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Early Saturday evening, American Pharoah, a son of hot young sire Pioneerof the Nile, splashed home tons the best in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, securing the second leg of racing’s elusive Triple Crown and moving a step closer to a date with racing history at Belmont Park in three weeks.
Monday morning, another of Pioneer’s offspring, an unnamed dark bay filly out of the productive Chief’s Crown mare Chief’s Honey, will go through the ring as Hip 21 at the Fasig-Tipton 2-Year-Olds in Training sale at the Timonium fair grounds. She’ll be the first of eight offspring of the sire to do so during the two-day event.
A half-sister to seven winners, including graded stakes-placed Secret Getaway, she breezed a quarter-mile in 22 4/5 seconds. All in all, it’s likely to be an attractive package, says Kip Elser, whose Kirkwood Stables consigns her.
“She’s big and moves well,” the veteran horseman explains. “She looks like she’ll be better as she gets older and the distances get longer.
“Whoever gets her is going to be glad to have her,” he adds.
The American Pharoah filly is one of nine horses that Kirkwood has brought to the sale. He has high hopes.
“I’ve always had good luck at this sale,” he says. “We’ve always had good sales here and with New York-breds.”
Three of Kirkwood’s offerings were bred in the Empire State, including Hip 91, a Twirling Candy filly out of the productive Tejano Run mare Fast Profit. She worked three-eighths of a mile in a snappy 34 2/5 seconds that was the show’s fastest at the distance.
These are Twirling Candy’s first two-year-olds, and Elser is excited about what he’s seen so far.
“The Twirling Candys we’ve seen in Florida early in the year were outstanding,” he says. “This one looks the part and is training very, very well.”
Another young sire featured in the Elser consignment is Blame, the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner whose first foals are three-year-olds this year. He’s the sire of Hip 75, a filly in the Kirkwood consignment. No horse at the breeze show went a half-mile faster than the 47 1/5 seconds in which she covered it.
The filly’s certainly bred to be something. Dynamia, her stakes-placed dam, is a daughter of top sire Dynaformer and has produced three stakes horses among her five foals to race. And the female family line is dotted with graded black type.
“She’s from a wonderful old family,” says Elser. “And she’s pretty close to ready to run.”
Elser describes the horse as “a fairly stocky, well made filly” and says that she looks quite a bit like Ntombi, a stakes winner from an earlier generation of her family.
Elser is a believer that the sale’s mid-market, which most perceive as depressed in recent years, will pick up this year as Maryland racing ascends. To that end, he’s brought several horses bred in his native state of Pennsylvania. One of them, Hip 470, is something of a “poor man’s Hip 75”: that is, a filly who’s the latest of a wonderful old family, but this one of a more regional nature.
Observers of the mid-Atlantic racing scene will certainly remember her productive half-siblings Ann’s Smart Dancer and Phil Dancer, and the black type in the family winds back through the generations.
“It’s a very, very good regional pedigree, and she trains well,” Elser says. “It’s good, local tough, win-more-than-their-share horses.” She zipped a quarter mile in 22 1/5 seconds.
Elser also has a variety of other intriguing prospects on offer. Among them are the offspring of exciting newcomers like Cape Blanco — “His two-year-olds are surprisingly quick and forward,” Elser says — and the popular Uncle Mo.
All in all, it’s an exciting consignment, and his runners breezed nicely.
There may not be an American Pharoah in the lot — but then again, there might be, and that hope — or possibility — is what brings the buyers out to the sale year after year.