Catching up with the top sellers from 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga

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August 8th, 2016

In the build-up to Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga Sale on Monday and Tuesday night, thoughts naturally turn to last year’s top sellers, and where they are now.

$2 million Tapit-Dress Rehearsal colt named Glory or Nothing (trainer: Christophe Clement)

Bred in Ireland by Ben Sangster, the bay was purchased by El Capi Racing, a South American partnership including Francisco Convit and Jose Uzcategui.

Glory or Nothing got his early education at Stonestreet Training Center near Summerfield, Florida, where he recorded a three-furlong breeze in :38 2/5 on a “good” track May 6. That test spin remains his only published work as of this writing.

Having graduated to join trainer Christophe Clement, Glory or Nothing is now in his Saratoga barn, as reported by The Blood-Horse’s Ron Mitchell.

Glory or Nothing’s pedigree suggests he’ll be a turf router, but of course it would be premature to typecast him. His dam, Irish-bred Dress Rehearsal, scored her signature win in the 2009 Orchid (G3) over 1 1/2 miles at Gulfstream. She’s by Galileo from a productive European family of impressive range. Her relatives include multiple Group 2-winning sprinter Muthmir, Group 3-winning stayer Far Cry, and globetrotting near-millionaire Grandeur.

Glory or Nothing is a full brother to Christophermarlowe, who won his first three starts for John Gosden before finishing third in the 2015 Lingfield Derby Trial. Subsequently exported to Hong Kong and renamed Cloud Nine, he’s had a tough time in his new environment. He’s failed to hit the board in eight tries (seven at Sha Tin and one at Happy Valley) for trainer Tony Millard this year.

The disparity between his English form and his Hong Kong debacle is striking, so his miserable performance can’t be indicative of his actual ability. Perhaps Christophermarlowe/Cloud Nine has had difficulty acclimatizing – not an unusual struggle for some in Hong Kong. His temperament isn’t helping. Note that Andrew Hawkins of the South China Morning Post has described him as an “absolute nutcase.” Given the reputation for Tapits to be headstrong, it’s not a big surprise that one would come unglued in the hurly-burly of living in Hong Kong. Surely he was happier in the tranquility of Gosden’s yard.

At least we know that Clement can nurture a Tapit. After all, he trained Tonalist.

$1.4 million Street Cry-Rcuandry colt named Rothenburg (trainer: John Gosden)

Bred by Keene Ridge Racing and Darley in Kentucky, the dark bay was purchased by John Ferguson, who acts as Sheikh Mohammed’s representative at the sales.

Rothenburg didn’t remain in the U.S. for long, for he was exported to Great Britain as a yearling.

According to his early entry for the 2017 Epsom Derby (G1) (under his dam’s name), Rothenburg already belongs to the Godolphin fold, and his trainer is listed as John Gosden. Rothenburg has yet to appear under his own name, however, in the British Horseracing Authority’s online database.

Rothenburg’s dam, Rcuandry, has yet to produce a winner from her first two foals. But she’s got a terrific pedigree as an A.P. Indy half-sister to multiple Grade 1 turf star Honey Ryder. Another nearby relative is promising young sire Dominus, who showed high-class form on both dirt and turf by winning the Dwyer (G2) and Bernard Baruch (G2).

$1.2 million Tapit-Appealing Zophie colt named Tapwrit (trainer: Todd Pletcher)

Bred by My Meadowview in Kentucky, the gray was purchased by the partnership of Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Robert LaPenta.

Tapwrit has been working regularly at Saratoga for Todd Pletcher. Since his initial three-furlong breeze in :37.66 on the Oklahoma training track July 1, he’s been clocking works every week on the main oval. Tapwrit has built up steadily from easy half-miles, to a five-furlong move in 1:02.13 on July 30, and most recently did a stronger half from the gate in :48.76 this past Saturday.

It would be entirely fitting for Tapwrit to begin his racing career at the Spa, since his dam, Appealing Zophie, romped in the 2006 Spinaway (G1) here. She later added the 2007 Silverbulletday (G3) at Fair Grounds. Appealing Zophie has produced two winners from four runners, but no black-type horses so far.


Those three were the only to reach seven-figure territory at the 2015 Saratoga Sale, so we’ll include brief updates on the next four on the leaderboard.

The $800,000 Malibu Moon-Red Hot Bertie filly, since named Moondance, posted her first six works at Belmont this summer before moving up to Saratoga in late July. The bay just covered five-eighths in 1:03.12 last Saturday for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Bred by Newtown Anner Stud in New York, Moondance was purchased by bloodstock agent Steven A. Young. She is owned by the partnership of Cheyenne Stables and Ramona Bass, according to Cheyenne's website.

The following trio each commanded $750,000.

Last Stage, the Tapit-Carriage Trade colt, was bought by Ferguson for Sheikh Mohammed. Bred by SF Bloodstock in Kentucky, the bay worked a couple of times at the Greentree Training Center before switching to Saratoga’s main track. The McLaughlin pupil hasn’t recorded a move since his :49.95 half-mile on July 24.

The Tapit-Princess Arabella filly’s name is easy to remember – Tapella. Bred by Summer Wind Farm and purchased by Cheyenne Stables, the gray has posted a single timed work for Pletcher. She toured three panels in :39.80 on the Oklahoma training track back on June 10.

Factor of War, The Factor-Street Scene colt bred by Frank & John Penn, is the only one to race so far. That’s to be expected, since he’s trained by D. Wayne Lukas for Willis Horton. After working at Churchill Downs throughout May and June and continuing to gear up at Saratoga, he made his debut at the Spa July 30. Factor of War went off at 21-1, figuring to need the race as a Lukas firster, but he had little chance to show much after a rough start. The gray wound up seventh behind Hopeful (G1)-bound Theory, and he’s entitled to turn the page next time. With The Factor being by turf-oriented sire War Front, and Factor of War’s maternal half being European, Factor of War might turn out to enjoy the lawn. 


For the sale that kicks off tonight, with a bevvy of bluebloods including Songbird's half-sister, check out my preview on and Teresa Genaro's blog on Twin Spires.

Photo of Glory or Nothing by Harold Roth/