$400,000 Lemieux Provides Icing on Steady Fasig-Tipton Winter Sale

LEXINGTON, KY-The Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale went through its supplemental catalogue and into its addendum to finally find its top-priced offering when Lemieux (Nyquist) sold to Nice Guys Stable for $400,000 just hips before the auction concluded its two-day run Tuesday in Lexington with steady results.

“We saw a continuation of the marketplace that we experienced yesterday and that we saw in January and we saw in November, October, September and July,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said at the sale’s close Tuesday. “I think it’s a very fair marketplace. I think that if you are trying to buy horses, the horses that you want to buy, you generally have to pay more than you wanted to. When you are selling horses, if you’ve got quality, you are probably getting around what you thought, maybe a little more. But there is no euphoria. If you are trying to sell on the lower end, it’s tough. It’s been tough the last 10 years. And the reality is that that’s the marketplace. But if we had 50 more good ones to lead through in here right now, they’d be lined up in here to bid on them and buy them.”

Through two sessions, 402 head sold for $14,105,200. The average of $35,088 was down 12.3% from last year’s figure, while the median of $15,000 was down 6.3%. With 65 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 14.1%. It was 11.5% a year ago.

An initial catalogue of 465 lots was bolstered by a supplemental catalogue of 121 head, to which was added eight additional entries in an addendum. Stakes-winner Lemieux sold seven hips from the end of the auction, with bloodstock agent John Williams making a final bid of $400,000 to acquire the 4-year-old filly on behalf of Nice Guys Stable.

The filly, whose half-sister Brilliant Cut (Speightstown) topped the 2022 Winter Mixed sale, was one of 15 horses to sell for $200,000 or over during the auction. Fourteen hit that mark in 2022.

“If you look at a global, or big picture standpoint, the ability to create liquidity helps every marketplace,” Browning said of the importance of being able to add horses with current form as supplements to a catalogue. “It allows people to turn assets into dollars and then hopefully reinvest those dollars into similar or like kind of assets along the way.”

Lemieux Keeps the Family Tradition Going

Stakes-winner Lemieux (Nyquist) (hip 588), whose half-sister Brilliant Cut (Speightstown) topped the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale, brought the highest price of the 2023 renewal of the auction when selling for $400,000 to the bid of John Williams, acting as agent for Steve Spielman’s Nice Guys Stables. The 4-year-old broodmare prospect was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

“She is a lovely mare and quite a standout in this catalogue,” Williams said. “The man I bought her for is continuing to improve his broodmare band and this is the kind of filly that could do that.”

Racing for D J Stable and trainer Mark Casse, Lemieux won the 2021 Brethren Juvenile Fillies S. She won twice from 10 starts and earned $140,216 before RNA’ing for $300,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Lemieux is out of Polish a Diamond, a half-sister to multiple Grade I winner Diamondrella (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) and multiple Grade I placed Bonnie Blue Flag (Mineshaft), and from the family of Life is Good (Into Mischief). The 8-year-old mare produced a colt by Essential Quality last week.

Lemieux’s half-sister, GI La Brea S. runner-up Brilliant Cut (Speightstown), sold for $750,000 to Katsumi Yoshida at last year’s Winter Mixed Sale and was bred to Gun Runner in 2022 before being shipped to Japan last fall.

Williams said there was plenty of blue sky in the family.

“There are great possibilities with her dam being young and her half-sister being bred to the likes of Gun Runner,” he said. “Her dam had an Essential Quality just last week and the second dam is still active. And there is a pretty nice sire prospect under there. So she had a lot of things going for her. And she is by Nyquist, who we very much are still a fan of.”

Of the filly’s sale-topping price tag, Williams said, “I thought we would have to spend that kind of money. The market says that that’s what quality costs. Is she worth that? I’m so old school, I can’t get my head around those kind of numbers. But that’s the market and you have to adjust to it.”

Established in 2016, the Nice Guys Stables partnership spearheaded by Spielman has already had success on the racetrack, where their first horse, Piedi Bianchi (Overnalyze), took them to the Breeders’ Cup in 2017, as well as in the pinhooking arena, where they sold an Arrogate filly for $1 million at the 2021 OBS April sale.

“One of the great things about Nice Guys Stables is that they are both commercial and he races,” Williams said. “So he will do both. And boy do we need those. Because it’s about racing.”

Nice Guys Stables had graded success last fall when King Cause (Creative Cause) won the GIII Knickerbocker S. The gelding was sixth in last week’s GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.

“He’s got 14 2-year-olds that he’s breaking now,” Williams said of Spielman. “He’s just a great young guy. And I think Nice Guys Stables has a terrific future if he keeps buying this kind of mare.”

Curlin Blessing Joins Repole Band

Curlin Blessing (Curlin) (hip 545) will be joining the broodmare band of Mike Repole after bloodstock agent Jacob West made a final bid of $230,000 to acquire the 4-year-old daughter of champion Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie).

“She’s by a stallion that we’ve had a lot of luck with and she’s out of a champion mare,” West said. “So it was pretty easy. She’s by a champion out of a champion. She stood out here to us from a pedigree standpoint and a physical standpoint. Mike is trying to play the high-end breeding game a little bit now. So she was a mare that fit the bill.”

The broodmare prospect, who was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, was a two-time winner at Turf Paradise while racing for her owner/breeder Patti and Hal Earnhardt. The couple also bred and campaigned Indian Blessing, who was a five-time Grade I winner and was named champion 2-year-old filly in 2007 and champion female sprinter in 2008.

Of potential mating plans for Curlin Blessing, West said, “Eddie Rosen will decide who we will breed her to. My vote is Life is Good–that’s what I hope we do. But it’s 100% up to Ed. Mike will let Ed make that decision.”

Good Magic Filly Sets Early Pace

A short yearling by Good Magic (hip 350) led early returns during Tuesday’s second session of the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale when bringing a final bid of $225,000 from bloodstock agent Catherine Hudson, acting on behalf of Michael Sucher’s Champion Equine. The bay was consigned by Vinery Sales.

“She was a gorgeous, leggy daughter of Good Magic, who has four horses on the Kentucky Derby trail,” Hudson said of the filly’s appeal. “She just had a great outlook with a beautiful eye. Everything seemed great and I think there is some improvement in her. She seemed to get better as the days went by at the sales grounds. She showed a lot of class.”

The filly is out of Rich Love (Not For Love) and her half-sister Ruby Nell (Bolt d’Oro) topped last year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale when purchased by Spendthrift Farm for $1.2 million. The now 3-year-old debuted with a runner-up effort at Santa Anita Jan. 22.

“She was second with a bad trip,” Hudson said of the half-sister. “And she’s breezed back. So we like that, too.”

Bred by Theta Holdings, the yearling RNA’d for $115,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale. Her dam, carrying a full-sibling, sold for $140,000 at that same sale.

“I’m not quite sure what the client wants to do with her at this time, but we will just get her home and figure it out,” Hudson said.

Vinery Sales and Theta Holdings was responsible for another

yearling by Good Magic who sold for six figures Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton. The consignor/breeder duo sold a colt by the champion (hip 355) for $100,000 to Davant Latham. The dark bay had RNA’d for $70,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

Kirkwood Consignment Comes to a Close

South Carolina horseman Kip Elser, who has shifted his focus to public and private bloodstock purchases, evaluations and racing stable management, sent the final three horses through the ring under his Kirkwood consignment banner Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton.

“I feel excited to change leads and roll on down the stretch,” Elser said after watching his final horse go through the ring. “Sure, I will miss consigning. And I love training horses. But I have done it a long time and now it’s time to change.”

Tuesday’s offerings were bittersweet as two belonged to Elser’s longtime friend and client, the late Steve Schwartz.

“It was emotional because Steve was a 25-year friend, client, and partner,” Elser said. “And he was just a wonderful guy. So of course there were some emotions, because were together for a long time.”

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