The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling auction, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Lexington, should have more of a European flavor than usual. Terence Collier, the company's director of marketing, said on Sunday that the sale has attracted its largest contingent of European buyers in more than a decade.
"There are 20 to 25 individuals from Europe here that we don't usually see in July," he reported.
Collier traveled to England to promote the sale in June, spending more than a week in that country. Fasig-Tipton decided to make an extra effort to attract European buyers this year because of the recent success of American-bred runners in general and Fasig-Tipton graduates in particular on foreign soil.
On July 14, a $100,000 Fasig-Tipton July graduate of 2004, La Chunga, won the Cuisine de France Summer Stakes (Eng-III), and last year, she scored in the Albany Stakes (Eng-III). Another Fasig-Tipton July graduate, Sander Camillo, captured this year's Albany Stakes and won the Chippenham Lodge Stud Cherry Hinton Stakes (Eng-II) by five lengths on July 12. She sold for $160,000 at Fasig-Tipton last July.
Other lookers at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks facility prior to the this year's auction included representatives of Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation and Irish agent Demi O'Byrne, a member of the powerful Coolmore Stud team.
Among the horses attracting a lot of attention prior to the sale were Hip No. 217, a Forestry
-- Alizea's Song colt, and Hip No. 353, a Pulpit
-- Mayhavebeentheone colt. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, the beautifully balanced Forestry colt is the second foal out of an unraced Unbridled's Song
mare that is a full sister to grade I winner and hot young sire Songandaprayer
. The strapping Pulpit colt, consigned by Nursery Place, agent, is the first foal out of a 6-year-old unraced Arch
mare that is a half-sister to grade III winner Wiseman's Ferry
. Other family members include champion Outstandingly and grade I winner Sky Mesa
The sale starts each day at 10 a.m. Monday's session includes the New Sire Showcase that features the offspring of young sires.