Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 309 horses --down 13.0% from last year's total of 355-- for its Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, which will be conducted Feb. 28 at Calder Race Course.
A reduction in size might seem like an unusual development for an auction that last year generated the highest gross revenue, average price, and median price for any juvenile sale in history. But according to Terence Collier, Fasig-Tipton's director of marketing, sale company officials thought it was the most prudent thing to do even though the 2005 edition also set a world record for the most expensive juvenile ever sold when a Tale of the Cat
– Carry All colt, now named Ever Shifting, brought $5.2 million.
"Along with our consignors, I think we've been a little more discerning because there certainly were signs in certain parts of last year's market that maybe supply was outstripping demand," Collier said. "A $5-million 2-year-old in a sale with a limited number of horses does an awful lot to help the statistics, but you've got to look at the overall picture. What we've tried to do is weed out the sort of horses that were finding it a little difficult to find a niche in this market. It was a deliberate part of our program."
Even though the group of juveniles is somewhat smaller than in 2005, the quality is very high in Collier's estimation.
"We have an exceptional group of horses nominated to the sale," he said. "We're also optimistic because the state of the bloodstock industry right now, the performance of our graduates, and the fine-tuning of our selection process."
Graduates from last year's Fasig-Tipton Calder auction include probable 2-year-old champion and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Stevie Wonderboy, Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) winner Diplomat Lady, and Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Adieu.