Big week for Avritt in Lexington

by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Ken Weingartner

Hightstown, NJ — 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. The colt, a son of Bettor’s Delight, is the second foal out of Avritt’s homebred star Precocious Beauty, a Dan Patch Award-winner whose granddam is Dominique Semalu.

Nigel Soult photo

Beautyonthebeach has won five of nine races, never finished off the board, and earned $192,227.

Precocious Beauty’s first foal, now 2-year-old filly Beautyonthebeach, is a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion and races Friday in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile.

In addition, Precocious Beauty’s full sister, Prescient Beauty, also races in a division of the International Stallion. She won a Bluegrass Stakes division last week and finished a dead-heat second in the She’s 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.”

Nigel Soult photo

Prescient Beauty has won four of nine races, finished off the board only once, and earned $178,537.

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 competes 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 heads to the race off 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 favorite in 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 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.”

For Friday’s complete Red Mile entries, click here.

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