Macpherson has Fasig October Surrender Plan

Canadian breeder Elaine Macpherson admitted she decided to bite the bullet, when purchasing the 5-year-old mare Surrender (Stormy Atlantic), in foal to Morning Line, for $40,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November Sale. The investment began to look shrewd two years later when the mare’s Morning Line foal became impressive Landaluce S. winner Surrender Now. Through the Warrendale Sales consignment, Macpherson will offer her second foal out of the mare, a colt by first-crop sire Fed Biz, as hip 361 at next week’s Fasig-Tipton October Fall Yearling Sale.

An accomplished equine artist, Macpherson admitted her love affair with racing started at a young age.

The first thing I ever drew, when I was 4 1/2 years old, was a running horse, Macpherson said. I actually still have the little crayon drawing. Neither one of my parents were interested in horses, but I was always in love with them. I grew up in Toronto and every day when I came home from school, I was eight years old, the radio station, CFRB, would have the ‘Call to the Post’ and they would announce the race results. I would say to my mom, ‘My people are calling me.’

Macpherson attended Ontario College of Art and went directly from graduation to Woodbine.

I met with Bruce Walker, who was the publicity director at the time, and I showed him my portfolio, Macpherson said. A week later, I was at the advertising corporation that was doing the work for Woodbine and they hired me to do a bunch of drawings for horse racing ads for The Globe and Mail and The Telegram.

While plying her trade as an artist for ‘horsey’ clients like The Ontario Jockey Club and Barrington’s Horse Store, Macpherson continued to keep an eye on the Thoroughbred world, acquiring racehorses and retraining them for dressage. Eventually, she decided it was time to take her dream full time.

I had an advertising studio in Toronto and I kind of hit a mid-life crisis, she recalled. I decided I wanted to move out west and realize my life’s dream, which was to own a horse farm and breed Thoroughbreds. I moved out to Albertathat was right after the 1989 Olympics. The Olympics had been in Calgary and I thought, ‘Boy, everybody there looks like they are having a lot of fun.’ I bought a horse farm with a cousin of a friend of mine that I had been in business with in Toronto. We built a little racetrack, so it was for legging up horses in the spring before they went to the track.

Macpherson had almost immediate success as a breeder. The first mare she acquired was Shy Beauty (Great Gladiator), who produced the hard-knocking sprinter Timely Ruckus (Bold Executive) in 1993. Sold for $10,000 at the CTHS Alberta Yearling sale, the dark bay gelding went on to win 17 stakes in western Canada.

I think he was sprint champion five years’ running, Macpherson said of Timely Ruckus. He raced until he was eight years old. When he was six, he broke the track record for 6 1/2 furlongs and it stood for 18 years.

Then I started thinking I really knew what I was doing, Macpherson, who is also breeder of stakes placed Tidal Mist (Numaany), laughed. I started picking away, buying a horse here, buying a horse there, selling some horses in the yearlings sale. As time went on and given the current market, I realized I was going to have to start buying better stock and breeding to better stallions and just move up the ranks that way.

Macpherson had the plan to upgrade her stock as she attended the 2014 Keeneland November sale and, with the help of bloodstock agent Gayle Van Leer, came home with Surrender.

I was wandering around at Keeneland looking at this horse and that horse and this pedigree and that pedigree, Macpherson said. I asked Gayle to look at her. I said, ‘She has some sparkle about her that I really like.’

Macpherson had one more request of her bloodstock agent.

I said to Gayle, ‘You have to bid,’ she explained. I can’t bid on horses. I just lose my mindI thought, ‘There goes my house, my farm.’ When I bought Surrender, I really bit the bullet to buy her. I said the first foal should be named Don’t Tell Harvey because he’s my husband and I bought this horse without him knowing.

Surrender Now, the mare’s second foal and first for Macpherson, became the breeder’s highest-priced sale to date when selling to pinhooker Bruno DeBerdt for $40,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The filly brought $220,000 from Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch at this year’s Barretts March Sale. A debut winner at Santa Anita in June, the bay filly romped home by eight lengths in the July 2 Landaluce S.

Asked what it was like to watch Surrender Now’s Landaluce victory, Macpherson said, Thrilling. It was thrilling like you couldn’t believe. I was screaming at the computer so loud I couldn’t talk for three days after that.

With the help of Van Leer, Macpherson chose multiple graded stakes winner Fed Biz for Surrender’s next mating. The resulting yearling will head through the Fasig-Tipton sales ring during Monday’s first session of the October sale.

He is a big, lanky horse, Macpherson said of the yearling. He’s definitely going to be a two-turn horseI don’t see any sprint to him at all. He is huge. He is a strong-bodied, big-boned horse.

While Surrender failed to get in foal last year, the mare is currently in foal to GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Tamarkuz (Speightstown).

Macpherson maintains a commercial broodmare band of between five to 10.

They are in Kentucky, they are in Ontario, they are in California and they here in Alberta, so I pay a lot of trucking bills, she said of the band. I have a house in California, so I go down there in the winter. I do a lot of the bronzes for Woodbine for their stakes awards, so I go down to California to create in the winter time and then I’ll bring a couple or three mares back for the summer and just look after them. They are kind of all over the place, that’s why I don’t want to have too many because it gets pretty expensive in board. But I’ve got about 15 mares picked out to look at at the November sale at Keeneland.

Macpherson has high hopes for the future.

Gayle has become a real friend of mine and a really good asset when we are looking at horses to breed to and mares to buy, she said. She introduced me to Kitty Taylor at Warrendale and she sells my horses. We have done quite well. I think we’re going to get better and better as we go along here.

The Fasig-Tipton October sale gets underway Monday at Newtown Paddocks and continues through Thursday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

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Three Galileo Foals For Goffs

Goffs will offer three Galileo (Ire) foals at its November Foal Sale. The sale takes place Nov. 20 to 22, increasing in quality each day, with Part II on Nov. 25 and 26. The Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale splits those sales on Nov. 23 and 24.

Goffs will be the only breeding stock sale this year to offer foals by Galileo, and all three are consigned by The Castlebridge Consignment: lot 541, a full-sister to G1 Criterium International winner and this weekend’s G1 Caulfield Cup favourite Johannes Vermeer (Ire) and G2 Kilboy Estate S. winner Elizabeth Browning (Ire); lot 569, a colt out of Australian Group 1 winner and stakes producer Melito (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}); and lot 732, a filly who is the first foal out of New Zealand Group 2 winner Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) whose third dam is Juddmonte’s G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Prophecy (Ire) (Warning {GB}).

The Goffs November Foal Sale will also offer buyers a first look at the progeny of first-season sires like Golden Horn (GB), Gleneagles (Ire), Muhaarar (GB), Night Of Thunder (Ire), Free Eagle (Ire) and Make Believe (Ire).

Goffs November Sale is a sale that goes from strength to strength each year, with the last three renewals providing the top-priced foals in Europe, and to be the only sale in the world to offer Galileo foals is a wonderful endorsement of the quality associated with the November Sale, said Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby. We have received incredible support from Irish breeders once again which has resulted in a catalogue of great strength and depth packed with potential at every level, be it for end users or those looking to buy to re-sell.

Reacting to client feedback from both vendors and purchasers the format was revised to allow maximum inspection time for the premier foals and we believe those selling later in the week will also benefit from the knock-on effect of being viewed during the sale, Beeby added.

Zhukova, Intricately Slated For Tattersalls

Group 1 winners Zhukova (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) and Intricately (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), as well as Group 3 winner Only Mine (Ire) (Pour Moi {Ire}), will be offered at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale on Dec. 4 to 7. All three mares are owned and raced by John Murrell and Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez and will be offered through The Castlebridge Consignment. Zhukova and Intricately are catalogued as out of training, and Only Mine is catalogued as in training.

John Murrell and Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez have been wonderful supporters of Tattersalls for many years and it is a pleasure and a privilege to be offering three such outstanding fillies at the Tattersalls December Sale on their behalf, said Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony. All three boast top-class race records and pedigrees of true quality; a rare combination which will undoubtedly attract the attention of the world’s leading owner/breeders.

Zhukova (lot 1868) won this year’s GI Man O’War S. for Dermot Weld as well as a pair of Group 3s in Ireland. She is out of the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), whose 1.1-million yearling Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) won the G3 Autumn S. last weekend.

Intricately (lot 1549) won last year’s G1 Moyglare Stud S. for trainer Joseph O’Brien. She is out of Inner Realm (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a half-sister to champion Rock Of Gibraltar (Ire) (Danehill).

Only Mine (lot 1864) won last year’s G3 Lacken S. and has picked up two additional listed wins this year. She has won or placed in 13 of 17 starts and is from the top-class family of Group 1 winners Cerulean Sky (Ire) and Moonstone (GB).

The entire catalogue will be available online next week.

Into Mischief Colt Runs to the Money in Futurity

ENGAGE (c, 2, Into MischiefNefertiti, by Speightstown) was hammered down to 1-2 favoritism for this first black-type attempt in the GII Futurity S. and justified the public’s support with a decisive score. The bay caboosed the short field early as Red Peril (Jimmy Creed) ticked off early fractions of :22.52 and :45.26. Swinging out to the center of the stretch, he skipped past his rivals and cruised clear for an impressive victory. TDN Rising Star Barry Lee (Violence) was second. Purchased for $550,000 at OBS March after breezing in :09 4/5, Engage checked in second on debut at Saratoga Aug. 5 and earned his diploma next out there Sept. 4. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0.

O-Woodford Racing LLC; B-Woods Edge Farm (KY); T-Chad Brown.

Observations on the European Racing Scene for Tuesday Oct. 10

Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the bestEuropean races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers,horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results inthe sales ring. Tuesday’s Insights features a Mastercraftsman (Ire) daughter of G1 Prix de Diane winner Time Ahead (GB) (Spectrum {Ire}).

6.15 Newcastle, Cond, 4,500, 2yo, f, 8f 5y (AWT)

Homebred Racing’s hitherto unraced TIME TO PERFECTION (IRE) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) is a daughter of 2003 G1 Prix de Diane runner-up Time Ahead (GB) (Spectrum {Ire}) and opens up for Sykvester Kirk here. Her nine opponents include the once-raced Consolida (GB) (Sir Percy {GB}), who is out of a winning half-sister to this term’s G2 Middleton S. victress and G1 Nassau S. runner-up Blond Me (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}), representing the Luca Cumani stable.

Fact of the Week: Heir Apparent

One of the highlights of the 2016-17 season has been the emergence of Arrowfield stallion Snitzel (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) as a major force. His record year with 32 juvenile winners including eight stakes winners was truly remarkable. It’s not that we didn’t know about Snitzelthis is his ninth season with runnersthe fascinating thing with him is that it shows what’s possible once a stallion starts to receive the nation’s very best mares.

In Snitzel’s case, he’s become the hottest sire around and is poised to take over the baton from his illustrious father Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) at Arrowfield. As things stand, Snitzel has a 10.3% black-type winners-to-runners strike-rate, which places him behind only Redoute’s Choice (11.1%) among active sires in Australia and New Zealand. The question everyone’s asking now is can Snitzel start to match his excellent sire’s remarkable output. If he can, his access to the highest quality of mares in recent years will have helped significantly.

In his first four years at stud, the son of Redoute’s Choice covered less than 50 elite mares in total. Then from 2011 onwards, his opportunities started to increase markedly. That year he attracted 28 elite mares, followed by 49 in 2012, 99 in 2013. Last season’s juveniles are from a group of mares that featured 107 elite mares. Snitzel’s best 10 runners have a combined average Timeform rating of 120.3. He’ll need to get to a figure of 124.3 to match his great sire. That’s an average of four pounds per runner, but you couldn’t bet against him doing so.

Advantage Zhukova in the Flower Bowl

Sunday’s GI Flower Bowl S. at Belmont Park, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race for the GI Filly & Mare Turf a month from now, is missing pro-tem divisional leader Lady Eli (Divine Park), but features the Chad Brown-trained duo that ran the quinella in the GI Beverly D. S. last time and a European raider for the always-dangerous Dermot Weld barn.

That would be Zhukova (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) who makes her second trans-Atlantic journey of the year, though she will square off with her peers this time around. That previous trip to Long Island resulted in a six-length demolition of a group of males in the GI Man O’War S. in May, the strength of which looks that much better in the aftermath of third-placed Sadler’s Joy (Kitten’s Joy)’s subsequent win later in the summer in the GI Sword Dancer Invitational S. To be fair, the Man O’War was run at a farcical pace over extremely soft turf, but Zhukova raced prominently and bolted away late. It will undoubtedly be firmer underfoot Sunday, but it looks another paceless renewal that could suit a sit-sprint sort of animal. The Flower Bowl will represent serious class relief for Zhukova, who exits an eighth in the G1 Irish Champion S. Sept. 9.

It’s nice to have won here before, commented the legendary conditioner, who sent out Dimitrova (Swain {Ire}) to win the 2003 Flower Bowl. It gives us confidence, that’s why we’re back there with her. The Flower Bowl is a prestigious race and we look forward to competing.

Brown has sent out the winner of this event in three straight years, including Lady Eli’s success 12 months back, and is double-handed here. Dacita (Chi) (Scat Daddy) is clearly the more accomplished of the duo, with her five Group 1/Grade I tallies in Chile and this country. Runner-up to Hawksmoor (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) in the GIII Beaugay S. and sixth to that one in defense of her title in the GII New York S. June 9, Dacita came with a stinging late rally to outfinish Dona Bruja (Arg) (Storm Embrujado {Arg}) in the GI Beverly D. S. in Chicago Aug. 13.

But it is Grand Jete (GB) (Dansili {GB}) who will likely receive more pari-mutuel attention Sunday afternoon and with good reason. Showing a tremendous turn of foot in annexing her first two starts in the U.S., the Juddmonte homebred was all dressed up, but had nowhere to go in the Beverly D. and by the time she was able to get through, Dacita had crossed the wire first.

She had a nightmare of a trip down on the inside but ran well. She’s a tough filly, said Brown.

The extra sixteenth of a mile will not inconvenience Grand Jete, who will try to give her owner and breeder their first win in the Flower Bowl since the Henry Cecil-trained Yashmak (Danzig) scooped the prize in 1997.

Stephanie’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) represented parlayed a win in the 2015 Flower Bowl into victory in the Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland.