The market was robust at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 1 in Timonium, Md. The median price increased 29.7% from a year ago to equal the auction's record of $12,000, which had been established in 2004. The average price, meanwhile, grew 20.6%.
Even though the number of horses that were sold declined 16.9%, the gross was nearly the same as in 2011, rising less than 1%. The buy-back rate fell to 15.3% from 26.2% last year.
"It was a very solid sale and there were buyers at all levels," said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. "We had a very diverse representation of buyers from the Midlantic region and also some international participation. The Koreans were very active."
The final figures for the auction included a gross of $6,166,100 for the 276 yearlings that were sold. The average was $22,341.
The average rose for the third year in a row while reaching its highest point since 2007's figure of $23,225. The median advanced for the second straight year.
"A little bit of it is the overall (upward) trend in the marketplace," said Browning of the auction's strong performance. "We've waited for the supply and demand to get a little bit more in line and certainly there seems to be a little more urgency to buy horses now with the reduced numbers.
"Today, for the first time in several years, I thought there was a little bit of a bump and a bonus for the Maryland-breds," he continued. "People seemed to be desirous of buying Maryland-breds because of the purse enhancements that are in place for those horses. Other regional programs (in the area) are strong between the Delaware-certified, Pennsylvania-bred, New Jersey-bred, and New York-bred programs. There are a lot of good programs that are fed from horses coming out of this sale and that always helps."
A strapping daughter of Malibu Moon topped the Midlantic auction, commanding $300,000. Ellen Charles purchased the Virginia-bred filly from Rick and Dixie Abbott's Pennsylvania-based Charlton sales agency, which consigned her for Audley Farm Equine.
"She is a lovely, big, gray filly that stands over a lot of ground and has a great walk," Rick Abbott said. "Everybody loved her."
The yearling is a half sister to the winners Touch of Success (by Touch Gold ) and Noble Grey (by Forestry). Their dam, the winning Holy Bull mare Never Fail, finished second in the 2002 Three Ring Stakes and third in the 2004 Boots 'n Jackie Stakes at Calder Race Course (now Calder Casino & Race Course). Never Fail is a half sister to grade II winner and grade II producer How About Now (by Pentelicus).
A son of Street Sense was the second-highest-priced horse sold during the Midlantic auction, bringing $210,000. Jim Moloney/Irish Acres purchased the colt from Kentucky-based Paramount Sales, agent. The dark bay or brown yearling is out of two-time added-money winner Richbabe (by Richman) and is a half brother to 2006 Debutante Stakes (gr. III) winner Richwoman (by Successful Appeal ). He is a full brother to the winner Street Thug. Other family members include grade I winner Videogenic and grade II winner Ziggy's Boy.
The $210,000 yearling was bred in Kentucky.