04/20/2006 11:00PM

Sale-topping colt's royal pedigree runs deep


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The results of this week's Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training emphasized once again that quality brings money, as the sale's top lot at $1.05 million was a grand bay colt by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus out of a stakes-winning daughter of the highly successful sire A.P. Indy.

The decisions that yielded the sale-topping colt at Keeneland were put in motion by breeder Chester Broman, who bred the colt in New York at Chestertown Farm.

In his breeding operation, Broman said, "I try to follow a business model. There's no magic formula for raising good horses. If it was easy, somebody would corner the market and make all the money. The way it is, everyone has a shot."

With his 2-year-old crop of 2006, Broman and his wife Mary took a shot in a different direction. Typically, they have raced most of their homebreds, but they decided to sell the entire crop at the sales of juveniles in training.

Broman said that "you can't do everything at once, and I decided to sell what I thought were the better horses. I race a lot of horses, but sometimes you have to put your business sense to work and do something practical. I got too many horses in training, and I'm trying to prove Hook and Ladder as a stallion."

Hook and Ladder stands at the Lakland North breeding operation of Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin, and Thomas's Sequel Bloodstock consigned the Fusaichi Pegasus colt at Keeneland.

Thomas said, "When Mr. Broman called me back in December to ask if I'd consign these horses for him at Keeneland, they had reached a decision unilaterally to sell the whole crop."

That included the most highly pedigreed and impressive members of the crop, as well as the average but nice colts and fillies.

The seven-figure colt at Keeneland descends from a highly successful family, with each of his first four dams being high-class racehorses, including three stakes winners.

Clearly, this family has grand, classic-quality roots, and the family progresses from fourth dam Avum through her graded stakes-winning daughter Baroness Direct (by Blushing Groom) to Grade 1 placed Immerse (by Cox's Ridge) and her daughter Indy Glory.

Not only is Indy Glory a stakes winner and Grade 2 placed in the Black-Eyed Susan, but she is also a full sister to Grade 1 winner Stephen Got Even, the sire of last year's champion 2-year-old colt, Stevie Wonderboy.

That is a tremendous family, both in terms of racing quality and in the level of production success that it has had over many generations.

At the time that Broman acquired Immerse, "the family wasn't that popular," he said. "It got really popular afterward, about the time Stephen Got Even started winning major races."

Immerse was carrying her fourth foal, and third by A.P. Indy, when Broman bought the mare at the Keeneland November sale in 1997 for $350,000.

The resulting foal was Indy Glory, stakes winner and the dam of the million-dollar Keeneland 2-year-old.

After "taking some time to get in foal her first year," Indy Glory wasn't bred for 2005, Broman noted, but foaled a filly by Fusaichi Pegasus this year.

"She is back in foal to Storm Cat," he said. "We're going for a home run."

With her sale-topping son at Keeneland, Indy Glory is only beginning her career as a broodmare, and she has begun it well.

The Fusaichi Pegasus colt is a big, rangy colt who is typical of what you would expect from mating Fusaichi Pegasus with A.P. Indy and Cox's Ridge: size with quality.

What made the son of Fusaichi Pegasus and Indy Glory even more fascinating to buyers with an inclination to race horses for the 3-year-old classics is that the colt possesses good speed but is clearly made to improve with time and much more distance. He is a big colt, with plenty of muscle and the frame to carry it well. He has length, as well as height, and plenty of leg length in combination with muscle power.

These and some of the qualities that he showed to advantage in the breeze show prior to the Keeneland auction clued in savvy buyers to his potential.

Robert Fierro of the data analysis group DataTrack International, which produces speed figures on the 2-year-olds breezing at sales, said that the "Fusaichi colt had a stride length of 24.5 feet at a sale where the average stride length for a colt was 23.75 feet. Even though he went a furlong in 11 [seconds], he was the sixth-fastest colt in the sale on our numbers with a BreezeFig of 66.

"His furlong was the slowest work of the first breeze day's Group 1 horses, but the combination of his stride length, the fact that he didn't slow down, and an exceptional thrust factor made him one of the best colts in the sale. He also had a heart score well above average for his age and sire."

If the colt lives up to expectations, he will be yet another quality performer from the Bromans' Chestertown Farm. Broman bought the property from the estate of Dominick DeLuke, an oral surgeon in upstate New York who developed Assunta Louis Farm, turning it into one of the premier New York operations. Now known as Chestertown Farm, this facility has yielded several important racehorses for Broman, including Florida Derby winner Friends Lake.