05/18/2006 11:00PM

Sale has record-setting potential


The 2-year-old sales market has seen amazing results this year, with record prices popping up at nearly every turn. Now the attention turns to the two-day Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred 2-year-olds in training sale, which gets underway at 11 a.m. Monday at the Timonium Sales Pavilion in Timonium, Md.

Last year, coming hot on the heels of May graduate Afleet Alex's amazing triumph in the Preakness Stakes, the Midlantic sale saw all-time highs recorded for average price ($48,994), median ($31,500), and number of six-figure horses sold (48). Can this year's sale, which has the same number of horses in the catalog (656) as last year, continue the momentum?

"I'm cautiously optimistic that this could be the best sale we have ever had here," said Fasig-Tipton Midlantic executive vice president Mason Grasty, who cites such indicators as the quality of horses in the catalog, how the horses worked at the under-tack shows, the national response from potential buyers, and the number of requests for videos of the workouts.

Standout works this week included two by offspring of champion Johannesburg, whose first foals are racing this year. Six 2-year-olds equaled the fastest time for an eighth of a mile of 10.20 seconds, the first Hip No. 85, a Distorted Humor colt. To be sold late in the sale is a Dixieland Band filly (Hip No. 615), who posted a quarter-mile work in a bullet 21.40, one of three to record that time.

Interesting family connections include those of a colt by Orientate, who worked in 10.60 and is a half-brother to champion Smarty Jones. A Holy Bull filly, a half-sister to one of last year's top 2-year-olds, What a Song, went a quarter in 10.80.

Maryland-breds to have come out of this sale over the years include Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Smoke Glacken, a son of perennial leading Maryland sire Two Punch. Both stallions are represented in this year's sale.

Two Punch was the leading sire in the region in 2005 by 2-year-old sales average (14 sold, $124,857 average), and his nine juveniles sold this year have averaged nearly $147,000. He has five in the catalog, with Hip No. 542, a Maryland-bred filly out of the Smarten mare Smart Erin, posting the quickest time (21.80) while working in the rain on Thursday.

Leading Maryland sire Not for Love, who had a filly sell for $460,000 at Keeneland in April, has nine offered. His Maryland-breds include a half-brother to stakes winners Steak Scam and Polish Rifle (Hip No. 134); a colt out of stakes winner Marion's Dover (Hip No. 335); and a filly out of a full sister to Eclipse champion 2-year-old filly Storm Song (Hip No. 264).

The final crop of Allen's Prospect has a strong presence, with seven headed to the ring, all on the second day. His Maryland-bred offspring include a colt (Hip No. 571) who worked in 10.60; a half-sister to stakes winner War Native (Hip No. 540); and a colt (Hip No. 527) out of the prolific producer Silent Bullet, the dam of stakes winners Silent Valay, Amerrico's Bullet, Valay Bullet, and Bullet Valay.

Other Maryland sires with 2-year-olds in the sale are Citidancer, Lion Hearted, Louis Quatorze, Meadow Monster, Mojave Moon, Outflanker, Partner's Hero, and Polish Miner.

There are more than 30 Maryland-breds listed in the catalog. In addition to those already mentioned, they include a Storm Boot half-brother to multiple stakes winner Halo Cat (Hip No. 81); a Two Punch colt out of Gemstone, thus a half-brother to stakes winners Clever Gem, Jove Stone, and Magical Gem (Hip No. 222); a half-sister, by Mt. Livermore, to stakes winner Pour It On (Hip No. 451); a half-brother to Maryland-bred champion juvenile filly Richetta by Carson City (Hip No. 477); a More Than Ready filly out of Safely Kept's stakes-placed half-sister Safe at the Plate (Hip No. 492); and a half-sister, by Partner's Hero, to stakes winners Wise Sweep and Smoking Wise (Hip No. 649).