EVANS-BRED TOPS OCALA SALE AT $1.8 MILLION

(Louise Reinagel Photo)

(BloodHorse.com edited) Through bloodstock agent John Moynihan, Stonestreet paid a sale-topping (and record equaling) $1.8 million for a Smart Strike colt at this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March sale of two-year-olds in training from King’s Equine, agent.

The sale topper who worked a co-bullet eighth in :09 4/5 for consignor Raul Reyes’ King’s Equine at the under tack preview. The colt was the first million-dollar purchase at OBS March since 2006, and his price equaled the sale’s previous record high.

Reyes acquired the Virginia-bred colt at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton October sale out of the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment for $115,000. Moments after the colt left the ring on Wednesday, Reyes said, “I figured he could bring any amount of money. The price doesn’t surprise me.”

In addition to being by a top-of-the-line stallion, the sale topper boasts a hugely successful female family nurtured by the late Virginia owner/breeder Edward P. Evans. Breeder and/or owner of more than 100 stakes winners, Evans bred the colt’s first four dams, three of which are stakes winners. All three were either graded or group winners.

Evans’ first brush with the Smart Strike colt’s female family began when he acquired the fifth dam, Flight Dancer. By Misty Flight, Flight Dancer is a granddaughter of champion and blue hen Gallorette, who gained a reputation as a highly durable runner while regularly competing against males. Champion older female in 1946, Gallorette won 21 of her 72 starts in five years of competition.

(Tibor Szlavik Photo)
The sale topper is the first named foal out of the grade II-winning Pulpit   mare Mini Sermon. A Todd Pletcher trainee, Mini Sermon proved a solid miler, winning the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) and the restricted Marking Time Stakes, both at a mile in New York, and the 1 1/16-mile Sweetest Chant Stakes at Arlington Park.

Mini Sermon is out of New York and Keeneland allowance winner Ministorm (by Storm Cat), a half sister to A Little Warm, whose two stakes wins include the 2010 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. Ministorm’s dam, Minidar (by Alydar), won three stakes including the Chicago Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III).

The sales topper’s fourth dam, Minstrella, was a boon for Evans, first as a racemare and later as a broodmare. The daughter of The Minstrel was a group I winner in England and Ireland at 2 and an Irish champion. She won the Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) and the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) and the Tattersalls Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I).

In addition to Minidar, Minstrella produced grade II winner Colonial Minstrel, dam of two stakes winners: stakes winner Unrestrained; and Colonella, dam of grade III winner Pleasant Strike , by Smart Strike.

Evans died in December 2010, and Mini Sermon was sold as part of his estate dispersal at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $450,000 in foal to Candy Ride   to WinStar Farm.  The Smart Strike colt was sold as a weanling a day later for $100,000 to Maverick Racing.