July 7, 2015

The first yearlings from Lane’s End outstanding first-crop duo of THE FACTOR and UNION RAGS hit the market at Fasig-Tipton July on Thursday, July 9.

Each sire has five catalogued, and early reports from the sales grounds and beyond are overwhelmingly positive.

UNION RAGS was last year’s leading freshman sire by weanling average ($134,315) and by median ($130,000), with 19 of 23 on offer sold. His F-T July yearlings include:

  • Hip 16 – f – half-sister to SW Ex Pirate from LANE’S END SALES
  • Hip 62 – f – half-sister to 4 stakes horses, including SWs Pressed & Carson City Babe
  • Hip 143 – f – half-sister to MGSW & G1SP Free Judgement
  • Hip 193 – c – son of MSW & MGSP Victory Lap
  • Hip 323 – c – from immediate family of star sprinter Delaunay

Despite standing for just $15,000 in his first year, THE FACTOR was last year’s third-leading freshman sire by average ($92,538) and median ($77,500). The son of War Front’s F-T July yearlings include:

  • Hip 38 – c – son of three-time NY stakes winner Latitude Forty
  • Hip 108 – f – half-sis to recent first-out Churchill Downs MSW winner Mayor Mac (DISCREETLY MINE)
  • Hip 183 – c – son of half-sis to MSW Twilights Prayer from LANE’S END SALES
  • Hip 207 – f – 1st foal from Speightstown half to Champion 2yo Spring in the Air
  • Hip 319 – c – from immediate family of Departing, The Great War, Zensational, etc.

The Thoroughbred Daily New’s Bill Oppenheim weighed in on THE FACTOR in his June 30 column:

“Lane’s End’s THE FACTOR was from the first crop by War Front, and was one of the horses who first put him on the map. Trained by Baffert, he won two seven-furlong Grade I’s at three, the Pat O’Brien at Del Mar and the Malibu at Santa Anita, having previously won the GII San Vicente S. at seven furlongs and the GII Rebel, at 8 1/2 furlongs … THE FACTOR eight times ran Beyers of 100-108, that latter of which he ran when breaking his maiden in his second start while running six furlongs in 1:06:4/5! He has five yearlings at Fasig (July), six at Saratoga, for 11 total between the two sales. His first weanlings/short yearlings sold well, with 26 averaging $92,538, ranking him third by average behind UNION RAGS and Bodemeister.”

Of UNION RAGS, Oppenheim enthused, “UNION RAGS won his first three starts as a 2-year-old, including the GII Saratoga Special at 6 1/2 furlongs and the GI Champagne S.–by five–at a mile, then was beaten a head by Hansen…in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. UNION RAGS won the GII Fountain of Youth first-up at three, then was third in the GI Florida Derby and seventh to I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister in Kentucky. He skipped the Preakness and–with Bodemiester sidelined and I’ll Have Another sensationally retired through injury the day before the race–the Baffert-trained Paynter (Awesome Again) tried to go wire-to-wire, but UNION RAGS ran him down to win the GI Belmont S. So, in eight career starts, Union Rags won the GII Saratoga Special and GI Champagne at two, the GII Fountain of Youth and the GI Belmont at three, and was beaten a head in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for the 2-year-old championship. It’s a pretty good scorecard.”

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