While the plunging economy was pounding other mixed sales late in 2008, the Fasig-Tipton November select auction generated spectacular results. The gross revenue rose 35.1% from the previous year while the average price and median prices increased 58.8% and 38.9%, respectively.
Better Than Honour, who wasn't in foal, set a world Thoroughbred auction record for a broodmare with her $14-million price, and Stardom Bound, who later would be honored as a champion, brought $5.7 million in the wake of her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
With the bar set so high, it will be a challenge for Fasig-Tipton to equal or surpass 2008’s performance Nov. 10 in Lexington. The auction will begin at 5 p.m. (EST).
While it’s unrealistic to expect to have a horse of Better Than Honour’s caliber every year, according to Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning, he’s still looking forward to this year’s edition of the auction.
“We’ve got another outstanding catalog with a ton of high quality horses, both broodmares and weanlings as well as fillies and mares that still have racing potential,” Browning said. “We probably have the best group of weanlings that we’ve had in many, many years. There continues to be a lot of demand for quality horses, and the quality offerings have been what we’ve seen hold up better than most segments of the market.
"But while we’ve done our job and gotten select horses that have quality,” he continued, “we’re not ignorant of the realities of the marketplace. We know that it has not been an easy year in terms of the overall success at the yearling sales. Still, we’re seeing people who think there is probably a good opportunity to replenish their broodmare bands. I’ve had some discussions with several folks who have said it might be a good time to buy quality mares.”
There Fasig-Tipton November catalog has 153 horses, a total that is down 18.6% from last year’s figure of 188. As of Nov. 8, 35 horses had been scratched, according to information posted on the company’s Web site: www.fasigtipton.com.
Broodmare and/or racing prospects consigned to the auction include 2008 Spinaway (gr. I) winner Mani Bhaven; 2008 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Laragh; and Magical Fantasy, who scored the Del Mar Oaks (gr.IT) in 2008 and the John C. Mabee (gr. IT) and Gamely (gr. IT) Stakes this year.
Champion Ginger Punch, who is in foal to Bernardini , and My White Corvette, the dam of champion Stardom Bound and in foal to Unbridled's Song , are among the broodmares in the Fasig-Tipton sale. Others include grade I winner Honey Ryder (in foal to Ghostzapper ); grade I winner Lady Joanne (in foal to Tiznow ); grade I winner Sugar Shake (in foal to Bernardini); Sweet Trip (in foal to Tapit), the dam of grade I winner Rail Trip; Temperence Gift (in foal to Medaglia d'Oro ), the dam of grade I winner Gozzip Girl; and Holiday Runner (in foal to Tiznow), the dam of grade I winner Seventh Street.
Among the weanlings consigned to the Fasig-Tipton auction are an Unbridled’s Song filly that is a full sister to grade I winner Octave; a Bernardini filly that is a half-sister to grade I winner Film Maker; and a Proud Citizen colt that is a half-brother to grade I winner Commentator.
Also cataloged is grade III winner Above Perfection, the dam of grade I winner Hot Dixie Chick, and her weanling colt by Hard Spun . The mare is back in foal to Hard Spun.
“There are plenty of nice weanlings to see in the catalog (based on pedigrees), and I’m looking forward to the sale,” said Kentucky bloodstock agent Julie Cauthen, “There also are many nice broodmare prospects, too. I think the mares are where you are going to really get a lot of value.”