "I have a computer in the truck with a [pedigree] CD, and when I see a horse I like, I can look it up and see if they made any money. And I've found that good horses have the same good features time and again."

Jazdzewski has had success before. He bought Never Enough for $3,500 as a yearling before selling her privately for $50,000, and he paid $2,000 for yearling Bohunk, now a stakes-placed earner of more than $95,000.

"Her walk was a big thing," he said of the Cat Dreams filly. "She had that big, fluid walk, and she had a lot of confidence and class."

Medaglia d'Oro colt proves rewarding

Jon Jazdzewski wasn't the only consignor who had a big sale at Keeneland this week.

Mike Mulligan's Leprechaun Racing agency sold a son of first-crop sire Medaglia d'Oro for $450,000. Clients had purchased him last year for just $25,000 at the Keeneland September auction.

"He was a nice horse," Mulligan said. "When somebody calls and tells you they bought a Medaglia d'Oro for $25,000 at Keeneland, you get a little concerned about what might be wrong. When he got to us, the colt was a tad bit narrow, but he has grown and matured and became a very nice horse. He worked well on the racetrack and was extremely well received here. He got vetted 11 times [on the day of the sale]. I think there were a lot of people who thought they could get him for $100,000 or $150,000."

Offered as Hip No. 77, the dark bay son of the Thunder Gulch mare Viaduct went to Maverick Racing, a partnership associated with WinStar Farm owners Ken Troutt and Bill Casner.

Mulligan declined to identify the colt's sellers but said they were clients of Hidden Brook Farm.

Sale to remember for pinhooker

Longtime yearling-to-juvenile reseller Eddie Woods had a personal-best performance at this auction, selling nine horses for a total of $2,065,000 to rank second behind leading seller Niall Brennan, agent, who consigned 13 for $3,595,000.

Woods sold the auction's top-priced filly, a $625,000 More Than Ready filly out of Riverboat Miss, to Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's representative John Ferguson. That was the only purchase Ferguson made at the auction.

Woods pronounced himself "very happy" with his Keeneland results.

"It's been the same all year," Woods said. "There are still people there for decent horses, and you just can't come with an average product anymore. If you have a good product, there are people to buy it. But below that, forget it."

Woods's results provided a handy illustration of the peaks and valleys in the high-risk juvenile market. He sold nine but bought back five. His average sale price was a healthy $229,444, but the horses who did not reach their reserves went home again on final bids ranging from $7,000 to $100,000.