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Interesting Finds at F-T February

For those looking to strengthen their broodmare band, fill a season, or perhaps snare a nice mare to help boost a young sire, the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale represents something of a “Last Chance Saloon” as far as public sales are concerned. Last year the average was down, and the median up, but looking at this year’s catalog, which has some attractive young mares off the track and some more than usually well-covered mares, we wouldn’t be surprised to see both measures improve.

Of course, for those considering an in-foal mare, one consideration is how well the covering sire suits the mare, and some of the answers to that question can be found in the TrueNicks Enhanced Report. Complimentary reports for most of the hips in the sale are already available on the TrueNicks Auctions page. Below, we have a quick look at some in-foal mares that particularly caught our eye in a quick scan through the catalog.

We started with the “last chance” theme, and to continue it, this might well be the last chance to purchase a mare in foal to the late and lamented Indian Charlie. The two, hips 52 and 144, both pass the TrueNicks test, hip 52 rating A and hip 144 A++ on the basis of the Indian Charlie/Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) cross. Hip 52 is going to have strong commercial appeal as she’s a Deputy Minister mare, who is three-parts-sister to Touched, the dam of Indian Charlie’s San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) winner Indian Firewater.

We noted hip 45 as not only being in foal two-time leading sire Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) but also giving a proven cross (TrueNicks A+), but also an intriguing pedigree pattern. The dam – who is carrying her first foal – is a Mr. Greeley half sister to turf star Shakis, a group and graded winner in Europe and the U.S. The foal will be bred on the Giant’s Causeway/Gone West cross, and this has so far produced four stakes winners, including grade I scorer Frost Giant (TrueNicks,SRO), and Crimson China (out of a mare by Mr. Greeley). The dam of the mare is by a son of Blushing Groom out of a stakes-winning daughter of Ballade, which makes her closely related to Giant’s Causeway’s broodmare sire, Rahy (by Blushing Groom out of Ballade).

Giant’s Causeway’s son Eskendereya (TrueNicks,SRO), whose first crop arrive this year is also represented. He is covering sire of hip 379, the High Brite mare In High Form. She is a winning half sister to two stakes winners, including Truly Needy, the dam of multiple graded scorer Truly A Judge, and also to the dams of grade I winner Cost of Freedom, and stakes winner Denali Cat (by a son of Storm Cat, the grandsire of Eskendereya). Here the in utero foal is TrueNicks rated A++.

Staying with Storm Cat, another stallion from that line, Scat Daddy (TrueNicks,SRO) – the leading freshman sire of 2011 – is covering sire of five mares here. The cross hasn’t had a lot of opportunity yet, but we were interested by hip 200, a winning daughter of Indian Charlie out of a half sister to English sprint star Les Arcs.

Of course if we are talking about hot young sires, they don’t come much hotter than Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO). There are two mares in foal to Tapit: hip 54, a stakes-winning daughter of More Than Ready, and hip 243, Amansara. A daughter of War Chant (TrueNicks,SRO) (giving a TrueNicks B) for the foal she is carrying, Amansara is a stakes-winning and graded placed half sister to graded winners Marastani and Christine’s Outlaw.

Another young sire from the same A.P. Indy sire line as Tapit is Congrats (TrueNicks,SRO). He was the leading freshman sire of 2010, and his current in-foal mares are his first Kentucky mates. Hip 267 – carrying a Congrats foal that rates A on TrueNicks – is a stakes-winning daughter of Cape Town, a horse bred on a reverse Mr. Prospector/Seattle Slew cross to Congrats. War Front (TrueNicks,SRO) is another star from the same crop year as Congrats, and he is represented as a covering sire by hip 182, the stakes-placed Orientate (TrueNicks,SRO) mare Star Worship. The nick here is only C+ but there are some interesting elements with War Front being a Danzig/Mr. Prospector cross, where the dam of mare is a Mr. Prospector/Danzig cross, and we also like the combination of War Front’s broodmare sire, Rubiano, with Mt. Livermore, the grandsire of the mare.

Just to underline the strength of the catalog, other covering sires we have yet to mention are Curlin (TrueNicks,SRO) (hip 269, rated A+ on the Smart Strike (TrueNicks,SRO)/Danzig cross); emerging second season sire Discreet Cat (TrueNicks,SRO); Harlan's Holiday (TrueNicks,SRO); Lookin At Lucky (TrueNicks,SRO); dual European classic winner Lope de Vega (IRE) (TrueNicks) (out of a half sister to Quiet Dance, the dam of Saint Liam, et al); Majestic Warrior (TrueNicks,SRO); Midshipman (TrueNicks,SRO); Munnings (TrueNicks,SRO); Old Fashioned (TrueNicks,SRO); Pioneerof the Nile (TrueNicks,SRO); Quality Road (TrueNicks,SRO); Street Boss (TrueNicks,SRO), and Zensational (TrueNicks,SRO).

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