The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training ended Tuesday in Timonium, Md., with across-the-board increases from a year ago. The 282 horses sold grossed $9,312,600 and averaged $33,023. Those figures represented upswings of 5.2%, 9.2%, and 3.8%, respectively. The median was $22,500, up by 7.1%. The gross, median, and average all reached their second-highest levels in the auction's history.
"I thought it was a very good sale," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "It was a very solid, legitimate market. The beautiful thing about this area is that you are feeding so many racetracks, from New York to Monmouth (in New Jersey) to Maryland. We also had a little action from California and Kentucky. It is probably the broadest-based buying group of any marketplace in the United States for a 2-year-old sale. So that helps."
Another positive sign was the significant drop in buy-back rate. It fell to 26.0%, with 99 of the 381 horses offered failing to find new homes. Last year's rate was 30.9%. The top individual price for a horse--$280,000 for an End Sweep -- Line's Busy colt during Monday's opening session--exceeded last year's peak of $270,000.
The top price Tuesday of $210,000 was brought by a Grand Slam colt, who is a half-brother to stakes-placed Easy Action and Subito (both by Crafty Prospector). Their dam is the 16-year-old Raise a Cup mare Tipsy Girl, who won two added-money events and finished second or third in three grade III races.
Consigned by Florida pinhooker Niall Brennan agent, the Grand Slam colt was purchased by Doug Neece's Integrity Media. Trainer Mike Stidham signed the sale ticket. According to Stidham, Neece is a resident of Dallas, Texas, and is in a business that sells television time for evangelists. Stidham said he had been training for Neece "for the last five years."
"I thought this colt was the most professional horse in the sale; he was well prepared," Stidham said. "I like him a lot. He breezed 34 and change (:34 4/5), and he did it in the right way."
A pinhooking partnership headed by Brennan and Kentucky bloodstock agent Mike Ryan purchased the Grand Slam colt (who is a member of his sire's first crop) for $100,000 at the 2001 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale in the name of Palmetto Investments. When the partners offered him earlier this year at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale at Calder, they bought him back for $170,000.
"We always had confidence in this colt," Brennan said.
A Storm Cat -- Shannkara colt brought Tuesday's second-highest price of $200,000. E. Paul Robsham purchased him from Eisaman Equine.