High-flying racehorse auction buys can be some risky investments. After all, the old adage is “breed the best to the best, and hope for the best”. Notice, they don’t say plan. You can’t plan that the best of each genetic line will be expressed in the foal. You can’t plan whether the horse stays sound enough to get to the track. You can’t plan for a horse to have the right mind to want to race.
You can try to breed those traits in, and you can assess the horses before the sales. But, you never know whether the promise you see at the sale will come to fruition on the track until the horse actually races.
This brings us to Undulated (Polly Alexander, by Foxhound). He was a $110,000 yearling at Keeneland September last year, and a pinhooking success when he sold for $675,000 this March at OBS. Today, in a five and a half furlong maiden special weight at Laurel, Undulated got his first chance to show whether the sales interest would translate into on-track talent.
So far, so good.
Longshot Jet Home gunned it, with Speedy Slew pressing him. Undulated, on the other hand, settled well off the pace early. He sat second to last down much of the backstretch, content to let the speed demons do their thing.
Coming around the far turn, Undulated began to advance on the outside. Turning for home, he angled in. From there, he still had most of the horses yet to pass, and equine gridlock in front of him.
Undulated showed maturity and guts for a first-time starter. He quickened, threaded between Love You Much and the fading Jet Home, shifted outside of Speedy Slew, and was unfazed by Sleepless closing just on his outside. He accelerated past A True Gentleman, and past Bronx Sandman. Sleepless tried, but she could not hold Undulated at bay.
Undulated made a promising and professional debut. The precocity made sense, given her dam. Though Curlin babies often blossom with age, Polly Alexander was a winner at two, and stakes-placed in Italy going short on the grass. Though, it would be no surprise to see her stretch out at some point; Undulated’s second dam produced Medici Code, a Grade II winning (and multiple Grade I placed) turf router.
Though it will take a few more wins before Undulated makes back his owners’ purchase price, he did things the right way on debut. He looks to be what anyone hopes for: a horse with a body and mind for racing.