The Fasig-Tipton preferred sale of New York-bred yearlings concluded Aug. 10 on a positive note, with the overall two-day average increasing 11% and the median up 18% over the same sale at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a year ago.
The sales company reported 176 horses were sold for $14,099,000, down slightly from the $14,206,000 gross a year ago for 196 head. The average was $80,108 and the median came in at $65,000. A total of 96 horses failed to meet their reserve, a 35% overall rate, compared with a 25% RNA rate a year ago.
The sale-topper was a Lookin At Lucky filly out of the Pleasant Colony mare Rose Rhapsody for $270,000 consigned by Rhapsody Farm and Hidden Lake Farm purchased by Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm during the closing session.
"I was determined to get her," said Pope. "She's a very lovely filly, well balanced, with a good mind on her."
The sale-topper is a half sister to Plumb Line, a winning daughter of Mr. Greeley who has produced three stakes winners, including multiple grade I winner Zazu and grade II winner Flashback .
In demand Sunday were offspring of WinStar Farm freshman sire Super Saver , who was represented by two winners earlier in the day at Saratoga Race Course. On Sunday evening across the street at the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds, three of his offspring sold for a combined $600,000 at the New York-bred preferred yearling sale.
Ranked first on the first-crop sire list, Super Saver got his first graded stakes winner when I Spent It (Rateeba, by Sky Mesa ) won the Saratoga Special (gr. II) at the historic track hours before the sale began.
Among the purchasers of Super Saver progeny was Maverick Racing, which purchased a colt out of the unraced Tartan Lady (Malibu Moon ) for $180,000. Maverick is associated with WinStar, which raced the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner.
"He's just a nice Super Saver colt," said WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden of Hip 499. "I'm a little partial to them."
One hip later, Hubert Guy Bloodstock, which purchased the session-topping $250,000 Tizway filly on Saturday night, went to $230,000 for a Super Saver colt out of That's OK, a Not For Love mare who is a full sister to stakes winner and grade I-placed Forever Partners and a half sister to stakes winner Pal's Partner. The colt was consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, agent.
Earlier in the evening, Nick de Meric paid $190,000 for a Super Saver filly consigned by Hidden Brook, agent. The filly was produced from the grade III-winning Wildcat Heir mare Richiegirlgonewild.
"Obviously Super Saver is off to a flying start," said de Meric. "We had a nice winner in the first race today by Super Saver and then of course the Special, so I think he's a sire to watch for sure."
"That's the beauty of the auction process at this time of year," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton president and CEO. "You get some timely updates. But those horses were popular last night and this afternoon at 3 o'clock (before the Special)."
"For the most part," said Browning, "this is similar to what we anticipated. There's good demand for quality horses and a diverse group of buyers. Overall, it's pretty healthy."
The higher RNA rate might be, he said, a result of consignors being willing to keep horses, either to sell them at Saratoga in October or to race themselves in the lucrative New York-bred racing and breeding program.
He also acknowledged that the lower end of the market had become less affordable over the last few years.
"People that maybe used to come with $ 25,000 and had a chance to buy a quality horse, as the median has moved up," he said, "there are fewer buyers here at the bottom end than there would have been two or three years ago."
"This is an expensive place to be in the month of August if you're on a budget and looking for a bargain," he added. "It's probably not realistic to expect it if the market is good."
The average for the 84 horses sold on Sunday night was $85,298, up 10% from the same session last year.
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