August 13, 2010

Opposite Ends of the $pectrum

What does it take to purchase a really nice racehorse? Ask wine mogul, Jess Jackson of Stonerstreet Stable, and the answer might be about 2.3 million dollars. Kinda steep for the average Joe, eh? Well maybe we are asking the wrong person. If we head to a different barn on the Saratoga backstretch, and ask Ralph Nicks, we should receive a more reasonable answer. $11,000. Now doesn’t that sound like a more realistic proposition for most of us with big racing dreams? Let’s take a deeper look at a couple of juveniles who were at decidedly opposite ends of the sales spectrum.

Even the name sounds powerful; Brock. This is the Distorted Humor colt, who became the most expensive juvenile sold at auction this year, when he was purchased for $2.3 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Jackson purchased Brock, who originally sold for $200,000 as a yearling, after the chestnut colt worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 prior to the auction. Tomorrow in the 8th race at Saratoga, the racing career of Brock begins in a $50,000 Maiden Special Weight. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Brock is out of the wonderful daughter of A.P. Indy, Tomisue’s Delight. Deceased now, she was a top mare in the late 90’s and counts Saratoga’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes as one of her stakes victories. Among her offspring include Brock’s half-brother, Mr. Sidney, who last year accounted for the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes.

Bred to be outstanding, Brock has the looks and the works to be something special, but that means nothing until he proves it on raceday. Tomorrow’s race is loaded with promising young colts, and Brock will need to run a big race in order to visit the winner’s circle. As a matter of fact, a horse on the outside by Bernardini, named Stay Thirsty, should be considered the horse to beat, off his strong debut performance. Will Brock live up to his lofty price tag? Stay tuned tomorrow. One juvenile who has already surpassed her price tag, debuted less than 24 hours ago.

In the second race yesterday at Saratoga, there were several fillies who cost more than four years at college, but the beauty of racing is that the races are never run on a spreadsheet. For it would not be one of the rich girls who would take home first prize in the $50,000 Maiden Special Weight, rather it was a $11,000 purchase who stole the show. Valiant Passion, a first time starter for the Ralph Nicks barn, was purchased last Fall for that small sum at the Keeneland September sale. Sent off at 30-1, the filly raced greenly and had to steady a few times in the first part of the 5 ½ furlong race. Not to be deterred, the daughter of Lion Heart out of Bold American by Quiet American found room just before the field straightened out, and proceeded to pull away with every stride. Final margin was 9 ¼ impressive lengths, as she completed the race in a solid 1:04.66. Her low sales price is now only a feel good story for her new owners, Ralph Nicks and Barry Berkelhammer, as she arguably ran the most eye-catching performance of any juvenile filly so far this year at the Spa.

After yesterday, Valiant Passion might be worth a whole lot closer to the value of Brock, and only time will tell what destiny has in store for these two juveniles on opposite ends of the sales spectrum.


ja.raymond said...

If I had the money, I still would be more inclined to spend just $11,000 than $2.3 mil.
It's way too much of a crapshoot to spend millions on something so young and "unmolded". And top of the line breeding never guarantees a gr.1 stakes winner.
If Brock succeeds, Jackson got lucky! If he doesnt, he's wasted millions.

D.P. said...

You really think the $11,000 filly could be any good Zip? If so, it's a good story. Will not root for the 2 million dollar horse.

Brian Zipse said...

For the most part, I agree Jane.

Yes, D.P., she ran a big race and I would not at all be surprised if she is a factor in stakes racing very soon.

Brock Sheridan said...

Who do you think I'm pulling for Brian? Great post and congrats on this making "Best of the Blogs" on the Paulick Report.

Brian Zipse said...

LOL, This mega-million dollar horse is named after you, right Brock?

Niall O'Dowd said...

brock ran like a 10,000 claimer