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.

Nyquist: Gulfstream Sale Success Story

On March 4, 2015, future Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist entered the paddock at Gulfstream Park, announced simply as “a bay colt by Uncle Mo out of Seeking Gabrielle.” After a solid 10:2 work two days prior, the handsome bay colt was popular among potential buyers, drawing a final bid of $400,000 from Doug O’Neill, agent. Nyquist was consigned by Niall Brennan Stables.

Nyquist made his first start for new owner Reddam Racing only three months selling at Gulfstream Park. On June 5, Nyquist won his debut at Santa Anita in what was then just 0.06 seconds off the track record for five furlongs. He made the jump directly to graded stakes company two months later, running away with the Best Pal S. (G2) at Del Mar by 5 ¼ lengths. Nyquist broke through at the top level in his next start, winning the Del Mar Futurity (G1) by 3 ¾ lengths before annexing the FrontRunner S. (G1) three weeks later at Santa Anita.

With four wins in as many starts in California, Nyquist shipped for the first time to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup Championships. Under gray skies, Nyquist was bumped hard twice as he broke from the far outside 13 post, raced wide throughout, swung into the six path on the final turn, and dug in doggedly to capture the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Unbeaten in five starts as a juvenile, Nyquist took a brief winter break, during which he was named Eclipse Champion 2YO Male of 2015 by an astounding 255 votes. He returned to his home base at Santa Anita for his sophomore debut, which he dispatched future Grade 1 winner Exaggerator by 1 ½ lengths in the San Vicente S. (G2).

Nyquist returned to Gulfstream Park in April 2016 to go head-to-head with fellow unbeaten sophomore Mohaymen, who had annexed the two G2 Derby preps at Gulfstream in January and February. In a race that was touted as a heavyweight fight, Nyquist captured the Florida Derby (G1) easily, leading from the second call on to win the race by 3 ¼ lengths.

On May 7, Nyquist went to lucky post 13 to contest the Run for the Roses. After patiently tracking the pace from the outside, Nyquist took the lead in the stretch and never looked back. He won by 1 ¼ lengths over a field which included no less than 14 then-or-future graded/group stakes winners, including G1 winners Exaggerator, Gun Runner, Body’s Cause, Mor Spirit, Creator, and Outwork.

Nyquist retired with a record of eight wins in 11 starts and earnings of $5,189,200. He is currently standing his first season at stud at Darley in Lexington, KY.

The 2017 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training will be held Wednesday, March 1 at 4 PM in the paddock at Gulfstream Park. The under tack show will be conducted on the main track beginning at 10 AM on Monday, February 27. The catalogue is available online.

Songbird Leads Six F-T Sale Grad Finalists for the Eclipse Awards

Fasig-Tipton sales grads were among the best in their class once more in 2016, with six Eclipse Award finalists awaiting the announcement on January 21 at Gulfstream Park. The six finalists represent five sales and include weanling, yearling, and two-year-old sale grads.

Graduate: 2014 Saratoga Sale
Finalist: Horse of the Year, Champion 3YO Filly

Songbird winning the Alabama S. (G1) // Coglianese Photo

Reigning Eclipse Champion 2YO Filly Songbird did not rest on her laurels for a moment in her sophomore campaign. Racing exclusively in graded company last term, Songbird dispatched all comers but one, winning her first seven starts by a combined 38 ½ lengths. She tallied victories in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Alabama S. (G1), Cotillion S. (G1), Las Virgenes S. (G2), Summertime Oaks (G2), and Santa Ysabel S. (G3). Her shortest margin of victory was 3 ¾ lengths, recorded in both the Santa Anita Oaks and Santa Ysabel S. at her home base of Santa Anita. Her lone loss was to three-time Eclipse Champion and current finalist for Champion Older Female Beholder, who edged Songbird by the barest nose in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) after a prolonged battle of more than a furlong.

Songbird collected $2,210,000 in purse money last year for owner Fox Hill Farm. That sum was good for best earnings by a female in North America last year, and fourth of either sex, behind only the three current finalists for Champion 3YO Male.

Songbird was purchased by Fox Hill Farm at the 2014 Saratoga Sale from the consignment of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency. She is campaigned by Fox Hill Farm and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Songbird was bred in Kentucky by John Antonelli.

Graduate: 2014 Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale, 2016 November Sale
Finalist: Champion 3YO Filly

Cathryn Sophia winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) // Photos by Z

An undefeated stakes winner at two, whose combined margin of victory in two starts was 29 lengths, Cathryn Sophia opened her sophomore season with wins in the Forward Gal S. (G2) and the Fasig-Tipton Davona Dale S. (G2). Second runner-up in a blanket finish in her first try at the highest level, the Ashland S. (G1), Cathryn Sophia proved her class in Kentucky Oaks (G1), flying home first by 2 ¾ lengths over a field of 13 which included three G1 winners. Cathryn Sophia closed up her three-year-old campaign with a win in the Princess of Sylmar S. and placings in both the Acorn S. (G1) and the Cotillion S. (G1).

Cathryn Sophia was purchased by Charles Zacney at the 2014 Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale from the consignment of Chanceland Farm. She campaigned for Zacney’s Cash is King and trainer John Servis. She most recently sold for $1.4 million at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

Graduate: 2015 Gulfstream Sale
Finalist: Champion 3YO Male

Nyquist winning the Kentucky Derby (G1) // Photos by Z

Champion 2YO of his class in 2015, Nyquist took that form into his sophomore season,  winning the Kentucky Derby (G1), Florida Derby (G1), and San Vicente S. (G2), and placing in the Preakness S. (G1). His efforts were good for earnings of $3,575,000, ranked second in North American earnings last year.

Nyquist was purchased by Dennis O’Neill at the 2015 Gulfstream Sale, from the consignment of Niall Brennan Stables. He campaigned for owner Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill.

Graduate: 2013 Saratoga Sale, 2013 Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale
Finalist: Champion Older Female

Stellar Wind winning the Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) // Benoit Photo

Champion 3YO Filly in 2015, Stellar Wind continued to show exceptional class in 2016. After finishing second to Beholder in the Vanity Mile S. (G1), Stellar Wind turned the tables on the future Hall of Famer, defeating that rival in back-to-back starts in the Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) and the Zenyatta S. (G1).

Stellar Wind is a two-time Fasig-Tipton sale grad. She was purchased by Vernan Lee Stables at the 2013 Saratoga Sale from the consignment of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, and again from the 2013 Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale by Barbara Houck from the consignment of Marshall Silverman. Stellar Wind races for owner Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler.

Graduate: 2012 Saratoga Sale
Finalist: Champion Turf Female

Tepin winning the Queen Anne S. (G1) // Mathea Kelley Photo

Tepin, Eclipse Champion Turf Female at four in 2015, continued to show exceptional form as a five-year-old in 2016. In eight starts last year, all graded stakes, Tepin found the winner’s circle six times, including winning three G1 races in three different countries: the Jenny Wiley S. (G1) in her native country, the Queen Anne S. (G1) at Royal Ascot, and the Woodbine Mile S. (G1) in Canada. Tepin also came home first in the Hillsborough S. (G2), Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. (G2), and Endeavor S. (G3). Additionally, she was first but one in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and the First Lady S. (G1). Tepin earned $1,476,360 in 2016 for owner Robert Masterson, and was the top-earning turf filly or mare in North America.

Tepin was purchased by Robert Masterson at the 2012 Saratoga Sale from the consignment of Select Sales. She races for Masterson and trainer Mark Casse. Tepin was bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall.

Graduate: 2011 November Sale, 2012 New York-Bred Sale, 2016 November Sale
Finalist: Champion Female Sprinter

haveyougoneaway 3.jpg
Haveyougoneaway winning the Ballerina S. (G1) // Coglianese Photo

A stakes winner at four, Haveyougoneaway found her best stride at five in 2016. She was first or second in seven of eight starts last year, including wins in the Ballerina S. (G1), Honorable Miss H. (G2), American Beauty S., Spring Fever S., and Dancin Renee S.

Haveyougoneaway is now a three-time Fasig-Tipton sales graduate. She was purchased by John Greathouse Bloodstock as a weanling at the 2011 November Sale from the consignment of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds. The following year she was offered by Four Star Sales at the New York-Bred Sale, where she was purchased by the partnership fo Tayloe & Greathouse. This past November, she visited the November Sale ring again, selling for $1.1 million as a racing and/or broodmare prospect.

2016 Saratoga Cover Story: Part 1/3

What does it take to be a cover horse? Let this year’s class of Saratoga Sale cover horses show you!

Graded Stakes won by 2016 Saratoga Sale cover horses in the first half of 2015:

Las Virgenes S. (G1) – Callback
Donn H. (G1) – Constitution
Santa Ysabel S. (G3) – Stellar Wind
Rebel S. (G2) – American Pharoah
Santa Anita Oaks (G1) – Stellar Wind
Arkansas Derby (G1) – American Pharoah
Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) – Tepin
Kentucky Derby (G1) – American Pharoah
Westchester S. (G3) – Tonalist
Preakness S. (G1) – American Pharoah
True North S. (G2) – Rock Fall
Just A Game S. (G1) – Tepin
Belmont S. (G1) – American Pharoah
Summertime Oaks (G2) – Stellar Wind

Check back later today for parts 2 and 3!

Saratoga Success: 2015 Eclipse Champions

You’ve seen them sell… now watch them run!

Relive the exciting 2015 Eclipse championship seasons of Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings AMERICAN PHAROAH, SONGBIRD, TEPIN, and STELLAR WIND below!

AMERICAN PHAROAH (2013 Saratoga Sale)
2015 Horse of the Year
2015 Eclipse Champion 3YO Colt

2015 Triple Crown Winner

American Pharoah‘s 2015 wins: Rebel S. (G2), Arkansas Derby (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness S. (G1), Belmont S. (G1), Haskell Invitational S. (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)

SONGBIRD (2014 Saratoga Sale)
2015 Eclipse Champion 2YO Filly

Songbird‘s 2015 wins: Maiden Special Weight, Del Mar Debutante (G1), Chandelier S. (G1), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)

TEPIN (2012 Saratoga Sale)
2015 Eclipse Champion Turf Female

Tepin‘s 2015 wins: Allowance, Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. (G2), Just A Game S. (G1), First Lady S. (G1), Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1)

STELLAR WIND (2013 Saratoga Sale)
2015 Eclipse Champion 3YO Filly

Stellar Wind‘s 2015 wins: Santa Ysabel S. (G3), Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Summertime Oaks (G2), Torrey Pines S. (G3)

The Saratoga Sale will be held August 8-9, 2016. Check out the sale guide and catalogue here.

Triple Threat: Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale Success Story

A native of India whose string of talented racehorses is based in California, owner-entrepreneur Kaleem Shah is no stranger to travel, especially in search of quality horse flesh. Along with a pair of extremely qualified agents – trainer Bob Baffert and advisor Donato Lanni – Shah has made a habit of plucking future Grade 1 winners from the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. The trio of horsemen has found their most recent Midlantic successes in Grade 1 winners Eden’s Moon, Bayern, and Dortmund.

“We Seem to Get Lucky in May”

Speaking by phone a few weeks ahead of the 2016 Midlantic 2YO Sale, Shah attributed his success to a combination of luck and the skill of his advisors. “I’ve been very lucky at [the Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training] Sales.” Shah went on to name Lanni and Baffert as “instrumental” in his success. “Those two deserve all the credit,” he said.

Shah noted that while Eden’s Moon and Dortmund “jumped out” in the breeze show, all three of his recent G1 winners showed a lot of early promise, which was evident in part due to the dirt track at Timonium. “Bob [Baffert] always tells me, when you see them work on a dirt track, you get a much better idea,” Shah said. “Some of the other sales where they don’t work on dirt, it can be hit or miss.”

On the timing of the sale, Shah’s advisor Donato Lanni said simply, “We seem to get lucky in May… I think it’s a good time of year, in May, to watch two-year-olds perform. You know there’s good horses out of that sale every year.” He also noted that having the sale around Preakness time adds to the attraction.

Eden’s Moon

In 2011, Baffert set his sights on a bay filly by popular sire Malibu Moon. Offered as Hip 5 by Bridlewood Farm as agent, Baffert secured the sale’s top-priced filly for $390,000 on behalf of his client Shah. Out of Eden’s Causeway, a winning daughter of Giant’s Causeway, the filly impressed with a quarter mile breeze in 21:3 at the under tack show and a pedigree which featured champion Paradise Creek and Grade 1 winners Forbidden Apple, Wild Event, and David Junior under her second dam. Shah named his promising new filly Eden’s Moon.

Eden’s Moon was second in her two-year-old debut, best of the rest behind future multiple graded stakes winner Reneesgotzip. In her second try a few weeks later, Eden’s Moon sped away from the competition to secure an 11 ½ length maiden win. Shah’s filly got her revenge on Reneesgotzip in the Las Virgenes S. (G1) next time out, besting her rival by 3 ¼ lengths. Eden’s Moon raced six more times as a three-year-old, winning the San Clemente H. (G2) and placing in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Hollywood Oaks (G2), and Indiana Oaks (G2). She retired after a successful sophomore campaign with earnings of $387,216.


In 2013, Shah went to $320,000 to purchase a dark bay or brown son of Offlee Wild from Eddie Woods, agent. Then known as Hip 145, the colt worked a quarter in 21:3. The third foal out of the unraced Thunder Gulch mare Alittlebitearly, the colt was already half-sibling to two winners. Deep in his pedigree were Grade 1 winners Althea, Balletto (AUE), Acoma, Ketoh, Ali Oop, and exceptional sire Arch.

Named Bayern after the German football club, the Midlantic grad got off the mark right, breaking his maiden at first try over a field which included future multiple graded stakes winner Hoppertunity. Bayern followed up his maiden win with an allowance score, then took aim at several of the top races for three-year-olds, coming home first in the Haskell Invitational S. (G1), Woody Stephens S. (G2), and Pennsylvania Derby (G2). Bayern took on older horses for the first time in November of his sophomore season, winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) by a nose. On that day, Bayern defeated Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) winner California Chrome, Belmont S. (G1) winner Tonalist, and until-then unbeaten champion Shared Belief. Bayern was first by earnings in 2014 and retired with a bankroll of $4,454,930.


While Bayern was flashing his stuff as a three-year-old, Shah returned to the wellspring of the Midlantic two-year-old sale, where agent Donato Lanni placed a top bid of $140,000 on Hip 383, a chestnut colt by Big Brown. A son of the stakes-winning Tale of the Cat mare Our Josephina, the colt worked 10:1 at the under tack show. His catalogue page was dominated by third dam Lakeville Miss, a champion juvenile, multiple grade 1 winner, and grade 1 producer.

Following in a tradition that served him well, Shah named his new colt after German football club Dortmund. Like Bayern, Dortmund came flying out of the gate, breaking his maiden by 4 ¾ at first try. Dortmund strung together an opening streak of six wins, including wins in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), Santa Anita Derby (G1), San Felipe S. (G2), and Robert B. Lewis S. (G3). Dortmund placed in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in a battle of unbeaten Fasig-Tipton sales grads which was won by eventual Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah.

Dortmund got back on track with wins in the Native Diver S. (G3) and the Big Bear S., and remains in training with Bob Baffert. To date, Dortmund has earned $1,712,480 and boasts eight wins from 10 starts.

Watch Eden’s Moon, Bayern, and Dortmund strut their stuff on the track:

The 2016 Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held May 23-24 at the Maryland Fairgrounds in Timonium, MD, with sale sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m. The under tack show will be held over three days, from May 17-19, beginning daily at 8 a.m. The full catalogue is available online now at www.fasigtipton.com.

Find your own success story at:
The Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale
May 23-24, 2016
Under Tack Show: May 17-19, 2016
Timonium, MD

Fasig-Tipton Sales Graduates Dominate Eclipse Awards

After a year of dominance on the racetrack, five Fasig-Tipton sales graduates combined to take home six of the 2015 Eclipse Awards distributed Saturday night at Gulfstream Park.

American Pharoah

When the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year was announced, no one could be surprised to hear 2013 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale grad AMERICAN PHAROAH honored with the award. The first Triple Crown winner in 37 years and convincing victor of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), American Pharoah unsurprisingly led the field by a vote of 261-0 – the same margin by which he won Champion Three-Year-Old Male.

After securing Eclipse Champion Two-Year-Old Male honors in 2014, American Pharoah embarked on a sophomore campaign in which he not only conquered the Triple Crown, but achieved a single-season record for earnings for owner Zayat Stables and trainer Bob Baffert. The colt retired with earnings of $8,288,80.

Stellar Wind

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly was awarded to 2013 Saratoga Sale and 2013 Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale grad STELLAR WIND. Stellar Wind was a four-time graded stakes winner in 2015, with her biggest score coming in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). Stellar Wind was a hard-fought second to fellow Fasig-Tipton sale graduate Stopchargingmaria in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), but it was enough to triumph over a tough three-year-old filly division. Stellar Wind earned $886,000 in 2015 for owner Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler.


In another contentious division, 2012 Saratoga Sale grad TEPIN was honored as the year’s Champion Female Turf Horse. Racing for Robert Masterson and trainer Mark Casse, Tepin was no worse than second in seven starts in 2015. A four-time graded stakes winner last year, Tepin scored at the highest level in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), First Lady S. (G1), and Just a Game S. (G1). With $2,092,520 in earnings on the season, Tepin was second in earning power only to Horse of the Year American Pharoah.

In the juvenile divisions, undefeated Fasig-Tipton sales grads NYQUIST and SONGBIRD were crowned Champion Two-Year-Old Male and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, respectively.


A graduate of the inaugural Florida Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training, held at Gulfstream Park for the first time in 2015, Nyquist showed both exceptional talent and fortitude during a juvenile campaign which began in early June and culminated with a gutsy win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Nyquist was a four-time graded stakes winner in his first season, including three wins at the top level for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill. With earnings of $1,613,600, Nyquist was the only top-10 ranked juvenile on the North American earnings list in 2015.


Songbird, a graduate of the 2014 Saratoga Sale, has yet to meet a racetrack she doesn’t love. She won three Grade 1’s on three different tracks in 2015 for Fox Hill Farm and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, with a smallest winning margin of 4 ½ lengths. In four perfect starts as a juvenile, Songbird trounced her opponents by a combined 22 lengths on her way to earning $1,502,000.

Congratulations to the connections of all of Fasig-Tipton’s 2015 Eclipse Award-winning sales graduates and nominees, including: American Pharoah, Stellar Wind, Tepin, Nyquist, Songbird, Tonalist, Stopchargingmaria, Airoforce, Dortmund, Rock Fall, Wavell Avenue, and Stephanie’s Kitten.

Photo credits: Mathea Kelley for Fasig-Tipton (American Pharoah, Tepin, Nyquist, Songbird), Benoit Photo (Stellar Wind)