Half-brother to Upstart by American Pharoah commands seven figures in Saratoga select opener

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Joanne Nielsen beams at Hip 62 (Fasig-Tipton photo)

By Sarah Mace

In recent years, the regular handful of New York-breds accepted into Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga selected yearling sale have fared extremely well. Last year’s New York-bred topper, a dark bay Curlin filly bred by Newtown Anner Stud, brought $750,000 from Juddmonte.

At Monday night’s opening session of the two-day boutique yearling auction, the New York-bred contingent took its game to a whole new level. Hip 62, a colt by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah and a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner, millionaire and sire Upstart, brought $1,000,000 with a bid from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert for M V Magnier. By the end of the night the youngster emerged as the top-selling colt of the session and second top-selling yearling. The top seller, a filly out of Life at Ten, was also sired by American Pharoah.

The seven-figure price for the colt, who was offered by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield consignment, is a new high-water mark for the New York-bred yearling sales marketplace. The previous top-priced New York-bred yearling in recent years was a daughter of Malibu Moon also bred Newtown Anner Stud (later named Moondance), who brought $800,000 from Steve Young at the 2015 renewal of the Saratoga selected yearling sale.

Fasig-Tipton photo

Bred by Mrs. Joanne Nielsen and foaled on May 17 at her Sunnyfield Farm in Bedford, Hip 62 is out of Party Silks. The mare’s star foal Upstart (Flatter) was a top contender on the Kentucky Derby trail in 2015. Dominant winner of the Grade 2 Holy Bull and controversially disqualified from a clear victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, Upstart finished second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He was unplaced in the Derby. An earner of $1.7 million, Upstart now stands at Airdrie Stud.

Explaining to the TDN earlier in the week why she bred Party Silks to the Triple Crown winner, Mrs. Nielsen said, “I had a colt, Upstart, that ran behind American Pharoah on a regular basis. So, I thought why not take the mother of Upstart to American Pharoah? We believe American Pharoah has the capacity and hopefully we will get some return on it.”

Fasig-Tipton photo

When he signed the ticket for his lone purchase of the night, Baffert joked, “I like the sire. He made me famous.” Baffert added, “Of the ones [by American Pharoah] I’ve seen, I really liked him. He’s a late foal, he’s going to change a lot, and it should be for the better, so I’m excited about it.”

As to the hefty price tag, Baffert added, “They had him looking great. It was love at first sight. I see a lot of American Pharoah in him. He’s stamping his foals pretty well. Their head, their demeanor. You never think you’re going to go that high, but there’s a lot of excitement here, and a lot of really good horses here. It’s a lot of money, but he’s a beautiful little horse. Hopefully he can follow in his daddy’s steps.”

Party Silks, an unraced daughter of Touch Gold also bred by Mrs. Nielsen, is a daughter of Intend to Win (Housebuster), a stakes-placed Kentucky-bred purchased by the late Gerald Nielsen for $120,000 at the 2001 Keeneland November sale. Intend to Win is a graded stakes producer and her dam Intently is a multiple stakes winner. Party Silks has produced two other winners, including stakes performer New York Hero by Mineshaft.  With no reported foal in 2018, she was bred this year to Malibu Moon.


The top-selling New York-bred filly of the session was Hip 23, a daughter of Carpe Diem purchased from the Mill Ridge consignment by Rob Masiello in partnership with West Point Thoroughbreds and Manganaro Bloodstock for $375,000. Bred by Gentry Stable, the February 4 bay filly is out of Lemon Splendor (Lemon Drop Kid), a stakes winning mare bred in New York by Gallagher’s Stud and out of stakes winner Karakorum Splendor.

Lemon Splendor, who sold to Arch Bloodstock at the 2013 Keeneland January sale for a bargain price of $10,000, is the dam of Mo Maverick, a stakes winner and multiple stakes performer by Uncle Mo, who has earned $234,925 to date. Lemon Splendor foaled a Liam’s Map filly on May 1 and has been bred back to Carpe Diem.


Of the seven New York-breds offered in the selected yearling sale’s opening session, four found new homes, all selling for $235,000 and up. The most noteworthy buyback of the three RNA’s was Hip 19, the first foal out of Lady Sheila Stable’s New York-bred Eclipse champion sprinter La Verdad. The February 13 filly, who is named La Kara Mia, attracted a final bid of $775,000.

The Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale resumes Tuesday at 6:30 for its second and concluding session.





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