The Fasig-Tipton sale of New York-bred yearlings concluded on a positive note Monday, with the sale at the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion in Saratoga Springs producing positive gains in every significant statistical category.
Fasig-Tipton reported 112 horses were sold during the two-day auction for a total of $5,596,500, compared with the gross of $5,279,000 generated from the sale of 127 horses during the 2003 sale. The average price of $49,969 fell just short of the sale company's goal of $50,000, but represented a 20.2% gain over the 2003 average of $41,567. This year's median price jumped 26.5% to $40,500, compared with $32,000 last year. The 70 horses that did not attain their reserves represented 38% of the total through the ring, compared with an RNA rate of 37% in 2003.
Fasig-Tipton officials attributed the success of this year's sale to a decision to cut back on the number of horses offered. The sale had been expanded last year in response to the on-track success of sale graduate and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide and the anticipated increase in purse revenues from slot machine gaming at New York's Thoroughbred tracks, which has not materialized.
"This was the progress we needed," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson. "It is always better to be up in average and median and have a lower or same buyback rate."
Fueled by nine yearlings bringing final bids in excess of six figures, the Monday session saw 59 horses average $53,127 from a gross of $3,134,500. The session median was $45,000. During the comparable session last year, 67 horses grossed $2,701,500 for an average price of $40,321 and a median of $30,000.
The Monday session top price of $175,000 was paid by pinhooker Robert Harris for a Tale of the Cat
colt consigned by Thomas J. Gallo Sales Agency. Harris said he purchased the colt to sell as a 2-year-old and that the price was at the upper end of what he was willing to pay.
"We try to stay away from the big-priced horses," Harris said. "We liked him and Tale of the Cat is doing well. This is definitely a strong market."
"He was a good horse," Gallo said. "He will make money for him either if he resells him or as a racehorse. I thought he would be a standout here rather than one of many in the (Keeneland) September sale."
The colt was produced from the Hold Your Peace mare Holdyoursuspicions, a full sister to grade I winner and sire Meadowlake
and a half-sister to grade II winner and sire Leo Castelli.
Barclay Tagg, who trains Funny Cide, paid the session's second-highest price of $165,000 for a Menifee
filly produced from the stakes-winning Blushing Stage mare Lt'l Mandy A, consigned by Bluewater Sales.Results, Fasig-Tipton