The Saratoga fall mixed and horses of racing age sale generated results that were encouraging to Fasig-Tipton officials who added the auction to their company's schedule this year.
"We consider it a success because at the end of the day, it exceeded our initial expectations, which certainly were tempered going into new territory," said Bayne Welker, Fasig-Tipton's vice president of sales.
The inaugural edition of the auction was held Oct. 9 in upstate New York.
Fasig-Tipton reported that the sale grossed $1,933,600 and averaged $16,249. The median price was $12,000 for the 119 horses that were sold. The buy-back rate was 40.8%, with 82 horses failing to find new homes.
"The traffic, especially for the weanlings and the horses of racing age, was very good," Welker said. "When the stock was good, the sales were good. I think broodmares in any market, especially regional markets, are still going to be tough. But when they were mares that had either updates (in their pedigrees) or something going for them in their produce, there was fair trade there."
Closing Move, a 3-year-old daughter of Bernardini , commanded the sale's top price of $100,000. Thomas Voss purchased the Kentucky-bred bay filly from trainer Tom Albertrani, agent. She was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.
As a homebred racing for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, Closing Move finished second twice and third twice in six races. She is a full sister to the winner Opening Move.
Their dam, Show Me the Roses (by Storm Cat), finished second once and third once in seven career races. She is a half sister to Johannesburg (by Hennessy), who won an Eclipse Award as 2001's champion 2-year-old male and also was a champion in Europe.
A Munnings weanling filly brought the auction's second-highest price of $67,000. Bernard Stables bought the New York-bred youngster from Vinery Sales, agent.
A member of her sire's first crop, the chestnut filly is the second reported foal out of That's Ok (by Not For Love ). That's Ok is a full sister to Forever Partners, who captured the 2002 Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park. In addition, Forever Partners finished second in the 2002 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III). That's Ok also is a half sister to added-money winner Pal's Partner (by Rakeen).
"Sale day was extremely well attended," Welker said. "The sale pavilion was full; the restaurant was full. (Fasig-Tipton president) Boyd Browning and I stepped out on the balcony (overlooking the sale grounds) for the last two horses, and both of us were amazed at the amount of people still standing in the back when the hammer fell on the last horse."
A video lottery terminal casino opened at Aqueduct last year, and revenues from its operation have boosted purses and breeders' program incentives in the Empire State. That development helped make New York attractive to Fasig-Tipton as a fall sale site for broodmares, broodmare prospects, weanlings, and racehorses. The company sells yearlings in August at its Saratoga Springs facility, which also hosted the Oct. 9 auction.
"We're very committed to this sale," Welker said. "We're excited about being here and working with the New York program and growing as it does. It's also a date that works on our calendar."