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“The initial question that I answer for my clients is, ‘Do you have a marketable horse for the auction?'” says Bill Reightler.
Reightler, a fixture at mid-Atlantic auctions who has managed farms and, for the last 15 years, run his own sales agency, has been answering that question for more than 30 years. It’s safe to say that gives him both expertise and perspective on what the market wants. He has a 50-plus horse consignment lined up for next Monday’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale, the largest group on offer.
“The sales market is healthy, but it’s very discriminating,” he points out. “It’s healthy for the right horse — a horse that’s well conformed and has a nice pedigree.”
Of course, it’s not as simple as all that. For one thing, different participants in the market look for different things, and aim for different price points.
If Reightler hits his mark — and he believes he will — he’ll have plenty to offer a wide range of market participants.
For those seeking sire power, he has a mix of exciting new stallions and established stars. Perhaps no stud typifies the former group more than Friesan Fire, the multiple graded stakes winner now standing at Maryland’s Country Life Farm.
“Any time you have a horse by a sire of sires like A.P. Indy, you have to pay attention to them,” Reightler says of Friesan Fire. “Overall, the Friesan Fires have a lot of quality to them. I’m pretty impressed with what I’m seeing.”
Impressed enough that he’s offering 13 of them on Monday. Among them: Hip 138, a colt out of the Distorted Humor mare Final Humor, whom Reightler calls “a tremendous horse physically… just a standout.” Hip 138 is a half-brother to the stakes-placed Hot Fun.
Another of the nicely bred Friesan Fires is Hip 273, who is out of the productive Citidancer mare Mrs. Vanderbilt. Hip 273 is a half-brother to two stakes winners, including the Grade 2-winning Dancing Afleet. Reightler describes him as “smooth and racy, very balanced.”[boxify cols_use =”3″ cols =”6″ position =”left” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ background_color =”gray” background_opacity =”10″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”500″ ]REIGHTLER SALES CONSIGNMENT HIGHLIGHTS
- Hip 31 — Gators N Bears-Ample’s Star colt; “the last Gators N Bears foal, a good-looking colt who stands over a lot of ground”
- Hip 133 — Majestic Warrior-Favorite Pic filly; “very, very good looking”
- Hip 138 — Friesan Fire-Final Humor colt; “tremendous horse phsyically,” says Reightler
- Hip 193 — Old Fashioned-Irish Diva colt; “big and very athletic”
- Hip 210 — Not for Love-Kosmo’s Buddy filly; dam earned $300k
- Hip 273 — Friesan Fire-Mrs. Vanderbilt colt; “racy, very balanced”
- Hip 346 — Super Saver-Ruby Soul filly; “gorgeous, powerfully built filly with a lot of depth to her pedigree”
- Hip 401 — Congrats-Striking Kathy filly; “very appealing, athletic filly”
- Hip 406 — Line of David-Sunday in Malibu colt; “by an exciting sire and out of a very fast looking Malibu Moon filly”
While it’s impossible to know in advance how the market will react to the Friesan Fires, early returns are promising. Of the two Friesan Fire yearlings to sell so far this year, one, out of the winning El Corredor mare Ba Ba’s Bunch, fetched $140,000 at the recent Keeneland sale.
Of course, many other sires are represented in Reightler’s consignment.
They run the market’s gamut, from the region’s grand old man, Not for Love; to red-hot Super Saver, whose offspring Competitive Edge and I Spent It ran one-two in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga earlier this month; to Majestic Warrior, sire of four-time Grade 1 winner Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred.
Of course, breeding isn’t just about sires; mares contribute half the genetic material, too, and Reightler is quick to point to a number of enticing mares in his consignment.
Kosmo’s Buddy, for example, was a speedy sprinter who beat the boys in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint en route to earning just shy of $300,000. She’s the dam of a good-looking chestnut filly by Not for Love, who is Hip 310.
Then there’s Rite of Spring, by Feel the Power. Her eight foals to race include seven winners, among them My Sister Margaret, a stake winner of more than $360,000. And this past Saturday, her daughter My Sister Caro (by Bop) — a horse Reightler consigned at this sale last year — placed in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes at Charles Town in just her third career start. Her West Virginia-bred Orientate filly, Hip 340, is, Reightler says, “a very appealing physical individual.”
Another West Virginia-bred filly who should draw some interest is Hip 363, a daughter of Northern Afleet out of the stakes-winning Luftikus mare Shesagrumptoo. Northern Afleet, the sire of Preakness-Belmont winner Afleet Alex, “can get any kind of racehorse,” says Reightler.
And, while this is Shesagrumptoo’s first foal, she hails from a distinguished family; Shesagrumptoo is a half-sister to three other stakes winners, including millionaire Russell Road. What’s more, another stakes-winning half-sibling, Sweet Annuity, is the dam of Golden Years, a Not for Love colt who fetched $140,000 at auction and won at first asking at Laurel on September 10.
Indeed, it is a wide-ranging group that Reightler will bring to the sale. Exciting sires, compelling dams — and horses from every state in region. Whether you’re looking for West Virginia-breds or Pennsylvania-breds, New York-breds or Delaware-certified horses, his group includes them.
And, of course, Maryland-breds, which enable buyers to take advantage of the state’s newly bolstered program making breeding and owning state-bred runners more attractive than ever before.
“People are paying attention to what’s going on in Maryland right now,” Reightler says. ” For my trainers and owners, the benefits of the Maryland program, the premiums they can earn — I just think it’s a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you participate in it?”
Reightler believes the sale, which includes 450 numbered hips, will attract both pinhookers and end users. Fortunately, if his consignment is an indicator, it will also have plenty in it to meet the needs of both groups.
(Bill Reightler and his consignment will be in Barns I and J at the Timonium fair grounds for Monday’s Fasig-Tipton sale).