The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling might struggle like nearly every other Thoroughbred auction this year, but at least the buyers and consignors will have a newly renovated sale pavilion to enjoy Oct. 5 and 6 in Timonium, Md. According to Fasig-Tipton officials, there will be dramatic changes in the appearance of the once drab facility.
“I’ve been going up there for a long time – probably 30 years – and I don’t know that any major improvements were ever made during that time,” said Fasig-Tipton chairman Walt Robertson. “It’s going to be a whole new world, from catering to offices to the pavilion itself. Hopefully, at the end of the day, it’s a lot nicer place to do business and user friendly. I’ve seen pictures of it, and it’s beautiful.”
There are 670 horses cataloged for the auction, and the total is down 28% from 2008, when there were 930 horses in the book and the sale was three days long.
“It has always been a great market for trainers from the Northeast,” Robertson said. “We’ve also always been fortunate enough to have a good number of pinhookers and some action from the Midwest and the West Coast. A buyer can find a horse at just about any level, whether it’s $200,000 to $300,000 or $30,000 to $40,000.”
Red-hot stallion Medaglia d'Oro has three offspring cataloged, and the highly-regarded Tapit has six. Other successful studs with progeny listed includeNorthern Afleet , ranked eighth as of Oct. 2 on North America’s list of leading sires by progeny earnings; Tale of the Cat , ranked ninth; and Unbridled's Song , ranked 10th.
“A good horse is still worth a lot of money, but I haven’t seen a market yet that was as easy as it was two or three years ago,” Robertson said. “We’ve had a hard time selling the horses that are just OK, and I can’t see any reason for it to be different in Maryland. But having said that, we have some yearlings representing fantastic sires and there will be some horses that really sell well.”
The auction will start at 10 a.m. (EDT) each day.
Last year, the sale suffered downturns of 38.4% in gross revenue, 26.8% in average price, and 10% in median price. The buy-back rate rose from 25.2% in 2007 to 35.9% in 2008.