Sunday, September 1, 2013

After the Auction: Fascinating

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. “After the Auctions” feature horses I selected in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an “After the Auction” features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a “Juvenile Spotlight.”

$1.3 million is the price tag attached to Fascinating’s name. A half-sister to the brilliant grade one winner Bodemeister, the filly sold for this large amount at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale as the third-highest priced yearling and one of my selections at the near-two-week-long auction.

Put into training with the same Hall of Fame trainer as Bodemeister, Bob Baffert, Fascinating finished third in a pair of maiden special weights at Del Mar at the beginning of her career. Tracking the pace in each of these contests, Fascinating could do no better than third, though she closed more impressively in her second start than she did in her debut.

Despite having never won a race, the Virginia-bred filly’s connections thought highly enough of her to enter her in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (GI). Facing seven other talented juvenile fillies, Fascinating broke slowly and, as a result, raced near the back of the pack as the field galloped down the backstretch. With nearly 10 lengths separating her from the leaders, Fascinating remained comfortable as the trailer as the fillies entered the far turn.

Under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Fascinating began to make her move, swinging to the outside and making slight contact with Bajan around the bend while struggling to change to the desired lead while doing so. Once she found her best stride, however, her turn of foot devastated her nearby rivals as she raced toward She’s A Tiger. In spite of her impressive closing run, Fascinating ran out of time and distance, finishing a diminishing 
½-length behind the winner.

Although Fascinating is still a maiden, she has proven herself as an incredibly talented filly. Without ever visiting the winner’s circle, the filly has found stakes success and is sure to find more in the future.

Pedigree Analysis

Obviously, being a half-sibling to a grade one-winning, multiple classic-placed horse in Bodemeister, Fascinating stems from a strong female family. Her dam is the graded stakes-winning mare Untouched Talent, who earned over $240,000 in her career. Untouched Talent’s bloodlines bring to the table a large amount of powerhouse sires. She is a daughter of the great sire Storm Cat, who is also an incredibly successful broodmare sire, being the damsire of brilliant horses such as the champions Folklore and Speightstown, as well as several grade one winners, including Dialed In, Sky Mesa, and Sidney’s Candy. Untouched Talent is also a granddaughter of the great sire A.P.Indy, who is the sire of her multiple graded stakes-winning dam Parade Queen. In just her first five generations, Untouched Talent traces back to a plethora of influential sires, including Northern Dancer, Roberto, Bold Ruler, Princequillo, Nijinsky, and Buckpasser. Notably, she is a direct descendant of the foundation mare of family 1-n – the stakes-winning Reine De Course mare Chelandry – thus allowing Fascinating to descend from the same tail female line as the dual-classic-winning champion Swaleand the group one-winning Americain.

Fascinating is a daughter of the elite sire Smart Strike, who topped the North American sires list in 2007 and 2008. A Canadian Hall of Famer, Smart Strike is also the sire of the champions Curlin, English Channel, Lookin At Lucky, My Miss Aurelia, and Soaring Free. Smart Strike is a son of Mr. Prospector, one of the most influential stallions to ever live. The Mr. Prospector sire line has produced an astounding number of champions, including six Horse of the Year honorees in the United States.

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