The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training ended its two-day stand on Tuesday in Timonium, Md., with mixed results. On the positive side, the number sold and gross revenue both increased while the buy-back rate declined. The average price, however, suffered a moderate setback, and the median price fell significantly.
"In a 2-year-old market that has been spotty all year, I am very pleased to have come close to holding our average and to have our buyback rate go down while the gross has gone up," said Mason Grasty, executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic.
The 268 horses sold grossed $8,529,400 and averaged $31,826. The median was $21,000. Compared to 2000's final figures, the number sold and the gross were up by 12.1 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The average and median were down by 5.6 percent and 16.0 percent, respectively. Last year, 239 horses were sold for a gross of $8,054,000 and a sale-record average of $33,702. The median of $25,000 also established a sale mark.
This year's buy-back rate was 30.9 percent, with 120 of the 388 horses offered failing to find new homes. Last year's rate was 33.1 percent.
A muscular chestnut colt by Thunder Gulch, the sire of Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given, brought the sale's high price of $270,000. The colt is the first foal produced from the 6-year-old St. Jovite mare Jovi San, who is a half-sister to 1987 California Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) winner Flying Victor (by Flying Paster) and three other added-money winners.
Consigned by Niall Brennan, agent, the colt was purchased by New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace for Charles Hesse. The sale topper will be trained by John Kimmel.
"He's a nice, big, beautiful horse by a hot stallion," Chace said. "He looks like the type that will run long. I thought I would have to pay more for him."
The colt was owned by Rachel Holden, who is the assistant to owner Suzi Shoemaker at Lantern Hill Farm in Kentucky; Vicki Wilkins, who works at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky; and a partner whose name they declined to disclose. Holden purchased the colt as a weanling for $50,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November breeding stock sale with the intent of reselling him as a yearling. But the colt "wasn't quite right" when the 2000 Keeneland September yearling auction rolled around and a deal to sell him privately fell through, Holden said, so he ended up being offered as a juvenile. Because the colt got a late start on his breaking and training, Brennan recommended being patient and pointing him toward the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.
"Sometimes the little people come through," Holden said.