By Jeff Scott
With by far the largest catalog in the sale's four-year history, hopes were running high at the New York Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed auction at Saratoga Race Course on Oct. 14. In many respects, those hopes were realized as the sale set records for gross revenue ($1,776,900) and average price ($10,330), which represented increases of 26.9% and 35%, respectively, over last year's figures.
The median price fell 30% from $5,000 last year to $3,500, while the buy-back rate rose from 32.2% last year to 45.4%. There were 172 horses sold this year, compared with 183 in 2006, a decline of 6%.
For Todd Venetz, company general manager and director of sales, this year's fall mixed auction was a success.
"It was an absolutely sensational sale," said Venetz. "We knew we had the money here, and we knew we had the horses, and if we did the right thing we could bring the two together. This is the first year we've been able to put a high concentration of good horses together."
Most of the strength in this year's auction was in the weanlings. Seventy-seven sold for a total of $1,313,600 and an average of $17,052. The 95 other horses -- a mix of broodmares, yearlings, and racing prospects -- sold for a total of $463,300 and an average of $4,876.
"The mares continue to be an area we need to refine," Venetz said. "We're working hard to identify ways to help them sell a little better. Mare sales are tough everywhere in the country, except at Keeneland."
This year's sale produced a record-selling weanling, a colt by first-crop sire Eurosilver out of Shot Gun Frances, by Commemorate. He sold for $85,000. Saratoga Oaks purchased the March foal, which was consigned by Moonestone Sales, agent. The previous high was the $60,000 paid for a Kafwain weanling filly in 2006.
The second-highest price for a weanling this year was the $77,000 trainer Linda Rice, agent, paid for a daughter of Cuvee out of Wigwam, by Iron Courage. The bay filly was consigned by Rhapsody Farm "Bloodstock", agent.
The top-priced broodmare or broodmare prospect this year was Sparkle, a 3-year-old daughter of Point Given out of Max Donnell, by Critique. Bruce Carter paid $42,000 for the unraced filly, which was consigned by Topsmeade LLC, agent.