Smash hits for Pop Artist

BY NIGEL REID

Pop Artist speed worth a second glance

I was talking to trainer Dino Condilenios recently about POP ARTIST, a horse he knows intimately and who he still holds a significant stake in now that the stallion is carrying out covering duties at Emerald Acres in Aldergrove, BC.

“I’ve always believed in him,” Dino explained. “He had this amazing will to win and he seems to be passing that on.”

And how. Pop Artist has shot up the charts recently after he was represented by two winning three-year-olds at Hastings in the shape of KRISSY on opening weekend and, this past weekend, by the gorgeous-looking roan, MOLESLEY.

Both horses were impressive and similar winners, taking early leads and having matters decided by the time they approached the top of the lane. None of those chasing either horse landed a blow.

Who was the most impressive is unclear right now. Krissy seemed to have the tougher task on paper, and had shown definite promise as a juvenile, finishing third behind Dancin Shoes and Notice in the Sadie Diamond Futurity in September.

Molesley, however, was making his racetrack debut and, to this paddock observer at least, looked as though he would definitely come on for the race. To win in such eye-catching manner on a debut against more experienced rivals is no mean feat and it will be interesting to see where the pair rank by the end of the season.

Pop Artist is a son of recently pensioned SONGANDAPRAYER, a winner of the G1 Fountain Of Youth who is probably best known for costing basketball player Bobby Hurley a cool $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale back in the year 2000.

A $275,000 yearling purchase by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation, Pop Artist was, pedigree wise, an untypical purchase, but whatever they saw in him in the sales ring was repaid at the first time of asking when, despite being reluctant to load, he landed his debut, a $100,000 maiden claimer event, by six lengths.

An injury, which required ankle surgery, curtailed Pop Artist’s Darley career, but that turned out very much to the benefit of Swift Thoroughbreds, who purchased the horse privately. Under the guidance of Condilenios, the speedball won at the first time of asking at Hastings back in 2009, before going on to be something of a stable stalwart, winning a total of 11 races over five seasons and never finishing further back than fourth in 21 starts.

Much of Pop Artist’s speed as a racehorse – and, if his results from such few breeding opportunities are to be believed, this is a trait he can pass on in abundance to his stock – may come from a dam side that has produced some super quick runners down the years.

His dam, the Florida bred KIPPER QUILA was a solid allowance performer, winning seven races and finishing on the board 18 times in 29 events.

Kipper Quila was by the very quick Illinois-bred sprinter, KIPPER KELLY, who raced as a homebred to some effect (three Stakes places, including a third in the G3 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita) before a peripatetic stallion career saw stints in his home state, Louisiana and Florida, where he sired KELLY KIP, a horse described by the legendary trainer Allen Jerkens as the “fastest I have been around”.

Pop Artist was always going to have to do things the hard way as a stallion, but his results from such a relatively small sample size of mares, indicate that he is well worthy of consideration for BC breeders looking to inject some speed into their stock. And, given his racetrack tenacity and the toughness of his dam, some of that much needed durability, as well.

CTHS: Just a note to say that the semi-regular list of BC-bred winners I produced last season will now appear weekly on the CTHS website site as part of a regular round up. I was thrilled to be asked to contribute and hope that you might all give it a look if and when you have a moment.

Juvenile Filly by Tapit Commands $1.3 Million at Return of Keeneland April Sale

A 2-year-old daughter of Tapit and Grade 1 winner My Conquestadory who is a full sister to 2019 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up Bourbon War sold to Chad Schumer, agent, for $1.3 million to top Keeneland’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale.

The April Sale returned Tuesday after a five-year hiatus and featured for the first time an offering of horses of racing age.

During the single-session sale, Keeneland sold 67 horses for $6,083,500. The average was $90,799, and the median was $40,000.

“Trade was very good,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “The racehorses were well received. Strong trade continued into the 2-year-old portion of the sale. The (sale-topping) Tapit filly was on everybody’s list, with a good update from Bourbon War and a great work she turned in yesterday during the Preview Show. Her sale showed the money is here for those kind of horses.

“We’re in a rebuilding process for this sale,” Russell continued. “Some people were willing to rebuild with us, and some people wanted to wait and see. We hope they saw and will participate next year.”

Keeneland held the April Sale from 1993-2014, and graduates include six classic winners: Belmont (G1) winner Palace Malice; Preakness (G1) winner and champion Lookin At Lucky; Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness winner and champion Big Brown; Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner and champion Thunder Gulch; and Kentucky Oaks (G1) winners Keeper Hill and Gal in a Ruckus. Champion Beautiful Pleasure also is an April Sale graduate.

The 2014 auction produced champions Lady Eli and Roy H.

During Monday’s Preview Show, which featured cataloged juveniles working over the dirt track and turf course, the sale-topping Tapit filly breezed an eighth of a mile in the co-fastest time of :10 over the main track.

“She is a tremendous physical, she had a superb breeze and her gallop out was really strong,” said Schumer, who bought the filly for Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. “She is by one of the leading sires of all time and she has a massive pedigree. (The price) is not an unexpected number. (For) a Tapit with that kind of pedigree, you have to expect to pay that kind of money. She was an obvious choice.

“Once you get above a certain number it is kind of numbing. I have never gone that high before, so it has not sunk in yet. Hopefully, she will be a Grade 1 horse.”

With the purchase, Schumer was the day’s leading buyer.

Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned the sale-topper, whose dam, a daughter of Artie Schiller, won Keeneland’s Darley Alcibiades (G1) in 2013.

“We shipped in about 10 days ago,” consignor Dean De Renzo said. “The weather is a little cooler than Florida, and (horses) thrive when they come here. She is a May foal, and we have taken our time with her. We wanted to target a sale that is a little later in the year. We hope that Keeneland continues having this sale because we love the timing and we love to sell here.

“(Because the sale is during the race meet), everybody is here – owners, trainers, bloodstock agents and farm owners who see a filly like that and think she will have a lot of broodmare value later after she races. That is a reason we brought fillies here: to attract breeders who are in this area.”

Hip 130

At $500,000, the top-priced horse of racing age is this year’s Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) third-place finisher, Sweet Diane. Ina Bond’s River Bend Farm acquired the 3-year-old daughter of Will Take Charge, who has been in the money in each of her five career starts.

ELiTE, agent, consigned Sweet Diane, who is from the family of Glinda the Good, dam of champion Good Magic, and Grade 1 winner Magical Maiden. She was a late supplement to the sale.

“This is a new direction for us,” River Bend Farm Manager Larry Weeden said. “We have been selling yearlings here for almost 30 years. We have a broodmare band of about 12 and try to focus on quality rather than quantity. Eddie Kenneally trains for us, so he is going to train (her). We have high hopes that this will turn into something fun.”

Sweet Diane has 22 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) to rank 16th on the list of leading point earners. The top 14 point earners will earn a spot in the starting gate for the $1.25 million Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 3.

ELiTE was the leading consigner, selling eight horses for $1.31 million.

Keeneland’s 16-day Spring Meet resumes Wednesday with a first post of 1:05 p.m. ET.

The next auction is the 76th annual September Yearling Sale, to be held Sept. 9-21.

Click here for a video of Hip 130, a $1.3 million Tapit-My Conquestadory filly
Click here for a video of Hip 90, Sweet Diane, sold for $500,000

WTBOA Sales Horses Continue to Produce Results

Washington Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association

Tejati, by Tactical Advantage, a seven-race winner (with five of those wins coming at Emerald Downs) of $112,327, who had been a 2001 WTBOA Summer Sale yearling, is the dam of Core Beliefs, the four-year-old son of Quality Road who won the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 23. Core Beliefs also won the Ohio Derby (G3) and placed in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Peter Pan Stakes (G3) on his way to earnings of $872,660 and a 23.28 SSI. Tejati, who is also the dam of three other winners, including stakes-placed Downtown Driggs, had been consigned by Rainier Stables, agent, and was purchased by Quadrun Stables for $15,000 at the August Washington sale.

Attention BC Breeders!

A 2-year-old Curlin three-parts brother to Road’s End Farm’s latest stallion recruit, COUNTERFORCE, sold for a record $3.65 million at Fasig-Tipton’s Gulfstream Sale on Wednesday. The colt worked an eighth-mile in a supersonic :10 flat at the under tack show and was knocked down to Jamie McCalmont and Donato Lanni, agents for M.V. Magnier.

FOAL REPORT – NATHC ANNOUNCEMENT

NATHC proudly announces another foal born in Lexington, Kentucky at December Farm.

Our stakes placed mare My Kentucky Rose gave birth to see lovely long legged filly by Tapiture.  The foal was 140 lbs at birth. Mother and daughter are doing well. The mare is booked back to Tapizar.

Our Farm in Kentucky is very busy as they have four more mares ready to foal this week.

NEW FOAL REPORT FROM DAVE GREGORY

Hi Glen

Just wanted to pass these 2 photos of a new born filly by Jersey Town out of a Macho Uno mare second dam by El Prado born in Langley BC on Saturday March 2nd First time breeder Janice Foley Beautiful colour / Regal breeding

Best Regards
Dave Gregory