Top New York-breds at OBS March opener are beacons of optimism in uncertain times

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

By Sarah Mace

Thoroughbred auctions, particularly springtime auctions of “race-ready” 2-year-olds in training, are founded on hopes and dreams. In the past two weeks our lives have been upended because of the spread of COVID-19 – up to and including the postponement of the iconic Kentucky Derby from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September.

Despite turbulent financial markets and a national landscape that is shifting rapidly from one day to the next, Tuesday’s March 17 opening session Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company March sale of 2-year-olds in training illustrated that, when given the opportunity to buy a top-tier New York-bred, prospective owners are still eager to feed their hopes and dreams by opening their checkbooks.

Of the 24 New York-bred juveniles who went through the ring, 14 found new homes, including one via private sale. The $70,786 average price for Empire-State breds and $32,000 median were anchored by four six-figure sellers.

The New York-bred star of the day was Hip 167, a dark bay / brown Medaglia d’ Oro filly from Chester and Mary Broman’s breeding program who is a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint heroine Bar of Gold. Last year’s OBS March record-setting sale topper was Broman-bred Chestertown, who brought $2 million and is slated to start in next weekend’s $1 million Louisiana Derby.

Hip 167, who was consigned on behalf of the Bromans by Sequel Bloodstock, went to Larry Best’s OXO Equine LLC for $330,000, the sixth top price of the session and second top-selling filly. Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan signed the ticket. The Bromans reportedly stayed in for a percentage. The filly, who is currently named Espresso Kid, turned in a speedy :10 flat furlong in the under tack show last Thursday. [Hip 167 WALKING VIDEO; Hip 167 UNDER TACK VIDEO]

Ryan told the, “To be honest, we were delighted to get her at that. If she runs, she’ll be worth a fortune. But, if not, she’ll never be worth less than what she brought today because of her pedigree.”

“She was absolutely beautiful,” Sequel’s Becky Thomas told the TDN. “[She and Bar of Gold] are different kind of fillies. This filly is quick. Bar of Gold was real tall, leggy and stretchy. She was a different made kind of horse. They are both very Medaglia looking in terms of color though, both being dark bay or brown. Larry Best got a really, really great value. The market is obviously very compromised with what’s happening right now and Mr. Broman is very realistic on reserves. We were sure that she was going to sell. We’re really happy that Mr. Best got her. Mr. Broman isn’t dispersing his mares at this time. We know that she’ll get a great shot, that part was really good, but it is bittersweet.”

Espresso Kid’s dam is Khancord Kid, a Broman homebred by Lemon Drop Kid who captured the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park turf in 2010. Chester Broman purchased Khancord Kid’s dam Confidently, an unraced daughter of Storm Cat, at Keeneland’s 2000 January sale of horses of all ages for $1 million. Confidently’s dam is Grade 1 winner Key Phrase and she is a half-sister to sire Yankee Gentleman.

Khancord Kid’s first foal, sprint star Bar of Gold earned $1,551,000. The mare has produced two other winners, both stakes performers: Land Mine (Mineshaft) and Homeland by American Pharoah. She produced a full brother to the sales filly in 2019 and was bred to Justify last spring.


John Kimmel went to $170,000 for an unnamed client for another dark bay / brown filly: Hip 184, a daughter of Hard Spun bred by Milfer Farm Inc. from the family of Bernardini. Consigned by Stephens Thoroughbreds LLC, Agent I, the filly she posted a furlong breeze in :10 1/5. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

Filly is the first foal out of Lapinski (Street Cry [IRE]), a winner at two and half-sister to stakes winner Sunset Wish. The star-studded third generation of the filly’s pedigree is headed by Grade 1 winner and 2006 Broodmare of the Year Cara Rafaela, a half-sister to Abaginone and dam of champion and sire Bernardini. Milfer Farm bought Lapinski for $82,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.


A pair of New York-bred juvenile colts fetched $100,000 at the sale opener, including the top New York-sired offering, Hip 166 by Mission Impazible (Sequel Stallions New York) who was purchased by Michael Behrens and David Kandasamy’s California-based after turning in a sharp work in in :10 1/5. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Twin Creeks Farm, and consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, Hip 166 is the most recent reported foal out of Kettle’s Sister, an unplaced Maryland-bred by More Than Ready who has produced four winners from seven foals to start, led by her second offspring, Vinceremos by Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the 2003 Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes and runner up in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. A full sister to the sale colt, New York-bred Paz the Bourbon, has collected a pair of stakes placings. Second dam Safe at the Plate is a half-sister to champion sprinter Safely Kept, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1990. According to the TDN, the colt will go to Todd Pletcher and Twin Creeks will stay in as a partner.


Dennis O’Neill scooped up the other $100,000 New York-bred colt, Hip 169, a bay by Blame who breezed an eighth in:10 1/5 for de Meric Sales. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

Bred by Fred W. Hertrich III, the youngster was previously purchased as a short yearling by Pewter Stable at the Keeneland January sale for $35,000. He is the second foal out of Knox County Zip, a Kentucky-bred winner by City Zip whose first foal, Trickle In by Temple City, is already a multiple winner on turf.

The colt’s second dam is stakes winner Menifeeque, who went on to produce graded winner and multiple graded stakes-placed runner Thank You Marylou by Birdstone.

The sale resumes on Wednesday for its second and concluding session at 10:30 a.m.

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