Bigger was better for the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred sale at Saratoga that ended on Monday night. During the auction that was expanded from one day last year to two this year, 108 horses were sold for a gross of $5,345,500, an average of $49,495, and a median of $35,000. Compared to a year ago, the number sold, gross, and average were up by 24.1%, 50.3%, and 14.1%, respectively. The median was up by 11.1%. The buy-back rate fell from 35.9% last year to 33.3% this year.
The $300,000 sale topper, a Tale of the Cat filly, was the second-highest-priced yearling ever sold at the auction. (The record, set in 1999, was $360,000.) She was sold during Monday's session to New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, who was acting on the behalf of Ernie Paragallo's Paraneck Stable. Consigned by Eaton & Thorne, the filly was produced from the unraced Unbridled mare Unbridled Bird, who is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Billy Osage (by Superbity), grade III stakes-placed Wild Dancer, and stakes producer Scotch Final.
"I just thought she was really the tops," said Chace of the filly. "She's bigger than most Tale of the Cat fillies that I've seen, and I really liked how she was bred. I think the Unbridled put some leg under her. She looks like she is going to be a really nice racehorse."
Said Chace of the auction: "It was a great sale. "There were a lot of nice horses there and a lot of people. The prices were realistic, and people were really enthused."