The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, which suffered significant setbacks in its key business figures last year, got some good news during its opening session Oct. 5 in Timonium, Md. The number of horses sold, gross, and average price increased 5.1%, 27.2%, and 21%, respectively, while the buy-back rate remained about the same.
“It was a very solid marketplace – not spectacular, but very legitimate and effective,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning, even though the median price fell 19.4%.
The 207 horses that sold grossed $3,236,300 and averaged $15,634. The median was $5,000. In 2009, the 197 horses that sold grossed $2,544,600. The average was $12,917 and the median was $6,200.
The buy-back rate this year was 26.9% compared to 26.2% in 2009.
“It was much like we’ve seen in virtually every sale of late,” Browning said. “There was a lot of competition for the quality horses. The higher you moved up the price ladder, the more competition there was. But there was legitimate interest in horses that sold below the (session’s) average price as well.”
An After Market colt, which is a member of his sire’s first crop, was the most expensive horse sold during the first session. He brought $250,000 from Jay Em Ess Stable, which is operated by California resident Mace Siegel and his daughter, Samantha.
After Market, a son of the great stallion Storm Cat, won six graded stakes, including the 2007 editions of the Eddie Read (gr. IT) and Charles Whittingham Memorial (gr. IT) Handicaps.
“He was our favorite of the sale,” said Samantha Siegel of the $250,000 colt. “He kind of stuck out up here. If he had gone to Keeneland (for the September yearling sale), he probably would have gotten lost in the crowd. He’s a correct horse, and he’s big and strong and well-balanced. He also handled himself well. We really liked him. There was no hemming and hawing about him.”
Rick and Dixie Abbott, who bred the colt in Pennsylvania, consigned him to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale through their Charlton sales agency. Produced from the Smart Strike mare Christmas Strike, who failed to win in her three career races, the yearling is a half brother to Double Down Vinman (by Out of Place), who captured the 2008 Lil E. Tee Stakes at Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania.
Christmas Strike, who is a half sister to grade I winner Christmas Kid (by Lemon Drop Kid ), also is the dam of the stakes-placed winners Holy Christmas (by Holy Bull) and No Passing Zone (by Pleasant Tap).
“We knew we had a very special horse physically; he was absolutely correct and had great muscle,” Rick Abbott said. “But we certainly were pleasantly surprised with the price. I was pretty confident he would make $100,000, but I didn’t, in my wildest dreams, think he would make a quarter of a million dollars.”
Selling a session topper wasn't the only reason why it was a special day for the Abbotts. Their third grandchild, Wren Overcash, was born in the afternoon. She is the first child for the Abbotts’ daughter, Carly Overcash.
“I’m in the car on my way to Philadelphia right now to see them,” said Rick Abbott, who was reached by telephone soon after the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction’s first session ended.
Jay Em Ess also purchased the session's second-highest-priced horse and most expensive filly, a $170,000 daughter of Exchange Rate. Paramount Sales, agent, consigned the filly, which is out of the winning Dynaformer mare Dyna Two, who finished third in the 2000 De La Rose Handicap (gr. IIIT). The bay yearling is a half sister to the stakes-placed winners Warwick Wonder (by Capote) and Orebanks (by Aptitude).
The second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale is scheduled for Oct. 6 and will begin at 10 a.m. (EDT).