They say timing is everything. And the timing couldn't be more perfect for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile auction, which starts Monday at Timonium in Maryland. It begins just two days after the Preakness (gr. I), which was won by one of the auction's graduates, Afleet Alex. He sold for $75,000 during last year's edition.
"It's always a thrill when one of your sale graduates wins a classic race," said Fasig-Tipton executive Boyd Browning on Sunday. "It puts a little bounce in everybody's step. On a long-term basis, it will probably help us. It continues to provide confidence to buyers and sellers that Timonium is absolutely a legitimate place to buy and sell a nice horse; Declan's Moon (a 2004 Eclipse Award winner) came out of our yearling sale here."
This year's catalogue has more horses than ever before, 626, and it also has some attractive prospects pedigree-wise. There are 2-year-olds by such sires Storm Cat
and Unbridled's Song
"I think we'll see a little deeper buyer base than we've seen in previous years because of the strength of the catalogue and the success of this sale's graduates," Browning predicted. "A few of the nice horses in here were bought back at previous sales because they weren't quite mature physically or mentally ready. But I think the bulk of the nicer horses here are 'fresh horses.' People specifically are pointing better horses to this sale."
Florida pinhooker Robert Scanlon sold Afleet Alex at Fasig-Tipton Mdilantic as agent. He also sold More Smoke, winner of the Lafayette Stakes (gr. III).
"I'm optimistic; I think this is going to be a good sale," said Robert Scanlon's son, David. "There's a lot going on around here with the Preakness and with Afleet Alex coming out of this sale, it's a created a good aura. Plus, this sale, being in Maryland, is very accessible to trainers from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. I call it a trainers' sale because a lot of trainers come here. I've seen a lot of regulars already, and that's a positive sign."
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale runs for two days, with each session beginning at 11 a.m. (EDT).