by Frank Vespe
Monday’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale will begin with an Irish city — Dublin — and end with a French monarch, Louis Quatorze.
In between, it will have everything from Admiral Alex to Zensational.
If sales are about sires — and to a large extent, they are — then Monday’s event holds plenty of promise.
The locals, of course, will be well represented — ranging from the region’s longtime leader, Not for Love, to relative (or actual) newcomers like Street Magician and Friesan Fire. And they’ll include hard-hitting regional favorites like Offlee Wild, Any Given Saturday, and Smarty Jones.
But it’s not just the locals who should be out in force. Plenty of intriguing sires with national profiles figure to be represented in the ring, too. There’s a Super Saver — his sons Competitive Edge and I Spent It ran one-two in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga.
Looking for a new Princess of Sylmar? There are a pair of hips on offer by her sire, Majestic Warrior.
Or maybe you’d like an English Channel, whose already gaudy resume could be bolstered come Monday if his son V. E. Day wins the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont? There’s one of those, too.
In all, among the 450 numbered hips are Jump Starts and Gio Pontis, Freuds and Fairbanks, horses by Albert the Great and by his son, Albertus Maximus, who is, presumably, greater.
Of course, the Love of Money will be in evidence, and everyone — buyers and sellers alike, to say nothing of the sales company itself — will hope to end in High Cotton.
Buyers will seek sleek, racy sons and daughter of Hey Chub. And if they succeed? It’ll be Utopia.
What’s in a name?
Nothing much, of course; a runner’s not a runner because of his noble name, and a plodder can’t be redeemed by his.
Yet if it mattered so little, we’d spend less time on it, and the Jockey Club would guard the name registry less jealously. Gollum had his pretty, and the Jockey Club the book of names, and woe be to the benighted soul who seeks the jewel (or tries to slip a sexually suggestive name past the Jockey Club).
Indeed, these names — inspiring and silly, serious and frivolous alike — are a message from the present to the future through an uncertain messenger. No one knew that Secretariat would become, well, Secretariat; but of course, he did, and it’s probably better — at least for the transmission of history — that he was Secretariat than, say, Get ‘m Up Pronto (who’s in today at Laurel).
Yet from a naming perspective, some sires offer better opportunities than others. There are some opportunities for the sons and daughters of Hey Chub, we imagine — but the number of permutations for the offspring of Freud is, well, crazy.
Over the weekend, the horse-buying masses will descend on Timonium, and they’ll find something for every value range, for a price or for a pittance.
They’ll also find plenty of opportunity to exercise their own creativity — or wishful thinking — by naming their new purchases.
Of course, many of the hips on offer already named. Not to worry, though: there’s still plenty of time to rename that new purchase to reflect, well, whatever it is you’d like to reflect.