04/12/2007 11:00PM

Record-setting filly late add to sale


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland April 2-year-old sale got a flashy addition Friday, when owners Robert C. Tanklage and Wesley Ward decided to put their world-record-setting filly One Hot Wish in the Tuesday auction.

One Hot Wish, a daughter of Bring the Heat trained by Ward, won her career debut Thursday at Keeneland by 12 1/4 lengths, setting a 4 1/2-furlong world mark of 48.87 seconds. Now she will head for the auction block as part of the Eaton Sales Agency's consignment.

"It came about this morning," Keeneland's director of sales, Geoffrey Russell, said Friday of the late entry. "We're just happy to offer such a unique individual. She'll be the last horse to go through the ring, and she'll be available for inspection in Barn 47 from tomorrow."

One Hot Wish's late inclusion in the catalog as Hip No. 227 only added more speed to an already sizzling group of juveniles, the fastest ever to go to auction at a juvenile sale. At the sale's first under-tack preview April 9, two horses - a Yankee Gentleman-Truly Something colt selling as Hip No. 102 and a Lemon Drop Kid-High Heeled Hope filly offered as Hip No. 212 - recorded quarter-mile works in 20.20, the fastest ever clocked for that distance in a juvenile auction preview. A third horse, the Mineshaft-Stylish Talent filly selling as Hip No. 86, tied the record of 9.60 seconds for an eighth-mile work.

One factor that may have helped these horses achieve such scorching times is Polytrack, the new synthetic surface that Keeneland installed last year and is now marketing to other North American tracks in partnership with the surface's developer, Martin Collins International. Keeneland debuted the surface at its October meet, but Tuesday's auction is the first juvenile sale to showcase its nominees on Polytrack. A second under-tack show will be held Monday.

Conventional wisdom says fast times can often lead to injury in young runners headed to 2-year-old sales, but Keeneland's consignors generally seemed pleased with how their horses came out of the first preview day. So was Russell.

"We were happy with the quality of the catalog prior to the first gallop show," he said. "We knew we had a good group of horses, and they performed really well. There was some concern prior to the sale whether the track would produce fast times.

"I knew the times would be competitive, but no one expects world-record times at a gallop show."

The Polytrack angle has brought extra attention to Keeneland's April sale, which takes place in a season that has so far seen the high peaks and low valleys synonymous with the select juvenile market. Four significant auctions preceding this one - Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's February and March sales, Fasig-Tipton's Calder sale, and the Barretts March auction - together presented a mixed picture, prompting Russell to call the market "polarized." Buyers increasingly have cherry-picked 2-year-old catalogs, often resulting in a few seven-figure top prices but high buyback rates. Keeneland consignors hope the rash of fast times at Keeneland will help spread the wealth by tempting buyers to look at more horses.

The catalog also features some well-bred stock. There are three Storm Cat juveniles in the catalog, and all three have glowing pedigrees. Hip No. 64, a colt out of Sand Dollar, is from the family of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Cat Thief. Hip No. 112 is a half-sister to Grade 1 performers E Dubai and No Matter What. And Hip No. 113 is a son of champion Xtra Heat, whose first foal, 3-year-old Southwestern Heat, won his maiden April 11 in a 13-length win at Laurel.

Bidders hoping to find the next Storm Cat also might be tempted by Hip No. 72, a Monarchos colt who hails from the same immediate family as Pulpit, now a popular young stallion. Another candidate for stallion-seekers: Hip No. 160, a Vindication half-brother to Yes It's True.

Those seeking fillies with promising broodmare pedigrees might consider Hip No. 128, a Fusaichi Pegasus filly who is a half-sister to Canadian champion Apelia, dam of another Canadian champion, Saoirse. Bidders hoping for classic winners could be taken with Hip No. 164, a Pulpit half-brother to Kentucky Oaks winner Lemons Forever, or with Hip No. 187, a Proud Citizen half-brother to Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club winner Tiz Wonderful.

There are numerous horses in the Keeneland catalog with close Grade 1 connections, but a few have pedigrees especially worth noting. Hip No. 109 is a Vindication half-brother to the ill-fated champion and Preakness winner Prairie Bayou and to multiple graded winner Flitch. Hip No. 115 is a full brother to Grade 1-winning millionaire Voodoo Dancer, while Hip No. 159 is a Mineshaft half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Star Parade. Hip No. 205, a Street Cry filly, is a half-sister to Del Mar Debutante winner Point Ashley. And one of the later offerings, Hip No. 218, is a Mineshaft three-quarter-brother to Grade 1 winner and sire Stephen Got Even.

With pedigrees like that, buyers will have plenty to think about. Russell hopes the Polytrack gives them more to run with, too.

"I think they'll find out these horses are coming back from their works better and with less problems so they can go on with them," he said.

The one-day auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Keeneland's sale pavilion in Lexington.