The 2007 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall yearling sale ended its three-day run at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., Oct. 3 with an increase in average price and a smaller RNA rate, while the gross and median took a small dive.
For the sale, Fasig-Tipton reported 574 horses sold for $13,331,400, a decrease of 8.6% from last year. The average was $23,225, an increase of 4.8%, and the median dropped 13% to $10,000 compared to one year ago.
The number of horses not sold totaled 193 or 25.2% of the 767 hips that went through the auction ring. The number of horses not sold decreased 5.4% from last year's figure of 31.6% for the 304 horses that did not sell.
This year's sale saw 20.3% fewer horses go through the auction ring (76, compared with 962 last year).
Last year's sale saw 658 horses sell for $14,580,700. The average was $22,159 and the median $11,500. The number of horses not sold was 304 (31.6% of the number offered).
"Any time you are in the neighborhood of 25% (RNA rate), you are doing great," said Walt Robertson, Fasig-Tipton president. "This is just such a good, solid, honest market. For the horse-for-horse comparison, I see it being just exactly where it was last year. I am thankful that we did get more horses sold percentage-wise than we did a year ago."
For the day, the 205 horses sold grossed $4,451,500. The average was $21,715 and the median $9,500. Fifty-five horses did not sell.
In 2006, the final session saw 212 horses sell for $4,853,500. The average was $22,894 and the median $11,500. The number of horses not sold totaled 101.
The session was topped by a $200,000 son of Malibu Moon , Blue Malibu, purchased by Charles and Elaine Bassford of Memory Lane Farm from the consignment of Bill Reightler, agent for Frank and Virginia Wright's Huntingfields. The $200,000 pricetag made him the auction's most expensive colt.
Bassford said he was interested in the colt based on his sire and thought he was a well-balanced individual.
"We will probably keep him home for about six weeks and decide whether or not to keep him at home or send him South," said Bassford, who indicated he has no trainer in mind for his session-topping colt.
"I want to decide how he looks going forward before I decide (to) which trainer he will be sent," he said. "If he looks exceptional, with Maryland racing in the shambles it is in now, he may have to be sent elsewhere."
Bred in Maryland, Blue Malibu was produced from the stakes-winning Conquistador Cielo mare Blue Sky Princess, the dam of stakes winner and West Virginia stallion Inner Harbour and Tessa Blue, who will start in the Indiana Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park Oct. 5.
Last year Huntingfields, through Reightler, sold the auction's second-highest-priced offering, a $200,000 half-sister to this year's top-priced colt. The filly, named Crimson Hope (by Forestry ), was purchased by Florida pinhookers Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd.
The Wrights still own Blue Sky Princess, who produced a St. Liam colt March 9 and is currently in foal to First Samurai.
The top-priced filly of the sale, which came in session two, was a $325,000 Kentucky-bred daughter of Stormy Atlantic consigned by Welker Sales Agency.
The filly, bred in partnership by Bayne and Christina Welker and Louisa Lenehan's Lochlow Farm, was produced from the Indian Charlie mare Princess Birdeye, who is still owned by Welker and is in foal to Lion Heart.