A record-setting $430,000 yearling was the highlight of a powerful Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, which ended its two-night run on a tremendous upswing for the third year in a row.
The Aug. 11 closing session brought the total of horses sold for $100,000 or more during the sale to 43 compared to 20 last year, propelling the climb in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Cumulative totals for the sale were up 65% from 2012; 196 horses sold for a total of $14,206,000 compared to $8,632,000 from 138 horses sold last year. The average climbed 16% to $72,480 versus $62,551 last year, while the median rose 10% to $55,000 from $50,000.
"Obviously, we concluded a tremendous horse sale tonight," Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. "The most startling stat is that when you also roll it back another year, in 2011 the gross was $6.7 million. So in two years, the gross more than doubled."
Overall RNA rate was down from 38.1% in 2012 to 25.5% for the sale in 2013. This year, 67 horses did not sell compared to 85 in 2012.
"You can see the enthusiasm breeders feel, people at the racetrack feel...it demonstrates the power that comes from cooperation between constituents, and we're thrilled to be a part of it," Browning said. "I know they'll continue to work hard and we'll continue to work hard to grow the program in New York."
Gary Biszantz of Cobra Farm purchased the sale-topper, a bay daughter of Tapit consigned by Gainesway and bred by Marbat out of the More Than Ready mare Miss Challenge, on night two of the sale. According to Fasig-Tipton officials, the previous record for a New York-bred sold at the Saratoga sale was $360,000 spent on Big Boyd, a son of Forest Wildcat purchased in 1999 by Buzz Chace, agent.
"Cobra Farm is a little farm but we love the game, been at it a long time, had some really good horses, and we're trying to improve our breeding stock a little bit," Biszantz said. "She's the kind of filly that has the pedigree, and being a New York-bred, she's got a chance to be something special for us as a broodmare when she's done. To be able to breed her would be very exciting for us.
'I've had a lot of good horses, but not any fillies better than her...She's just well-balanced, beautiful, great pedigree, does everything right, and being a New York-bred she should stand out up here. She'll be very fun for us."
The record-setting filly was accepted to the Aug. 5-6 Saratoga selected yearling sale, but her connections decided to place her in the New York-bred sale.
"We thought she might stand out here and hopefully bring a premium," said Brian Graves, director of public sales for Gainesway. "We thought we'd have a chance to top the sale while she'd be a mid-range horse in the other sale."
Antony Beck of Gainesway said, "It's good to have a New York-bred for Tapit because he's such a sensational sire. It will be interesting to see what she can do. She was a very athletic filly and I wish Cobra Farm every good fortune."
Everett Dobson of Cheyenne Stable signed the ticket for the second-highest-priced yearling of the night, Hip 392, a $300,000 Speightstown filly bred by Lawrence Goichman out of the Chief's Crown mare My Reem, and consigned by Indian Creek, agent. The chestnut yearling joined Hip 207, a War Front filly purchased by Steve Young during session I, as the second-highest-priced yearlings of the overall sale.
"First of all, she looked like a Speightstown, a very racy, classic, elegant Speightstown," Dobson said. "I love Speightstown; I think everyone does. He's just a remarkable stallion. She had all the parts, a very powerful filly, and we're going to have a lot of fun with her."
During the final session, 101 yearlings were sold for a gross of $7,778,500, up 56% from 74 sold for $4,975,000 from night two last year. The average rose 14.6% to $77,015 compared to $67,230 in 2012, and the median was up 19.6% at $55,000 compared to $46,000 in 2012. The buy-back rate was 22% versus 33% last year.
"The New York breeders have recognized the upside and the rewards of raising a quality horse," Browning said. "If they improve the quality of their horses, there's a dramatic improvement in the quality of the sales ring. It's been a solid marketplace for many years, but some of the traditional New York breeders saw the opportunities and saw they were going to have to do a better job, and they have done a better job.
"This is far and away the best group of physical horses in the New York-bred sale that we've ever had."