Well ‘Connect’ed: July Sale Success Story

“Very athletic-looking” with a nice pedigree was how agent Chris Brothers, who represents Paul Pompa Jr. at most sales, described the yearling Connect at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton July Sale of Selected Yearlings.

Known only as Hip 117 at the time, a dark bay or brown colt consigned by VanMeter Sales who Brothers had short-listed for Pompa. On July 14, the Curlin yearling out of Holy Bull mare Bullville Belle, walked into the Fasig-Tipton sales ring, pricked his ears as he studied the crowd, and walked out belonging to Pompa for $150,000.

Later named Connect, the colt broke his maiden by four lengths in May of last year at Belmont Park for trainer Chad Brown. After an allowance victory at Belmont on June 11 of his three-year-old season, Connect shipped north to Saratoga to run in a race named after his prolific sire: the Curlin Stakes. Not only did the gate-to-wire victory and the significance of the race’s name provide a thrill for Pompa, but the performance was telling of what was to come later that fall and into the following year.

“This might be the second best horse I’ve ever owned,” said Pompa – who also owned dual classic winner and Fasig-Tipton-sold yearling Big Brown – to The Saratoga Special after Connect’s win in the Curlin. “Early in the year, Chad had talked about timing it for this, because he knew this horse was special, we wanted to use this to get a race over the track, let’s hope that we show up for the Travers.”

In hindsight, Pompa echoed those sentiments during a recent phone conversation about Connect.

“I think the Curlin was a nice win because it was his first stakes try, up at Saratoga, and the race he won was named after his father, Curlin,” Pompa said, citing the race as his favorite victory of Connect’s. “And then the [Grade 2] Pennsylvania Derby, and then obviously the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.”

One month after his length victory in the Curlin, Connect contended the Travers (G1), running into Arrogate, who broke the 147-year-old track record, and finishing sixth. But having already proved himself, it was no secret that Connect was a viable contender for the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at Parx. Running mid-pack and making a ground-covering move along the inside rail as the field galloped around the far turn, Connect dug in and fought off recent Stephen Foster H. (G1) winner Gun Runner in the stretch to win by a half-length.

Connect went on to contest the Cigar Mile (G1). He ran from off the pace, grinding down the stretch alongside Divining Rod, who matched his stride until Connect extended himself to win by a head and become a millionaire.

“When you’re an owner, and you have the horse in any kind of race and you’re a big favorite, then there’s more pressure on you,” Pompa said. “He was a big favorite in the Cigar Mile, so we knew he belonged there. And then for him to perform and to win was extremely satisfying.”

After five months off, Connect came back to the races as a four-year-old in the one mile Westchester (G3) at Belmont Park in May, leaving the field behind in a 4 ¾-length victory.

There’s something to be said about buying a yearling and watching it transform into an excelling athlete. Pompa describes it well through the process he has observed in Connect’s career so far.

“You know they’re very young, they’re yearlings, so everything has to fall together the right way,” Pompa said about searching out potential at yearling sales. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years now, so I’ve had some big horses… it is very exciting, especially when it works out.”

And for Connect, it has obviously worked out.

The 2017 July Sale will be held Tuesday, July 11 at 10 AM. The catalogue is available online at www.fasigtipton.com.

July Selected Horses of Racing Age Catalogue Now Online

HORASaleCoverAngledThe interactive catalogue for Fasig-Tipton’s July Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale is now available online.  The session will be held Monday, July 10 at 5 pm in Lexington, Kentucky.  It will precede the July Selected Yearling Sale that will take place the following day beginning at 10 am.

The catalogue currently features ­­­106 accepted entries, but that number will grow as Fasig-Tipton will continue to review and accept nominations up until sale time.

“This is our fifth year conducting the Horses of Racing Age Sale, and we feel that this is our strongest catalogue to date,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.  “The sale has attracted entries from several of the most prominent racing stables in the country, and buyers will find a number of turn-key, quality offerings no matter their budget.”

The sale’s graduates continue to produce impressive results on the race track.

“Since this sale was first held in 2013, sale graduates have made more than 3,500 starts for their new owners, earning more than $19 million,” Browning continued.  “The sale has also produced 25% stakes horses and more than 40 stakes wins.”

The sale’s enhanced online catalogue features pedigrees, race videos, statistical links, Ragozin “sheet” numbers, real-time past performances, as well as an assessment of each horse by the Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper Mike Watchmaker.

Prospective buyers may also sign up for email alerts through Fasig-Tipton’s website to receive pedigree and race-record updates, as well as notifications of new sale entries as they are accepted up until sale time.

The July Selected Horses of Racing Age catalogue will also be available via the equineline sales catalogue app. Print catalogues will be available on the sales grounds by July 7.

For further information:
Evan Ferraro
(859) 255-1555

Saratoga Sale Catalogue Now Available Online

Saratoga_cover_front_FINALFasig-Tipton has catalogued 227 selected yearlings for its 97th Saratoga Sale, to be held August 7-8 in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Sessions will begin each evening at 6:30 p.m in the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion.

“Our consignors have supported us with outstanding quality once again this year,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.  “Buyers will find the very best of this year’s yearling crop when they arrive at Saratoga, including several offerings from some new faces in the consignor and breeder ranks.”

“Saratoga continues to produce the sport’s biggest and brightest stars,” continued Browning.  “Belmont Stakes winner TAPWRIT is remarkably the fourth Belmont winner in the last six years to have been offered at Saratoga, and Eclipse Champions SONGBIRD, STELLAR WIND, and TEPIN are some of the finest fillies and mares we have seen in some time.”

In data recently released by The BloodHorse MarketWatch, The Saratoga Sale yet again ranks at the top of all major North American yearling sales by percentage of Grade 1 winners, Graded Stakes Winners, and Stakes Winners produced from horses sold.

The catalogue may now be viewed online and via the equineline sales catalogue app.  Print catalogues will be available beginning June 30.

For further information:
Evan Ferraro
(859)255-1555

Quality on Offer at The July Sale

JulySaleCoverAngledFasig-Tipton has catalogued 300 selected yearlings for The July Sale, to be held on Tuesday, July 11 in Lexington, Kentucky beginning at 10 am.

“Buyers expect to find a precocious, athletic group of yearlings when they come to our July Sale, and that’s what they will find once again this year,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “We look forward to kicking off the 2017 yearling sale season with a quality group of yearlings by many of the sport’s most successful, as well as up-and-coming young sires.”

This year’s catalogue cover features recent Grade 1 winning July Sale graduates CONNECT and KLIMT.  They are the latest stars to emerge from Fasig-Tipton’s Selected Yearling Sales, which The BloodHorse MarketWatch recently ranked at the top of all major North American yearling sales by percentage of Grade 1 winners, graded stakes winners, and stakes winners produced from horses sold.  The July Sale is also ranked first by percentage of Two-Year-Old winners sold.

“Our selected yearling sales are statistically proven to be highly concentrated sources of quality,” continued Browning.  “Buyers in search of success at the highest levels cannot afford to miss our selected yearling sales – and July is their first opportunity in 2017.”

Fasig-Tipton will also conduct its popular July Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale the day prior to The July Sale, on Monday, July 10. Fasig-Tipton will continue to accept nominations for the Horses of Racing Age Sale through the month of June.

The July Sale catalogue may now be viewed online and via the Equineline catalogue app.  Print catalogues will be available beginning June 13.

For further information:
Evan Ferraro
(859)255-1555