Fasig-Tipton is shortening its Saratoga select yearling auction from three nights to two. This year's edition of the auction is scheduled for Aug. 9 and 10, a Tuesday and a Wednesday, in New York. The previous schedule was Tuesday through Thursday."This format reflects the changing nature of the auction environment," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson. "Both buyers and sellers have expressed interest in compressing the level of activity at Saratoga into two evenings. This does not reflect an anticipated reduction in the number of horses. We will start each session at 7 p.m. (EDT) and can comfortably sell a similar number of yearlings as in the past."The Saratoga sale experienced declines last year in gross revenue, average price, and median price, but there have been discussions about changing its format "for three to five years," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. In recent years, he explained, sale participants have become less concerned about socializing and more concerned about getting their business completed in a quick and efficient manner. Increased session size also will provide more opportunity to build up bidding momentum, he added.
Prospective buyers, consignors, and Fasig-Tipton officials were cautiously optimistic prior to the Saratoga select yearling sale's starte even though the stock market and the Thoroughbred marketplace in general have lost momentum lately.