For people who would like to see workout times slow down at sales of 2-year-olds in training, there was some good news at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select auction. One of the big sellers, a $500,000 Dixie Union - Open Flirt filly, worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 (significantly slower than the fastest time for that distance of :9 4/5) in her first under tack show appearance and then galloped in the second.
Kentucky bloodstock agent Mike Ryan purchased her for Bill Warren, who races or has raced such top horses as Denis of Cork and Horse of the Year Saint Liam.
Some cynical readers might note that Ryan is a pinhooking partner with Niall Brennan, who consigned the filly. But she wasn't one of their pinhooking ventures. She was sold by her breeders: Dark Hollow Farm, Fast Kitty Farm, Arnold Davidov, and Mr. and Mrs. D. Schwaber. And, according to Brennan, there was a legitimate underbidder: Alex Solis Bloodstock.
"It was interesting to me that we basically two-minute-licked that filly back on the track because we really had confidence she was that nice of a mover," Brennan said, "and we were able to sell a horse like that for $500,000 because she went that pretty on the track without going in :10 1/5. It's something that needs to be mentioned. It's a message that the really good ones can two-minute lick. They don't have to go in :10 flat."