Leonard Lavin’s Florida-based Glen Hill Farm was a powerful buying force during the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale’s second session, which generated a median price that was up 25% from a year ago. The average price fell 4.4% while the gross revenue declined 12.3% Oct. 27 in Lexington.
Glen Hill purchased three of the day’s five six-figure horses, including the session-topping $150,000 Tapit – Frans Lass colt. The others were a $135,000 Indian Charlie – Girl in Velvet filly named Solar Spotlight and a $130,000 Kitten's Joy – Cardinalli colt. Representing Glen Hill at the auction were its president and chief operating officer, Craig Bernick, who is Lavin's grandson; Donato Lanni, the bloodstock services director for John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington; and trainer Tom Proctor.
“He was one of the first horses we saw on our list, and we liked him,” said Bernick of the Tapit colt. “We kept going back to see him, and we liked him every time. He looks sort of like a sprinter, which is fine. I’ve always liked Tapit. He goes back (on the female side of his pedigree) to Foggy Note, who was the dam of Relaunch. We raced Relaunch (in partnership), and many of our horses have Relaunch in their pedigrees.”
The gray/roan yearling is a half-brother to the winner French Lass (by French Deputy), who finished second in the 2002 Bayou City Stakes and third in the 2001 Miss Houston Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas, and the unraced Great Plains Lady (by Peaks and Valleys), who produced stakes winner Lady Truffles (by Candi's Gold). Their dam, Frans Lass, is a 19-year-old daughter of Shanekite. She captured the Jan Jessie and California Breeders’ Champion Stakes in 1993 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.
Paul Adams and Jerry Cummins bred and consigned the $150,000 colt in the name of their Equus Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. They bought Frans Lass, while she was carrying him, for only $10,000 from Susan Forrester, agent, at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
“We were tickled to death with the price,” Cummins said. “We had no idea what he would bring. We had to sell; we don’t race. He had to find a new home. But I thought he was going to bring good money. We had people trying to buy him before the sale.”
Because Frans Lass foundered and had to be euthanized when the colt was about three months old, he had to be weaned earlier than usual and that put him behind his peers in his physical development, according to Cummins. Waiting until October to sell the colt gave him additional time to mature.
“He’s very smart and correct, and he really takes care of himself,” Cummins said. “When he’s in the barn, he lies down and even covers his head up with the straw so the light doesn’t bother him."
The results for the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky auction’s second session included a gross of $2,760,100 for the 188 yearlings that sold. The average was $14,681, and the median was $7,500. In 2008, the 205 horses that sold grossed $3,147,200 and averaged $15,352. The median was $6,000.
The buy-back/no bid rate plunged from 30.5% last year to 23.3% this year.
The two yearlings that brought six-figure prices, but weren’t purchased by Glen Hill, were a Malibu Moon – Exceptionally colt and a Speightstown – Flashy Frolic colt named Frolic Around Town. Lanni, acting on behalf of Californian George Krikorian, bought the Malibu Moon colt. Super Horse purchased Frolic Around Town.
During the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky auction’s first two days combined, 363 yearlings were sold for a gross of $4,708,600. The average was $12,971. Compared to last year, when 387 horses were sold, the gross declined 11.5% from $5,320,300. The average fell 5.7% from $13,748,
The buy-back/no bid rate dropped from 34.1% in 2008 to 28.3% this year.
The final session of the sale is scheduled for Oct. 28, beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).