The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction ended with an impressive display of financial fireworks Sunday evening in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Seven horses sold for $100,000 or more apiece, raising the total for the two-night sale to 12, all colts. The big prices helped boost the auction's gross revenue by 6.4% from a year ago and lifted the average price by 10.6% to an all-time high for the sale of $52,421.
"This is the first time we've ever gotten over $50,000 for the average," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "It's kind of one of those stair steps you work towards. You go from $20,000 to $25,000, and then you try to get over $30,000, maybe to $40,000, and then to $50,000. I think it (a $50,000 average) helps to give some folks in this marketplace some confidence and gives the marketplace a little bit more credibility. It's a nice accomplishment."
The 101 horses sold grossed $5,294,500. Last year, 105 horses brought $4,975,500. The buy-back rate fell from 42.6% last year to 37.7% this year, indicating that consignors were more satisfied with the prices.
However, the median price of $35,000 represented a 22.2% setback from 2005's sale-record figure of $45,000.
Browning preferred to emphasize the positive, saying the average crossing the $50,000 level represented "a step forward." According to the Fasig-Tipton executive, "People are more optimistic on Aug. 13, 2006, than they have been in a long time that the VLTs (video lottery terminals) are going to be in play in the state of New York (at Aqueduct) at some point in time, and it will have to help the purse structure."
A colt from the first crop of the Dixieland Band
stallion Hook and Ladder sold for $230,000 during Sunday's second session to top the auction. New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace purchased the bay yearling for fellow New Jersey resident Al Gold, who is in the real estate business.
"He has all the parts in the right places," said Chace of the colt. "He looks like he's fast. There's some 'stretch out' in his family, so he could be more than a sprinter. I thought we would have to pay a little more money for him; I really did. We were going to buy him, unless it went really crazy. We really liked him."
The sale-topping colt is the first foal out of the winning 7-year-old In Excess
mare Moneymakinmama, who is a full sister to 2002 California Breeders' Champion Stakes winner Pocketfullofpesos. Moneymakinmama is a half-sister to Canadian added-money winner Quiet Cash, who finished second in the 2005 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III).
Lakland North, a New York farm owned by Florida pinhooker Becky Thomas in partnership with Lewis and Brenda Lakin, consigned the Hook and Ladder
colt as agent for his breeders, Chester and Mary Broman. Hook and Ladder stands at Lakland North. Hook and Ladder won the 2001 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap (gr. II) and the 2002 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) for the Bromans after Chester Broman purchased him for $800,000 in July of 2000 from the estate of Marshall Naify during the 505 Farms dispersal at Barretts. At the time, Hook and Ladder was a 3-year-old, had raced twice, and had won once.
The results for the preferred sale's second session only were 49 horses sold for a gross of $2,652,000, an average of $54,122, and a median of $35,000. During last year's second session, 50 horses brought a gross of $2,491,500, an average of $49,830, and a median of $50,000.