Last summer at the Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale in Kentucky, my friend Frances J. Karon of Four Star Sales spoke highly and frequently enough on Twitter about a yearling in Four Star’s consignment that had a Northern Dancer-type look and command presence that it piqued my interest, because the colt was by a Florida stallion that had no name recognition to match the hype. The sire in question was the Dixie Union horse High Cotton, and the yearling was from an unraced Pine Bluff mare. Click here to view the catalog page.
The buzz on the yearling propelled him to a $70,000 sale, to Nick De Meric, Agent, even though he was from the first crop of an unproven sire that stood for $2,500. The price was the highest for any of the 18 High Cotton yearlings sold at auction in 2010, although the Crossroads Sales Agency sold one at Fasig-Tipton in October of 2010 for $60,000.
De Meric as agent offered the $70,000 yearling at the 2011 OBS March sale of two-year-olds in training, where he was bought back for $92,000.
Yesterday at Saratoga, the same colt, now named Currency Swap and racing for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence and trained by Saratoga native but Monmouth-based Teresa M. Pompay, made his debut an impressive one at almost 10-1 by winning a six-and-a-half-furlong maiden special by six lengths. Click here to see the chart of the race.
Below, Ms. Pompay speaks about Currency Swap and plans for the colt after the race:
Currency Swap is one of five winners for freshman sire High Cotton, a stakes winner of $462,574. A winner at two at Belmont Park but also Grade 2-placed later, Currency Swap became a stakes winner at three with wins in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on dirt and the Rushaway Stakes on all weather at the same trip. He is inbred to three outstanding sires: 3×5 to Northern Dancer, 4×3 to Seattle Slew, and 4×4 to Mr. Prospector. His sire, Dixie Union, was the best sire son of Dixieland Band and stood at Will Farish’s Lane’s End until his premature death; his dam, Happy Tune, is an A. P. Indy half-sister to champion two year-old filly Storm Song. Like the latter, High Cotton was bred by Will Farish and Dinny Phipps. High Cotton raced for Peachtree Stable.
Though Currency Swap is headed to the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, High Cotton has already been represented by a stakes horse. The stallion’s first winner, Tarpy’s Goal, who won a maiden special at Churchill Downs on May 19, came back to run third in the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont on July 3—though that race has since been exposed with the winner proving to be no match for Grade 2 Sanford Stakes winner Overdriven.
French trainer Jennifer Bidgood, who is on Twitter as @JennyBidgood, has a cheaply purchased French-bred High Cotton named Questor that she’s enthusiastic about. So far, he’s placed third last out after two fourth-place finishes. She tweeted this recently: