The Preakness Stakes (gr. I) brings a lot of attention to the Maryland Thoroughbred industry. But horsemen aren’t just thinking about the second jewel of the Triple Crown, according to Paget Bennett, Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s director of sales. They’ve also been calling Bennett, seeking information about the sale of 2-year-olds in training that Fasig-Tipton will conduct May 21-22 in Timonium.
“We’ve had a lot of interest, more so than in past years,” said Bennett. “We’re thrilled with that and trying to accommodate everybody we can with all their requests for catalogs and hotel rooms.”
There are 540 horses in the Midlantic auction’s catalog. They include a Distorted Humor half sister to grade I winner Creative Cause , who finished fifth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), and a Teuflesberg full sister to the graded winner Trinniberg , who was 17th in the Run for the Roses.
“We’re anticipating a very good sale,” Bennett said. “The Preakness helps because people get curious about what’s happening over on the sale grounds and we always get some of them stopping in.”
There are several other reasons to be optimistic about the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction. The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training and the Barretts May juvenile auction both were upbeat, with OBS turning in an especially strong performance. Its results for gross, average price, and median price established sale records.
“People weren’t able to get all their orders filled in April (at the OBS auction),” said Bennett, who cited that as important factor in her optimism. “We also will have a lot of local, smaller trainers at our sale who don’t feel like they can leave town to go to OBS. They’re able to train their horses in the morning and then come here in the afternoon and shop.”
“This sale has proved to be a producer of a lot of brand name horses,” Bennett said. “I think more people are realizing that and realizing that perhaps they need to come to Maryland to shop. I think we are getting a lot of new people. They’re not new to the racing game, but they’re new to Maryland.”
In addition, the Midlantic auction should benefit from increasing purses in the Northeast region because of supplemental gaming at racetracks. Pots are bigger in New York because of a recently opened video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct Racetrack. In Pennsylvania, Parx Racing officials recently announced that they were increasing the purse for this year’s Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) to $1 million.
“New York-breds are huge; with the purses they are running for, there is obviously a lot of demand for them,” Bennett said. “We’ve got one consignment that has 20-some horses on the sale grounds and all but four are New York-breds.”
Dr. Barry Eisaman and his wife, Shari, of Eisaman Equine have more than 30 horses cataloged for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction.
“I think it’s going to be a good sale,” Shari Eisaman said. “We’ve gotten plenty of e-mails and phone calls from people looking for horses. They want horses they can run for big pots. The New York-breds and the Pennsylvania-breds are going to be really hot. The purses are decent now and there’s good momentum going on. There seems to be some health coming back into the market, and people feed off that positive electricity.”
Each of the auction’s two sessions will begin at 10 a.m. (EDT).
“We’ve got really good horses, we’ve had a lot interest, and we had a very, very good under tack show,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “All signs are positive.”