Oct 29, 2008


Autumn weanling sales take the stage in a few days. Buying young horses for resale a year later is a specialized skill. Now and then I give it a go and have a pretty good track record from small numbers.

In each of the years l998-2000 I bought only one weanling. Two of them were bought with a racing career in mind. The third was earmarked for a pinhook. The results were wildly successful, to say the least.

In l999 I purchased a filly by Cat’s Career for $38,000 at Keeneland. She was out of a mare by leading sire Storm Cat. She earned $280,000 at the races as Galatea Cat..

The next year I spent a measly $3500 to acquire Fourth Floor. I knew the family intimately, having for a brief period owned his half-sister, eventual Gr. 1 winner Lazy Slusan. Fourth Floor was a running machine who earned over $340,000 before being claimed.

Class of 2000 found us procuring a son of Langfuhr named Paradise Dancer for $l0,000.
He failed to grow and we took it on the chin when we sold for only $7,000. He has made almost $600,000 and is still campaigning in stakes company.

Still, you can hardly do better than buy three horses for $5l,500 and see them go on to earn $l.2 million.

Self interest forces me to persuade you to have me try to do the same for you. There is a huge supply to choose from and all expectations point to a buyer’s market. The climate for resale next September seems likely to be more optimistic than the current chaos in the financial markets.

Oct 28, 2008


Four Star Sales had a number of Breeders’ Cup contestants run well at Santa Anita before shipping back to Kentucky for sale at the upcoming auctions at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland.

Curlin was the featured performer and it pained us (and millions of others) to see him falter in the final yards.
It’s unlikely that defeat did any harm to his half-sister Deputy who is selling under our banner at Fasig-Tipton on November 2 in foal to Curlin’s sire, the mighty Smart Strike.
Deputy’s 2008 colt by Fusaichi Pegasus precedes his dam into the ring.

Munnings did not reproduce his stellar early form in the Juvenile but should bounce back and become a 3-year-old to reckon with.. Another Fasig-Tipton offering is his dam, La Comete in foal to his sire, Speightstown.

City Style garnered fourth money in the Juvenile Turf. His dam Brattothecore sells at Keeneland as Hip 2970, in foal to the young Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick.. I had the pleasure of purchasing both Brattothecore and her damsire Katahaula County. We privately purchased the pair for under $50,000.

Brattothecore was bred by Bill and Susan Stewart in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. They are among the very few breeders still active in that area and their stress on quality has produced a number of fine horses who thrived outside the province. The interior of BC is cowboy country and it takes true grit to spend the winter foaling mares.

We recall visiting the Stewarts some years back when the mercury dipped to about 30 below zero (Celsius or Fahrenheit, take your pick at that level) and the couple spent the night in the foaling barn. It snowed that night belt buckle deep to a tall cowpoke I was somewhat more comfortable in the farmhouse.

Good sense prevailed a few years later and they relocated to the charming border town of White Rock, BC.

Getting back to the matter at hand, Four Star proudly presents Honey Ryder, the leading money winner at Fasig-Tipton with some $2.8 million in earnings. She sells in foal to Giant’s Causeway.

Stablemate and fellow Grade I millionaire Panty Raid further grace our consignment. The American Oaks victress sells as a broodmare prospect.

Stakes mares Final Fling, Graeme Six, Truly Blushed, Wild Chick, Bold Passage, and Devil House round out our stellar collection.

High Fly is a 2008 half-sister to She’s All Eltish from the second crop of Florida Derby (G I) winner.

Oct 27, 2008


One would think by now that I could remember to check my ticket each time I make a bet. An alert mutual clerk once helped me locate an errant winning ducat during the Keeneland spring meet. It seems that I had neglected to pick it up from the machine and the next player had it included in his stack of new bets. It would have cost me $700 had we not recovered it.

Last week I was on the chase of the $3 million Belmont Pick-6. I put in a $500 ticket using three horses in the first leg. As is my habit, I then boxed those same three horses, winning I thought, about the same $500. It’s a good way to hedge and I happily set off to collect. But it seems that the clerk had not punched the trifecta for Belmont, but rather for Keeneland. I failed to notice it because I did not check my ticket.

I offer this as a cautionary tale that might save you a bundle one day. Certain habits you just have to create like flossing, seat belt usage, checking your pari-mutuel tickets.