The Week That Was: 9/9/23-9/15/23

So…I had a lot of time on my hands this last week and decided to put together a little “newspaper” just for fun. Not sure how good it is, but thought I’d share in case anyone would be interested. Was meant to be posted yesterday, but I got sidetracked.

Weekly Highlight: 2023 Annual Select Auction

The 2023 Annual Select Auction, featuring some of Final Furlong’s finest horses currently offered for sale, opened with quite a bit of activity on Sep. 7. Of 126 horses listed, 81 were sold by Tuesday afternoon, totalling over $10 million in sales.

GCh. Ice Tiger, a 2011 created mare with four stakes wins (including two G1s) and just under $2 million to her name, topped the sales charts at $3,650,500. Of three foals, she has already produced SP Burning Scent and a winning 5YO named Quiet Theory.

The weanling half-sister to NCh. Devil’s Heir and GCh. Play My Game, One Wealthy Lady, left the auction house for $1,667,000, making her the second most expensive purchase of the week. Her dam, GCh. Heiress, has already produced three multi-stakes winners and boasts 64% winners in total, meaning One Wealthy Lady definitely has the potential to live up to her name.

Other notable sales coming out of the 2023 Annual Select Auction include 2013 Candidate mare, ICh. Kowhai ($1,500,500); Irish Bridge, a weanling son of Unabridged ($1,000,000); and 2011 I’m A Classic mare, NCh. I’m A Golden Girl ($600,500).

The auction ends next Saturday, Sep. 21.

Stakes Report

There were 13 stakes races run this week, including four G1s.


First on the docket was the G3 steeplechase for 3yo+ F/M, the Arlington Matron Handicap. Five-year-old Ch. Eponine (NCh. French Ruby - Sadler’s Wells), owned by Coleman Branch, led the charge in the first half, running neck in neck with the four-year-old Ch. Blister in the Sun (Sun King - Citation), owned by Gant’s Farm. After dropping back to fourth at the eighth furlong, Eponine managed to rally in the last furlong and a half, finishing by 2 ¼ lengths.

The G1 dirt Ruffian Stakes saw a similar performance from Gintara Lodge’s four-year-old Ch. Glycerine (ICh. Magic Glory - Created) and Littlefield’s five-year-old multi-millionaire, Ch. Never Going Back (ICh. Highland Magic - A.P. Indy), as Glycerine rallied to take back first after a slight drop into second, winning by 2 ½ lengths. Marshall Creek Ranch’s five-year-old Love Story (GCh. Galaxy’s Zodiac - Northern Slew) managed a remarkable comeback as well, rushing from eighth to third by the sixth furlong, securing third place.

The G2 dirt Jerome Stakes saw a slow but steady run, with half the competitors scoring an SF of 90. Krajina’s three-year-old Showman (NCh. Mr. Prospective - Alydar) led from start to finish, winning by a nose over the Gant’s Farm three-year-old millionaire, Ch. Lord Percy (Ch. Mr. Townsend - WCh. King David).

The G2 turf Belmont Breeders’ Cup made quite a stir on Wednesday as four-year-old Xalapa (GCh. Latino Mix - GCh. Go For Dash), owned by Marshall Creek Ranch, ran away with an incredible 10 ½ length lead, scoring both a win and her second speed record. Meanwhile, third and fourth-place finishers Dread Pirate (owned by Sakura Springs) and Las Vegas Lights (owned by Littlefield) came off the track with minor injuries.

Krajina’s five-year-old Ch. All The World (NCh. French Ruby - Created) finished by a neck over millionaire five-year-old GCh. Tin Cup Chalice (GCh. Ace of Hearts - NCh. Seattle Sorcerer), owned by Coleman Branch, in the G1 steeplechase Joe Aitcheson.

Six-year-old Ch. Tijuana (Ch. Tryst of Fate - ICh. Ring of Fire), owned by Marshall Creek Ranch, won the G3 dirt Newcastle Newmarket Handicap by ¼ length over Gintara Lodge’s four-year-old Ch. Fanclub (WCh. Crystal Rainbow - Planet Hollywood).

Six-year-old Gintara Lodge mare, Ch. Wink And A Nod (ICh. Candidate - ICh. Highland Pride), broke a record in the G1 turf Coolmore Classic with her two-furlong win over Marshall Creek Ranch’s four-year-old Ch. Known Thunder (WCh. Brigade - Ghost I’m Good).

The final race of the day was the G1 turf Ranvet Stakes, won by Marshall Creek Ranch five-year-old Ch. Tango Vision (ICh. Dr. Evil - West Wind) by 2 ¼ lengths, beating out stablemate Ch. Katherina (WCh. I’m Your Angel - Sunday Silence) and Littlefield’s multi-millionaire, GCh. Bells Beach (NCh. Bellagio - Ch. Heza Gallant Gent).


Marshall Creek four-year-old Chasing Forever (ICh. Can’t Touch This - Point Given) led the charge Saturday in the G3 turf Noble Damsel Stakes, winning over Littlefield’s six-year-old millionaire GCh. Rajiin (NCh. Formal Occasion - Run For It) by 7 ¼ furlongs, scoring a speed record in the process.

A similar performance was seen in the ungraded turf Ashley T. Cole Stakes as the four-year-old Ch. Grandiose Castle (FFCh. TakeMeToHollywood - Created), owned by Starfish Stables, crossed the finish line 8 ¼ lengths ahead of Gintara Lodge five-year-old GCh. Fortuitous (FFCh. Foolhardy - Created).

Generous Bloodstock’s three-year-old Ch. Kirsch (FFCh. Black Cherry - Black Legend) beat out competition in the G2 turf Phar Lap Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths, officially securing the title of “Millionaire” and securing 6th place in the top 10 list. Meanwhile, Final Furlong-owned Vague Battle (ICh. Devil His Due - What’s It Worth) came up last with a minor injury.

The G2 turf for two-year-old fillies, the Reisling Slipper Trial, saw close competition as Lochiedo Stables Ch. Abba River (WCh. All Jazzed Up - What’s It Worth) secured a narrow victory over Gant’s Farm’s Gotta Button (WCh. Gotta Go - Full Throttle), winning by a nose.

The final race of the day was the G2 turf for two-year-old colts, the Todman Slipper Trial, where The Valley of Fear (ICh. Doodles - Rahy), owned by Sakura Springs, won by 2 ½ lengths over Lochiedo Stables’ MSP Crowded House (Frankel - Black Legend).

Top 10

(Note: The Top 10 is still “under construction” as I expand my database of stakes winners for the 2023 racing year. The “Top 10” horses have been pulled from a current list of 108 stakes winners, and primarily from the list of Breeders’ Cup qualifiers. Missing a name you think should be here? Leave it in the comments and I’ll look it up. Thanks!)

Horse Name (Birth Year) - Owner - Stakes Wins - G1 Wins - Points - Earnings

  1. NCh. Ancient Ghost (2020) - Pruchna - 11 - 8 - 483 - $2,915,000
  2. NCh. Fool To Be Smokin’ (2018) - Starfish Stables - 2 - 2 - 112 - $8,270,000
  3. GCh. Brief Scene (2020) - Lochiedo Stables - 6 - 1 - 327 - $689,500
  4. GCh. Melander Stevens (2020) - Gant’s Farm - 6 - 0 - 335 - $1,165,000
  5. GCh. Wild Fool (2020) - Darkwood Stables - 3 - 2 - 171 - $1,988,500
  6. Ch. Kirsch (2020) - Generous Bloodstock - 3 - 2 - 198 - $1,047,000
  7. GCh. Fading Colours (2020) - Stillwater Farms - 3 - 2 - 167 - $1,069,000
  8. Ch. Sawbones (2020) - Gant’s Farm - 4 - 0 - 237 - $517,500
  9. Ch. Fiddler’s Green (2021) - Cricket Hill - 3 - 2 - 136 - $453,000
  10. Ch. Worth the Fight (2021) - Coleman Branch - 3 - 2 - 136 - $279,000

IRL In the News

  • Final Furlong’s Annual Select Auction wasn’t the only auction event this week. Keeneland launched its annual yearling sale on Monday where — on Tuesday — a Curlin colt out of New Zealand champion sprinter, Bounding, made a stir when he became the most expensive yearling to pass through the Keenland September Yearling Sale since 2010, sold to Godolphin for $4.1 million. This record was broken again on Wednesday with the sale of an American Pharoah filly — the half-sister to Beholder, Into Mischief, and Mendelssohn — for a whopping $8.2 million.
  • The New York Times dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when it announced to the world that Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown winner, failed a drug test — testing positive for scopolamine, a substance sometimes used for motion sickness in humans and, in the past, for gas colic in horses — just weeks before the Kentucky Derby. Further still, the California Horse Racing Board had chosen to overlook the failed drug test, keeping the results quiet. Trainer Bob Baffert argues that the presence of scopolamine was due to contaminated environment (namely feed), not intentional doping, but regardless of the drug’s origin, the whole ordeal has caused many to call for a change in horse racing regulation, including the implementation of the federal Horse Racing Integrity Act which is currently awaiting a vote in Congress.
  • Trainer Brad Cox officially confirmed Thursday that champion filly Monomoy Girl, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, will not be returning to the BC this year. After a battle with colic in the spring and, recently, issues with muscle strain, connections have said Monomoy Girl will wait until next year to continue racing.
  • Also on Thursday, Spendthrift general manager, Ned Toffey, officially announced the addition of five new stallions to the stud roster: Omaha Beach, Mitole, Vino Rosso, Maximus Mischief, and Coal Front.
  • It was announced Friday that Craig R. Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup since 2011, will be leaving the Breeders’ Cup after this year’s races. He will be moving on to be CEO of Racing Operations for the Stronach Group, owners of such tracks as Santa Anita, Gulfstream, and Pimlico. Fravel will take over management of all Stronach Group race tracks and training facilities and will be tasked with improving and enforcing safety and integrity practices at those locations, among other responsibilities.

Loved this, thanks for putting it together!

1 Like

You’re welcome! Glad you liked it. I’d be open to doing this again if people are interested enough. ^-^

This is awesome!

1 Like

This is great. Thanks very much for taking the time to do it :blush:

1 Like

Ooh, I can’t believe I totally missed the Select Auction!! :open_mouth: I’ve been away the entire week…

This is an awesome idea, I love how you capture both in-game and real life elements.

If you plan on doing this in the future, I’d definitely look here for my go-to horse news :star_struck:

1 Like

Oh no, Hilda! Well, maybe you’ll find some nice ponies at the next auction? I’m glad everyone liked this. I’ll start working on another one and see how that one goes. ^-^


good work, thoroughly enjoyed it!

Great work! Really enjoyed reading :+1:

This is fantastic! I really liked it!

Love this! Thanks for doing that, I really enjoyed reading this!