Day At The Track

Azur has 'perfect day' at Tattersalls sale

04:28 AM 17 Jan 2012 NZDT
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Sales-topper Mystical Diva Fran Azur (center) talks with trainer
Sales-topper Mystical Diva - Was hammered down for $170,000
USTA/Ken Weingartner photos
Fran Azur (center) talks with trainer - Kevin McDermott (left) and Bob Heyden (right)
USTA/Ken Weingartner photos

Fran Azur went 3-for-3 in getting the horses he wanted at Monday's harness racing Tattersalls Select Mixed Sale at Meadowlands Racetrack. He even added a fourth for good measure. Azur bought sales-topper Mystical Diva for $170,000 and also purchased Flipper J for $155,000, Sonic Dancer for $135,000 and Village Beat for $120,000. A total of nine horses sold for at least $100,000.

Mystical Diva is a 4-year-old pacing mare by Western Ideal, out of Schoolofcardknocks. Her family includes world champion Cambest. Last season, she won seven of 30 races and earned $150,738. She was second in the Tender Loving Care Series final and won her Lynch Memorial elimination.

She has won nine of 37 races in her career, earning $166,908.

"She's a nice strong mare; young still," Azur said. "She raced a lot last year, but that's a nice raceway horse. I think a fair price was around $100,000, maybe $120,000, now we'll have to earn back another $50,000 before we're even again. We need a little bit of luck now and have to stay healthy."

Mystical Diva was Azur's top choice. If he failed to get her, he planned to go after Sonic Dancer, who raced in Ontario last year and earned $56,119. A 4-year-old son of Mach Three out of the mare Beach Dancer, Sonic Dancer is a half-brother to 2009 Woodrow Wilson winner Windfall Blue Chip.

"I liked the potential of that horse," Azur said. "If I bought Mystical initially I wasn't going to buy Sonic. But the more we looked at it, we ended up buying both."

Flipper J is a 4-year-old son of Art Major-Dolphins Can Talk. His second dam is millionaire Stienam's Place, who is the mother of multiple-stakes-winners Showherthemoney and Put On A Show. In 2010, Put On A Show received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly pacer.

Last year, Flipper J won a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes in a track-record 1:49.3 at Tioga Downs and a division of the New York Sire Stakes in a track-record 1:52.4 at Goshen Historic Track. He has won nine of 25 career races and earned $250,590.

Village Beat is a 5-year-old gelding pacer who has won nine of 42 lifetime races and earned $151,916.

Azur's horses will be trained by Kevin McDermott.

"Kevin needed some fresh blood and now we've got some fresh blood," Azur said. "Also, I give a percentage of all my winnings to the Standardbred Retirement Fund. Now I have more horses to share with them if we do good."

Divulge, a 3-year-old son of Tell All-Pop Diva, sold for $160,000 to Daryl Bier. Divulge won two of 10 races and $50,132 last year and ended his campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Matron Stakes.

"He looked like one of the best racehorses, as far as the young ones, in the sale," Bier said. "I look for proven racehorses rather than buy babies and he's a great prospect for what I'm trying to do. He just looks like he's got a lot of potential. He's the only one I wanted."

Also selling for at least $100,000 were trotters Sevruga ($150,000) and Live Jazz ($105,000) along with pacers Rollwithitharry ($120,000) and High Noon ($100,000).

The complete sales results can be viewed by clicking on this link.

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom

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