The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association ended its two-night Del Mar yearling sale Monday in a virtual statistical dead-heat in average and median price with last year's all-time record sale. Given the climate established by select yearling sales in Kentucky and upstate New York, an average that is par with 2001 prices is considered by many to be a triumph.
Monday night saw 47 head sell for $1,858,000, an average price of $39,532 and median of $29,000. The second session average was 11.6% higher than the 2001 sale's second night, while the median gained 11.5%. Buy-backs increased to 32.9% of those through the ring.
Totals from the two nights are as follows: 98 were sold for gross receipts of $4,289,500, an average of $43,770 and median of $32,000. With the buy-back rate increasing to 31.5% for both nights, the sale's gross declined 5.5% from $4,541,000. Average was up marginally from $43,663, and median also took a minor step up from $31,500.
The CTBA's general manager, Doug Burge, hailed the auction as a success. "I think we're going to be very pleased with the results," said Burge, who noted the only downside was the increased buy-back rate.
Three yearlings sold for six figures on Monday, including the night's top price, a $150,000 colt by Bertrando out of Desert Violet, by Desert Wine. Sold by Mary Knight, agent, the colt was purchased by trainer Mel Stute, agent for Bob and Beverly Lewis.
The second $100,000-plus yearling was a $130,000 filly by In Excess out of Breezy Music, by Cure the Blues. Ed Friendly, standing in the back ring area, outbid Bob and Beverly Lewis, who were seated inside the selling area, to purchase the filly in partnership with Mike Foster. Knight, as agent, also sold the filly, giving her the two highest-priced lots of the evening.
The final $100,000-plus yearling was a daughter of red-hot freshman sire Swiss Yodeler consigned by Julie Adair. The filly was purchased for $100,000 by Nick Alexander.
Though they were not active on the second evening, Stanley Fulton's NW Management was leading buyer, with four purchased for $465,000.
Mary Knight, as agent, was leading consignor by gross, with 13 selling for $600,000.