Just two days later line of flight the record victory of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at KeenelandFreddy Seitz signed the ticket for a 2.5% stake in the prospect stallion for $4.6 million in the sales pavilion just steps from the finish line where he made history.
The champagne would flow on November 7 as around 700 people filled nearly every seat in the Keeneland sales pavilion and crowded the standing room. As only 42 people were pre-registered to bid on the horse share – either through an agent, in person or online – most of those in the room were there to witness the story.
Just like it did on the track, Flightline delivered again.
This $4.6 million winning bid puts a staggering $184 million worth on the son of several top sires. carpet .
Within minutes of the sale, Seitz said the owner did not wish to be named, although that may change in the future. Seitz said as he spoke with the “Western” buyer during the auction, it looked like he was having a good time, even though the bids exceeded his initial estimate.
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“He was really excited about this horse and just wanted to make a splash,” Seitz said. “He’s dealt with some nice horses in the past, but obviously nothing like this horse. I’m not sure any of us have ever dealt with a horse like this.”
The interest in Flightline, sold as Hip 1F at the start of Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale, was recorded by Lane’s End, agent. Lane’s End racing arm Woodford Racing owns a stake in Flightline and it will be held on the farm for a fee to be determined.
“There was a huge amount of interest,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End. “It was so hard to know where something like this would go. It’s the first time something like this has been done on a horse of this magnitude, when there was really only one of available. It was an amazing opportunity, and again, it was only because it was Flightline that it happened.”
The plan to sell the small stake in the horse was announced Oct. 25, ahead of his 8 1/4 length win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the biggest margin of victory in that race’s history. Owned by Hronis Racing, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing and Siena Farm, the percentage auctioned on Monday was offered from West Point’s 17.5% share.
Flightline officially retired from racing on November 6, wrapping up an undefeated career in which he won six races and earned over $4.5 million. Besides the Classic, Flightline also earned Grade 1 scores in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes, Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap, and Runhappy Malibu Stakes.
Terry Finley, CEO and chairman of West Point, said it was amazing to see the plan come to fruition as the horse did its part on the track and interest skyrocketed in what he said was the only part of the new standard on the market. Finley said the rarity and marketability of the horse helped make the sale a huge success.
“I’ve always thought I was a pretty good marketer, but in that case I’m going to give it to Bill Farish, (CEO and Chairman of Keeneland) Shannon Arvin, and the Keeneland organization and Lane’s End – everything credit goes to them,” Finley said, “They had the vision. And a lot of people have the vision, but far fewer are actually executing that vision and the way they did.”
It didn’t take long on Monday to see the horse hook up with potential buyers. After an initial offer of $500,000, a flurry of shouting sent the prize over $1 million in the time it took to acknowledge the first offer. From there, bidding would increase by $100,000 with every nod.
The official flower garland is made up of the rare combinations of Beauty Asters, Golden Asters, Cremonas and Catteleya Orchids, which have been grown exclusively for the Breeders’ Cup since 1988.
A Breeders’ Cup-themed flower garland adorned the sales ring and a computer-generated version of Flightline filled the pavilion’s large video panel. In the upper left corner of this board, offers were listed although the trader often fell behind during the excitement. The offers were steady as they topped $2 million, accelerating as they approached $3 million and passed that substantial number. Then the bids flowed steadily before finally coming to their winning conclusion.
Applause then filled the pavilion and all eyes focused on Seitz. Those involved in the buying and selling filed outside for media interviews.
Arvin said the sale shows potential for creative ideas.
“I think it could start a new trend as long as you have the right product,” Arvin said. “Just like we’ve seen with digital auctions, you just need to have the right asset that you’re selling. And Flightline is definitely that. It’s pretty, pretty amazing.”
With the sale, the new buyer is 2.5% of Flightline, West Point 15%, Kosta, Stephanie and Pete Hronis’ Hronis Racing with a 37.5% share, and breeder Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Equine with 25%. Siena Farm’s Anthony Manganaro has a 10% share, as does Woodford Racing.
The winning bidder will receive all of the rights, benefits, and obligations of a co-owner under the 4-Year-Old Syndicate Agreement, and that person or entity will have access to mating seasons and a share of revenue from breeding in accordance with their ownership percentage.
The initial partnership was formed after West Point bought Indian mare Charlie Feathered Flightline for $1 million from the Lane’s End consignment at the 2019 Saratoga sale, Fasig-Tipton’s New York sale of select yearlings. .
In the coming days, a stud fee for Flightline will be announced, a decision that will be affected, to some extent, by Monday’s valuation. Farish noted that apart from this offered share, the union was already in place.
“I don’t really think that has a huge influence on stud fees because you’re not trying to sell 40 (2.5% stock) and go based on a multiple of that,” he said. said Farish. “It will probably have some influence on stud fees, but I don’t think it will have a huge influence.”
As things calmed down after Flightline was sold, Finley welcomed Arvin with a hug.
“It was just surreal. I mean, the electricity in the room,” Finley said. “We couldn’t have sat down and written it better. … There are few times this happens in the business and all credit of course goes to the horse and the team around him who pull themselves together. take care of him every day.”
The horse that first captured Finley’s imagination at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, then skyrocketed his spirit with record runs, continued to provide thrills on a sunny afternoon in Lexington.