The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed finished its two-day run in Maryland Monday with increases in gross revenue, average price, and median price. Compared to a year ago, the gross enjoyed a 9.0% surge while the average and median rose 14.5% and 15.6%, respectively.
"The quality of the horses in our catalogue was not up significantly, in my opinion," said Mason Grasty, the executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic. "But there was more demand this year. I'm not sure why; it surprised me. People were just dying to buy weanlings. There were a lot of people here to buy weanlings who had never been here before."
The 360 horses sold grossed $2,702,300 and averaged $7,506. The median was $3,700. Last year, 378 horses were sold for a gross of $2,478,600, an average of $6,557, and a median of $3,200.
The buy-back rate fell from 30.0% last year to 22.6% this year.
"When the buy-back rate drops and your average is up, that's the sign of a strong sale," Grasty said. "Usually, when the buy-back rate drops, buyers are reassessing the market and letting their horses sell for less."
A Malibu Moon weanling filly topped sale, bringing $150,000 during the final session. Produced from the unraced Parfaitement mare Perfectly, she is a full sister to Perfect Moon, winner of this year's Best Pal (gr. II) and Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) Stakes. The Castleton Group, headed by Dr. Tony Ryan of Ireland, purchased the chestnut filly from Litz Bloodstock Services, agent for Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. O'Donovan. Malibu Moon will stand the 2004 breeding season at Ryan's Castle Lyons Farm near Lexington.
During Tuesday's final session, 195 horses were sold for a gross of $1,610,000, an average of $8,256, and a median of $4,000.