06/29/2006 11:00PM

Rare white filly selling at Fasig-Tipton

Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale will have an unusual feature this year: a white Trust N Luck filly.

The Jockey Club has registered only 40 white Thoroughbreds since 1896, though they are becoming more common as some horsemen specifically try to breed white Thoroughbreds. The Trust N Luck filly, selling as Hip No. 41, is one of eight white Thoroughbreds registered in 2005.

Nancy and Mike Mazzoni of Lost Creek Farm near Lexington own the filly and will consign her to the auction through the Darby Dan agency. And while they've enjoyed the attention this rare white Thoroughbred has been getting since she was foaled on Feb. 17, 2005, the Mazzonis are also serious sellers.

"We haven't settled on a number yet," Mike Mazzoni said of setting Lost Creek's reserve for the filly. "But we've decided that if she doesn't go for what we think she ought to, we'll bring her home and keep her and probably race her."

The Mazzonis had been in the Thoroughbred breeding business for only about three years when they bought the white filly's dam, Deebrand, for $24,000 at Fasig-Tipton's 2005 February mixed sale. They bought her, Mazzoni said, almost by chance.

"What happened was that we had one mare due to foal in February and all our other mares were going to be foaling in April or later," he said. "My wife likes to do things in pairs, and she thought we should get a mare that was foaling in February to be a companion for the first one. So we went to the sale, and a February foaling date was one of our screens, along with some other things. We didn't find anything we wanted to buy, but just as we were leaving, a Gone West mare came in the ring. We've always been partial to Gone West, and this mare looked like she was going to foal right there."

She was in foal to Vinery stallion Trust N Luck, whose sire Montbrook was another draw for the Mazzonis. Mike Mazzoni raised his hand.

"And four days later we had this white filly," he said.

The splendor of the filly's color didn't immediately strike Mazzoni. The oddity did. The filly was white with a chestnut cap that covers the top of her head and both ears. The Mazzonis suspected the filly might not be a Thoroughbred at all. They and their vet thought she might be an Appaloosa, because she had chestnut-colored flecks and spots, as well as the chestnut splash on her head.

"We found out she came from Domino Stud, and I called over there and raised hell with them," Mazzoni recalled. "And, sure enough, they had an Appaloosa teaser."

Fasig-Tipton suggested that the Mazzonis and Domino resolve the issue by DNA-testing. The tests showed that the filly was indeed a daughter of the chestnut Trust N Luck and the dark bay Deebrand.

In the end, The Jockey Club gave the filly their rare "white" designation because her skin was pink, Mazzoni said, indicating that she is white and not gray.

The Mazzonis say they've enjoyed the attention the white filly has attracted, including a visit from Vinery owner Tom Simon and a story in Sports Illustrated. Now they hope she sells well, too.

"It's been fun," Mike Mazzoni said. "And to top it all off, she's got a great personality and she's big. I'm not big on conformation, I just write the checks, but they tell me she's just about perfect."

Filly sets Tattersalls record

The Tattersalls (Ireland) Derby sale, which auctions National Hunt horses, ended its first session Thursday evening with a record-breaking 350,000-euro filly. The price was equivalent to about $447,725. The 4-year-old Oscar-Mary Kate Finn filly is a half-sister to the successful steeplechaser Fota Island. Edward Daly signed the ticket.

The Thursday session sold eight lots for 100,000 euros or more and saw a 17-percent gain in average to about $54,957 and a 21-percent rise in median to about $44,765. Gross jumped by 39 percent.

Friday's second of two sessions in Co. Meath, Ireland, also got off to a strong start, with a 250,000-euro ($319,820) Supreme Leader gelding out of No Dunce the early leader. Swordlestown Stud purchased the unbroken 3-year-old gelding.