By now, you’ve probably already heard about Nyquist’s victory in the Kentucky Derby. Many of you probably watched the race and cheered as he raced across the finish line to become the first undefeated 2-year-old champion to win the Kentucky Derby since Seattle Slew did it in 1977, the year he took the Triple Crown. But what you might not know is that while Nyquist was a relatively expensive yearling, selling for $400,000, his dam sold twice for far less.
In 2010, Seeking Gabrielle retired from the racetrack with one win and $7,935 in earnings. James Keogh saw something he liked and took a chance on the mare, buying her privately for $6,500. Four months later, he sold her for $45,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. In November 2012, she went through the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, where she was repurchased for $90,000. The foal she was carrying at that time was by Uncle Mo and would eventually be named Nyquist. He was born on March 10, 2013, and that November, Seeking Gabrielle went through the Keeneland sale again, selling for $100,000.
The rags-to-riches story of Nyquist’s dam may not be common, but it does happen. In the cutting horse industry, it happened at the 2015 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, where three of the Open finalists were out of mares who could be considered sale bargains.
The first finalist, CR Gotcha Covered, tied for 11th in the NCHA Futurity Open with Tarin Rice in the saddle. The sorrel stallion is by Dualin Boon and out of The Catattac (High Brow Cat x Sprats Dualin Jewel x Lenas Jewel Bars).
The Catattac has been consigned to three sales thus far, starting with the 2008 NCHA Preferred Breeders Sale. The then-yearling fetched $40,000 by virtue of her dam’s status as an NCHA World Champion Mare and earner of $134,535. Jerry Erwin bought her and attempted to pinhook her at the 2009 NCHA 2-Year-Olds By Select Sires Sale, instead buying her back for $15,000.
Two years later, Erwin consigned her again, this time to the 2011 Western Bloodstock Producers Sale. She was carrying her first foal, by Dualin Boon, at the time of the sale and sold to Center Ranch for $7,700. Of course that Dualin Boon foal, born on March 25, 2012, was CR Gotcha Covered. For Center Ranch, the now 4-year-old has earned $53,897.
Also tying for 11th was Turquoisentomahawks (Hickorys Indian Pep x DMAC Kandygram x Peptoboonsmal). DMAC Kandygram was heavy in foal with Turquoisentomahawks when she sold at the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Sale. Consigned by David and Stacie McDavid, who had bought the mare back for $67,000 at the Western Bloodstock Invitational Yearling Sale in 2009, DMAC Kandygram sold to Bill Richardson for $9,200 in 2012. While the mare isn’t a money-earner herself, she is a full sister to the late Hes A Peptospoonful, who banked $72,851 and was a proven sire.
Dos Kamikazes finished 16th in the NCHA Futurity Open under Wayne Robinson. The Scootin Boon mare is out of Smart Lil Tapt by Smart Little Lena. Smart Lil Tapt sold just once, as a 3-year-old at the 2010 NCHA World Finals Sale. Consigned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, the mare was in foal to Autumn Acre at the time. Leea Arnold and Dudley Caraway placed the final bid of $6,500 to take the mare home.
Another unshown mare, Smart Lil Tapt hails from one of the greatest female families in the cutting horse industry. Her dam, Tapt Twice, has produced 18 foals who have banked more than $1.3 million, including all-time leading money-earning mare Dont Look Twice. Her second dam, Tap O Lena, has 11 money-earning offspring who accumulated more than $600,000.
While Smart Lil Tapt’s first foal doesn’t have an Equi-Stat record, Dos Kamikazes, who was bred by Arnold and Caraway, sports a record of $33,197.
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