Arqana May Breeze-Up Offers Plenty for Americans

The North American breeze-up calendar is a busy one, typically offering around 2,500 juveniles for sale over the course of the spring. And while all eyes will be on Ocala this week, American two-year-old buyers in recent years have been rewarded by adding another sale to their calendar: the Arqana Breeze Up.

Held this year on May 13, with breeze shows on the 11th and 12th, the catalogue offers 43 two-year-olds by North American stallions, including Accelerate, American Pharoah, Blame, Candy Ride (Arg), Catholic Boy, Curlin, Into Mischief, Justify, Medaglia d’Oro, Mitole, Omaha Beach, Speightstown, Vino Rosso and War Front, among others.

While two-time Grade I Preakness-winning War of Will has been the most celebrated purchase to come to America from that sale, it’s far from the only success. Over the past three years, others have included GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winner Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), 2021 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Malavath (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), two-time Grade I-placed Summer Romance (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), GII Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien (Summer Front), and GII Risen Star winner Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice).

Justin Casse has arguably bought the most successful of those Deauville-to-America breeze-up horses in War of Will, and said that European breeze-up sales were appealing to him for a number of reasons.

“I personally have always thought that the development of the breeze-up horses and two-year-olds in general in Europe has created a very sound horse,” he said. “They’re not training on dirt every day, so it’s not as stressful. They’re training on wood chips, uphill or on Tapeta or grass. I think that’s a better way for younger horses to develop. It’s not as strenuous.

“American horses sometimes come to hand quicker, and I think of the number of horses that people like Willie Browne, Jim McCartan, and Brendan Holland have bought from Keeneland and brought over has made it an internationally appealing sale. I think those guys would come over and buy those types of horses to bring back because they were so precocious and there are a lot of success stories from horses that have come to the U.S. from the European breeze-up sales.”

But there are more than North American pedigrees on offer; there are also some outstanding European offerings, featuring two-year-olds like: a half-brother to five-time Group 1 winner Palace Pier (GB) by first-season breakout sire Blue Point (Ire); the only three Dubawi (Ire) two-year-olds offered at sale this year, the only two Frankel (GB) two-year-olds for sale in Europe, a Curlin colt from the family of Point Given, a half-brother to GI winner Lighthouse Bay by Street Sense, a No Nay Never half-brother to G1 Irish Derby winner Latrobe (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) from the family of Newspaperofrecord (Ire), and a half-brother to GI American Oaks winner Rhea Moon (Ire) by first-season sire Magna Grecia (Ire).

Casse said those international names were a huge part of the appeal. “One of the reasons I go over there is not only because of the way those two-year-olds are developed, but also because my clients have always been intrigued with European pedigrees,” he said. “In America, we’re as global as ever now, and here at Ocala this week, it doesn’t surprise me to see Night of Thunders, No Nay Nevers, and Cable Bays in the sale.”

Arqana’s Executive Director Freddy Powell will be in Ocala this week stressing the international appeal of the sale.

“This is becoming the biggest two-year-old sale in Europe, really, in terms of results and on the racecourse,” he said. “Obviously, the American clientele is getting bigger and bigger for Arqana every year, and we want everyone to be aware of what we have in the catalogue. We have some American horses, but I don’t know that American clients come to France to buy exactly what they have at home. They might be there to buy something else. The interesting thing might be to see some horses breeze on grass here to run on the turf in America. There are lovely pedigrees, horses by leading stallions in Europe, who run on the turf in Europe.”

In hand, Powell will have video of the horses on the turf course at the Deauville-La Touques racetrack to show consignors the good condition of the surface. “I have had to answer a lot of questions about how the track is in Deauville, so this way I can show the vendors that the place is in good shape and that they are going to breeze on a very safe track.”

Powell said he has been doing the breeze-up sale inspections since 2003, when the average was around €15,000. Over the past three years, that has grown to almost 10 times that amount.

“It’s a completely different sale than it used to be,” said Powell. “This sale is going from strength to strength. You see the success. There’s a strong relationship between the vendors and our team. I’ve been doing the sales inspections for 20 years and you build something with the vendors. It’s based on a relationship of trust and confidence between the sales company and the vendors. We are based in France, primarily selling Irish horses to foreign buyers. It’s a lot of logistics, but everyone seems happy to do it.”

The post Arqana May Breeze-Up Offers Plenty for Americans appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.