May 16, 2021

Jalen Journey bound for Miller barn after topping Fasig-Tipton HORA at $510,000

Diamond Oops collars Jalen Journey in the Smile Sprint (c) Adam Coglianese Photography

Recent Smile Sprint (G3) runner-up Jalen Journey sold for the top price of $510,000 at Monday’s Fasig-Tipton July Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale, and the gelding will aim to continue his progress for new trainer Peter Miller.

Purchased by J. Raymie Lightner, agent, the four-year-old has enhanced his value exponentially since selling for just $14,000 as an OBS August yearling. The buyer that day, Randy Bradshaw, ended up racing the son of With Distinction with partner Sam Samsel in the name of Commonwealth Stable.

Jalen Journey didn’t make it to the races until last November, when he finished a troubled fourth in a maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park West. Dropped in for a $50,000 tag at Gulfstream Park on March 8, he broke his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths. No one claimed him, and in the span of four months, his price increased tenfold.

The Kathleen O’Connell trainee next romped in a pair of Gulfstream allowance/optional claimers on the front end. After racking up a 97 Brisnet Speed rating in a seven-furlong event on the Florida Derby (G1) undercard, Jalen Journey posted a 100 going the one-turn mile on May 30. That made him the 6-5 favorite in his stakes debut in the June 29 Smile Sprint. Although Jalen Journey won the pace battle, he lost the war as Diamond Oops swooped late.

Consigned by Four Star Sales, agent, as Hip No. 494, Jalen Journey brought a record of 5-3-1-0, $148,800, into the sales ring. The bay is out of the Congrats mare Petunia Face, an unraced half-sister to Grade 2 scorer Yara who’s also responsible for Puerto Rican champion Derek Adrian. This is the family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Healthy Addiction, herself the dam of Grade 1 victress My Sweet Addiction.

Jalen Journey wasn’t the top hammer price, however. Smashing juvenile debut winner Fierce Lady sparked bidding as high as $725,000, but did not reach her reserve price and left unsold. Unbeaten three-year-old filly More Roses was another pricey RNA at $485,000.

Thus the second on the leaderboard turned out to be Grade 3-placed stakes winner Orbolution, Hip 521, gaveled down to Hinkle Farms for $325,000. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, offered the four-year-old daughter of Orb and Grade 3-placed My Rachel, a Horse Chestnut half to Grade 1 hero Jack Milton. My Rachel has produced two other stakes-placed offspring, notably Firehouse Red, the dam of Grade 3 winner Draft Pick. Orbolution initially fetched $370,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, and her recent third in a Monmouth allowance advanced her line to 8-2-1-4, $164,150.

Upon the conclusion of the evening’s trade, Fasig-Tipton reported that numbers were down across the board. In all, 95 horses grossed $6,548,500, a decline of 29.7 percent from the $9,318,000 raked in by 100 sellers in 2018. The average dipped 26 percent, from $93,180 to $68,932, and the $45,000 median was off by 10 percent from last year’s $50,000. What did rise was the number of RNA’s, climbing from 19 to 41 on Monday.

The action shifts to the yearling market Tuesday, with the July Sale featuring a host of freshman sires including California Chrome. For complete results as well as live streaming of the auction from 10 a.m. (EDT), visit fasigtipton.com.