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Big Week For Avritt In Lexington

Published: October 3, 2018 3:34 pm ET

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It’s been nearly 23 years since Jim Avritt Sr. bought Dominique Semalu to serve as a broodmare, but Avritt is reminded regularly about the impact she’s had on his life.

“If I hadn’t been lucky enough to buy her, no one would have heard of me in this business,” Avritt said. “I sold a lot of high-priced yearlings out of her and kept a bunch of her daughters and they’ve all been tremendous producers. It was the luckiest day of my life.”

Dominique Semalu’s impact is apparent this week in Lexington. On Tuesday night, Avritt sold pacer Tall Dark Stranger for $330,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale (for a complete recap of the Tuesday night sale session, click here). The colt, a son of Bettors Delight, is the second foal out of Avritt’s homebred star Precocious Beauty, a Dan Patch Award winner whose granddam is Dominique Semalu.

Precocious Beauty’s first foal, now two-year-old filly Beautyonthebeach, is a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion and will race this Friday (Oct. 5) in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile.

In addition, Precocious Beauty’s full sister, Prescient Beauty, will also race in a division of the International Stallion. She won a Bluegrass Stakes division last week and finished a dead-heat second in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes.

Prescient Beauty and Precocious Beauty are out of Precious Beauty, whose other foals included Dan Patch Award-winner Sportswriter.

Beautyonthebeach and Prescient Beauty, both trained by Gregg McNair and driven by Doug McNair, are being pointed toward the Breeders Crown and Three Diamonds Stakes following their races on Friday.

“After ‘Precocious,’ I didn’t know if I’d ever get back to that level again,” Avritt said. “Now I’m fortunate enough to have Prescient Beauty and Beautyonthebeach, so I’m enjoying it, to say the least. There’s not much difference between these two fillies. They’re tremendous fillies. I’m tickled to death.”

Beautyonthebeach has won five of nine races, never finished off the board, and earned $192,227. Prescient Beauty has won four of nine races, finished off the board only once, and earned $178,537. Both fillies share a love of bananas, but otherwise have different personalities.

“Prescient Beauty is a little more uptight; she can get a little upset in the paddock and warming up,” Avritt said. “Beautyonthebeach, sometimes you think she’s going to sleep. If you let her put her head on your shoulder, she’ll just stand there all night.”

Beautyonthebeach is set to compete in the second of four International Stallion divisions and is 4-1 on the morning line, third choice behind 5-2 Warrawee Ubeaut and 3-1 Zero Tolerance. Warrawee Ubeaut will head into the race off of a win in the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, where Zero Tolerance finished second. Zero Tolerance rebounded to win a Bluegrass division last week.

Prescient Beauty is the 2-1 morning line favourite for the third of the four International Stallion divisions.

As for the sale of Tall Dark Stranger, the price was the second highest of the opening night of the Lexington Selected Sale, topped by only the $360,000 spent on Treasure Trove, a full brother to two-time U.S. Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous.

“I never get my expectations too high so I’m not disappointed, but a lot of people in the know were talking between $200,000 and $300,000,” said Avritt, who lives in Lebanon, Ky., about 65 miles southwest of Lexington. “He was a gorgeous colt, an absolutely gorgeous colt. Everything just fell into place.”

In addition, another daughter of Dominique Semalu, Hilarious, is the dam of Melodies Major, a colt who has already set multiple track records while racing in the New York Sire Stakes this year. The two-year-old pacing colt has earned $222,683, winning 6 of 9 races in 2018 for trainer Mark Ford and owner, Martin Scharf.

Even pacing sensation, Downbytheseaside, is from the same family - a son of Sprig Hanover, the daughter of successful broodmare, Special Beauty - also a daughter of Dominique Semalu.

(With files from USTA)


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