When the Fasig-Tipton selected yearling sale kicks off in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., breeding industry professionals will be looking closely to see how offspring of first-crop sires fare.
Blame, champion older horse of 2010 whose three grade I victories included the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has the largest representation among first-crop sires with seven consigned to the Saratoga sale.
Bill Graves, vice president of recruiting and selections for Fasig-Tipton, said one reason there are so many Blame yearlings consigned to sale is because the selection team was offered a lot them for consideration to the sale. But they also looked the part, he said.
When first offered as weanlings at last year's Keeneland November sale, Blame's foals averaged $135,154 13 for the 13 sold.
"We saw an awful lot of Blames and we ended up with a group of uniform, good-looking yearlings," Graves said. "The Blames are extremely uniform. And Blame won the big one (Breeders' Cup Classic) so he's popular."
Craig Bandoroff, who with his wife, Holly, operates Denali Stud, said the Blame filly in his consignment "is a very, racey athletic filly."
Bandoroff said one reason he recommended a mating of the grade I-placed mare Solar Echo to Blame was because of his sire, Arch .
"I really like Arch," Bandoroff said. "They run here and they run well in Europe. That is a very big criteria for me when evaluating a stallion. I think she (Hip 127) is a very good advertisement for him."
Mark Taylor, of Taylor Made Sales, said his consignment's one Blame filly had been withdrawn from the sale, but that overall he is bullish on the Claiborne Farm stallion.
"They have been very tidy, clean-legged horses who are not overly big but look like runners," Taylor said of Blame's offspring. "I have high hopes for that horse. Sometimes, when they are weanlings they look good but then they do not go on to do as good as yearlings. But the Blames have continued on to look outstanding.
"It's hard to get a good one to come up here (to the Saratoga sale) and it's a strong statement about a stallion with the number he has."
Taylor said a filly (Hip 125) in the Taylor Made consignment sired by first-crop sire Warrior's Reward and produced from the French group II winner Smolensk is a good advertisement for her Spendthrift Farm sire.
"People are asking how did such a good mare end up going to a sire in that price range," Taylor said. "Spendthrift really supports their young stallions. They threw a mare at him who had won a lot of money and she did her job by producing a nice filly."
Among the first-crop sires with only one yearling in the Fasig-Tipton sale is multiple grade II winner Munnings, the Ashford Stud stallion with a colt (Hip 90) consigned by Select Sales.
"He is a very good representation of his sire," said Select Sales' Andrew Cary. "We wanted to be the only one in the sale and he's the right type of horse to do that. He has a great body--correct and with an athletic walk."
Taylor said the first-crop sires with yearlings in the Saratoga sale have been justifiably well-received.
"Overall I think it is a very strong first year group," he said, "especially when you consider what they did as racehorses."