2019 was the best year yet for Mike Recio’s South Point Sales and Rockbridge Bloodstock. South Point Sales grads numbered over 100 winners and won stakes all over North America. A trio of South Point grads also made the starting gate in Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita, including Shekky Shebaz, a brave 3rd in the Turf Sprint (G1).
At the sales, South Point sold over 80% of the hips offered and sold over $1 million worth of mares at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.
Several mares purchased by Rockbridge Bloodstock produced blacktype runners in 2019, significantly increasing their value. A total of 13 runners purchased by Rockbridge also found the winner’s circle, including some very promising juvenile runners. The stakes-placed Saratoga debut winner Irish Danzing is among them.
Stubbins, a Rockbridge Bloodstock mating and dual South Point Sales grad, broke his Maiden at Santa Anita in his 3rd start. The Doug O’Neill trainee would develop into one of the better turf sprinters in North America.
South Point Sales Keeneland January grad Dovey Lovey placed in the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. She would go on to earn over $100,000 in 2019.
Stubbins came right back to clear his N1x Allowance condition. A pair of South Point Keeneland September grads, Sharp Witted and Morissette, captured Maiden Specials with the former capturing an Allowance next out.
Rockbridge Bloodstock 2YO buy Irish Hustle romped in a Maiden Special at Fair Grounds, drawing off to a 2 1/4-length tally.
Stubbins made it three in a row with an 8-length coronation in the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita, a victory that would convince his connections to try the Grade 2 UAE Derby next out.
At trio of South Point Sales grads were March Maiden Special winners – Lemniscate at Gulfstream Park and In Charge Annie & Crispy Creed at Fair Grounds.
It was also a big month for Rockbridge Bloodstock. Espresso Shot, out of the Rockbridge Bloodstock mare purchase Glory Gold, was victorious in the $250,000 Busher Stakes. Rockbridge 2YO buy Jais’s Solitude earned blacktype for the first time, placing in the Sophomore Turf Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rockbridge purchases Distant Shore, Ballston and Slippery also captured March Allowance contests.
Seven South Point Sales grads were Maiden winners during April. Among them were Days of Glory, a $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad, who scored in a Maiden contest in England in the colors of the famed Coolmore partnership.
2018 Stakes winner She’s the Berries, a South Point Sales Keeneland September grad, returned the winner’s circle in a Woodbine Allowance. She was one of a quartet of South Point grad Allowance winners during May
Causeforcommotion, out of the Rockbridge Bloodstock mare buy Causey, was best in the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes at Santa Anita. Also at the Arcadia track, Colonial Creed, a South Point Sales grad and Rockbridge Bloodstock mating, increased her value with a placing in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks. Back east, Rockbridge Bloodstock purchase Getouttamyway earned blacktype for the first time with a placing in the Parx Spring Oaks.
Rockbridge Bloodstock mare buys continued to churn out blacktype runners with Just a Smidge (out of 2019 Keeneland January buy Pooh Corner) placed in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes and Credit Swap (out of 2018 Keeneland January buy Fantastic Shirl) placed in the Stanton Stakes.
Also in June, Rockbridge Bloodstock 2YO buy Dunph added to his stakes resume with a 3rd in the Mystic Lake Derby while Rockbridge purchases Ceila’s Song and Unparalleled captured Allowance events.
A little over two weeks after being purchased from South Point Sales at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age sale, Moon Swing broke his Maiden for his new connections. The son of Malibu Moon was a wire-to-wire winner of Maiden Special contest at Arlington Park.
South Point Keeneland September grad Kunal was an impressive debut winner at Parx, drawing off to a 3 1/4-length victory. The juvenile colt is the first foal out of the Rockbridge Bloodstock mare purchase Venturini. Fifthatnarraganset also debuted a winner at Arlington Park. The 2-year-old filly was sold by South Point Sales for $95,000 at the Keeneland November auction and was mated on advice of Rockbridge Bloodstock out of the mare Alpaca Fina, another Rockbridge mare purchase. Both Kunal and Fifthatnarraganset would earn blacktype by year’s end.
Rack Gin, a Rockbridge Bloodstock/John Fahey 2YO purchase was also a sharp Maiden Special winner during June.
Four South Point Sales grads made an impact on blacktype races during August, including a pair of stakes winners.
Keeneland September Yearling sale grad Deviant was an impressive winner of the El Joven Stakes on August 14. Just six days later Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale grad Shekky Shebaz used his keen speed to triumph in the Lucky Coin Stakes at Saratoga. Two more September grads placed in Stakes – Dynamite Dan (also a Rockbridge Bloodstock mating) ran 3rd in the Louisiana Cup Turf Stakes and She’s the Berries gained 2nd in the Eternal Search Stakes at Woodbine.
Among the Rockbridge Bloodstock winners was Irish Danzing, a 2-year-old debut winner at Saratoga in the colors of Final Furlong Racing. Rockbridge Bloodstock purchase Jais’s Solitude added graded blacktype to his ledger with a close 2nd in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby.
The blacktype continued to flow for both South Point Sales and Rockbridge Bloodstock during September:
- Deviant captured his second consecutive blacktype race the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs
- She’s the Berries won the Classy ‘N Smart Stakes and placed 2nd in the Belle Mahone Stakes.
- Fifthatnarrganset placed in the Arlington-Washington Futurity.
- Stubbins ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Franklin-Simpson Stakes at Kentucky Downs
- Rockbridge Bloodstock purchases Irish Hustle and Irish Danzing both placed in blacktype races.
Stubbins became the first Grade 2-winning South Point Sales grad (and Rockbridge Bloodstock mating) with his course-record victory in the Grade 2 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland.
He wasn’t the only South Point/Rockbridge Bloodstock runner to earn blacktype during the month:
- Shekky Shebaz ran another sharp race, taking 2nd in the Belmont Turf Invitational.
- Kunal grabbed 3rd in the Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine.
- South Point Sales Keeneland September grad Good Credence placed in the Maid of the Mist Stakes at Belmont.
South Point Sales was represented by our first Breeders’ Cup starters. In fact, THREE South Point Sales grad broke from the starting gate in Breeders’ Cup events – Deviant in the Juvenile Turf (G1) and Stubbins and Shekky Shebaz in the Turf Sprint (G1). The latter continued his impressive 2019 form with a brave 3rd.
At the Fasig-Tipton November sale South Point Sales sold a $325,000 weanling and two mares for a combined $1.1 million.
South Point Sales finished 2019 with an incredible 80% clearance rate.