Monthly Archives: April 2013

Thoroughbred ‘Moneyball” Unearths a Gem at 2012 FT Timonium Sale


How about a $13k purchase at Fasig Tipton Timonium’s 2yo in Training Sale (2012) going on to earn more than 99.5% of starters in 2013? Is that a colt you would be interested in?

Probably not – as he only worked in 10.3 and looked ‘ordinary’ to most experts on auction day. Here’s his catalog page, showing a set of 3 siblings who could only pass muster at lower-end circuits:

Our now 3yo bargain purchase is today known as Battier, and as luck would have it a Thoroedge client was able to gather some valuable HR/GPS data on him after 5 months of training leading up to the Timonium sale several months ago.

As hip 284, he sold for $13,000 and currently has a stakes win at Aqueduct and $137,200 in earnings, here are the details:

I started to look for photos and breeze videos of this colt from the sale, but caught myself and realized how little those subjective measures truly tell a prospective buyer. We do know he worked the eighth mile in 10.3, which isn’t terribly fast either.

Discerning buyers found many reasons to eliminate this colt from their short lists, but Battier lives on as perhaps the first example of how the concepts brought about in the book/movie ‘Moneyball’ will influence the auction process for years to come (if I have anything to say about it). Here is a primer:

During a routine gallop leading up to the sale, Battier displayed a superior HR response while travelling at a 15sec/furlong pace, as well as a stellar HR recovery. Now sample size is pretty small thus far, but the database will continue to grow over the next several years.

Here is a similar verified HR/GPS standout who just went through the ring in Ocala and was purchased for $110k (scroll to Hip 454):

The vet for one of my clients didn’t like the walk, so they passed – I hope they didn’t miss out on another Battier-type value, or maybe I do…..regardless, we’ll all keep an eye on this one over the coming months.