The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale in Timonium, Md., got off to a solid start Monday when 10 horses brought individual prices of $100,000 or more. The opening session of the three-day auction also registered slight increases in average and median from a year ago, and a significant upswing in gross revenue.
"Obviously, the top of our market is very strong," said Mason Grasty, the executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic. After just one day, he noted, the sale is on track to top 1999's entire, three-day sale total of 15 six-figure yearlings.
The 197 horses sold grossed $4,295,300 and averaged $21,804. The median was $10,500. Compared to 1999's first-session figures, the number sold and the gross increased by 15.9% and 18.3%, respectively. The average and median were up by 2.1% and 5.0% respectively. The buy-back rate was 21.8%, as 55 of the 252 horses offered failed to find new homes.
A bay colt from the first crop of champion sprinter Smoke Glacken brought the opening day's top price of $200,000. Consigned by Muirfield Ventures and William Roberts, he was purchased by Jan, Mace, and Samantha Siegel of California. Produced from the 9-year-old Dixieland Band mare Swingin' Sister, the colt is a half-brother to stakes-placed Swingin Verse.
Samantha Siegel, who signed the sale ticket, described the son of Smoke Glacken as "the whole package." She said she was especially impressed by his athleticism and balance. Siegel said she did not worry about the colt's late (May) foaling date because "he was big enough" in size.
"We're thrilled," said Robert P. Levy, whose family operates Muirfield Ventures. "We thought he would bring between $75,000 and $100,000. The Siegels bought another six-figure yearling, a $140,000 Salt Lake-Wild Decision filly.
The only other buyer to purchase more than one yearling for $100,000 or more was New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace. Acting on the behalf of Ernie Paragallo, Chace bought a $190,000 Wild Again-Rhythm of Life colt and a $130,000 Two Punch-Sum Secret colt.