A sharp rise in buybacks tempered a minimal increase in prices during the select portion of opening day of the Texas summer yearling sale at Lone Star Park on Monday.
Topping the sale was a Holy Bull filly purchased by the Gibraltar Group for $95,000. The filly was sold by Bruce and Joan Buechner's NoName Ranch, agent. The Kentucky-bred filly was purchased by the Buechners in the name of Nagold Bloodstock for $13,500 at Keeneland last November. The filly was produced from Queen of Bronze, the dam of stakes winner Danzig Queen.
Michael Mollica signed the ticket for the filly on behalf of the Gibraltar Group, which he described as a new partnership that will be based on the East Coast. Mollica said he has retired as a California-based trainer and will manage the partnership's horses from a base in Ocala, Fla.
Second-highest price was the $90,000 paid by William Clifton of Waco, Texas, for a filly by Boston Harbor out of Forumstar consigned by Kathryn Earley Thoroughbreds. From the second crop of Boston Harbor, the Kentucky-bred filly is a half sister to three stakes winners, including Champ's Star.
The top price for a colt was the $85,000 paid by William Heiligbrodt of Houston for a son of leading freshman sire Valid Expectations out of Andy's Bonus. The colt was consigned by Highclere Sales, agent.
Leading buyers during the select session were Miles Childers and Ed Right of Amarillo, Texas. With trainer Bernie Flint advising them, the two purchased six yearlings for a total of $264,000.
A total of 74 yearlings were sold during the select session for a gross of $1,841,600, an average of $24,886 (up 2.1% from last year), and a median of $18,000. Forty two of the 116 offered, 36 percent, failed to meet their reserve prices. Last year the average was $24,273 for the 78 sold from a gross of $1,901,100. The 2000 median was $17,500 and last year's buyback rate was just 26%. Two yearlings brought bids in excess of six figures during the 2000 select auction.
Monday's open session saw a similar trend with an increase in buybacks and a small advance in prices. Fifty-five of the 77 yearlings offered during the open session sold for $277,100, an average of $5,038. That's a 5.2% jump in average price, but the percentage of horses bought back by consignors reached 28.6%, up from 20.5% in the first open session last year.
The sale concludes on Tuesday. It is conducted by Fasig-Tipton in conjunction with the Texas Thoroughbred Association.