The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale ended its two-night run on a powerful upswing for a second straight year. A strong closing session Aug. 12 that included 14 horses sold for $100,000 or more—among them a $330,000 sales-topping son of Tapit —propelled the climb in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Cumulative sales for the auction held Aug. 11-12 at the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion were up 28% from 2011: 138 horses sold for a total of $8,632,000 compared to $6,725,500 from 124 horses sold last year. The average rose 15% to $62,551 versus $54,238 last year, while the median soared 43% to $50,000 from $35,000.
“Obviously we’re very pleased with the momentum that continued forward from last year,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. “It’s pretty impressive to statistically look at this sale from 2010-2012 and see where it’s gone in a two-year period of time. It is truly remarkable and indicative of the significant impact racino slots have had on the marketplace.”
Overall RNA rate was up as well for the sale, 38% against 32% last year. This year, 85 horses did not sell compared to 59 in 2011.
“Reality is, if you’re a breeder of a horse or owner of a yearling that’s a New York-bred, it has a higher value in your mind as well as it would to a potential buyer,” Browning remarked. “Many are willing and prepared to go to the next step, whether it be a 2-year-old sale or retaining to race, because they’re racing for significant purses and breeders' awards. Running for these kind of purses, getting owners’ awards and breeders’ awards, is meaningful.”
The striking gray Tapit colt that topped the sale late in the second session brought $330,000 from Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm. Consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent, he is out of the grade III-winning Cozzene mare Derrianne.
“He’s just beautiful, he’s very much an athlete,” said Pope. “He’s a perfect size for a Tapit, has a little more size than some of them have, and his attitude was very good, which we also liked.”
High prices for select hip numbers caused a competitive marketplace for a good horse.
“This horse was higher (than appraised), but we just really liked him and we haven’t been able to buy anything else,” Pope said. “The ones that we have selected, so has everybody else, and it’s been impossible for us to get the other ones we want. “
A son of Exchange Rate also sold on night two commanded the sale’s second-highest price, $320,000 from Charlotte Weber, who signed the ticket on behalf of her Live Oak Plantation. Out of the Lord At War mare Zambezi Belle, the dark bay or brown colt was consigned by Meg Levy’s Bluewater Sales, agent, for owner Cam Casby. He is a half-brother to blacktype New York-bred Law Enforcement, a runner campaigned to four stakes wins, including the 2010 John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, for Casby by Mark Hennig.
During the final session, 74 yearlings were sold for a gross of $4,975,000, up 36% from $3,658,000 for night two in 2011. The average rose 19% to $67,230 compared to $56,277 last year, and the median was $46,000 compared to $45,000 in 2011. The buy-back rate was 33% versus 29% last year.
“It would be a little bit of an understatement to say we had a strong session tonight,” Browning remarked. “We had several strong yearlings with conformation and pedigree that met the high expectations the buyers had. A large number of horses sold very, very well tonight. There’s obviously a significant demand for quality New York-breds, but not every New York-bred – consistent with every other marketplace we do business with.”