A Tapit filly purchased for $550,000 as a weanling was briefly the star on the first night of Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga select yearling sale Aug. 4 before she was upstaged several hips later by another Tapit filly, who topped trading at $1.15 million.
Hip 81, a Tapit filly out of champion She Be Wild grabbed headlines late in the sale when she brought the evening's highest price from Solis/Litt Bloodstock.
Offered by Bluewater Sales, agent, the gray or roan filly is the second foal from She Be Wild, champion 2-year-old filly of 2009. The first foal from the daughter of Offlee Wild, Shebealittlewild, is a 2-year-old--also by Tapit—who has not started yet.
Mike and Nancy Mazzoni, who bred, raised and raced She Be Wild, bred the top-selling filly in Kentucky.
On a night that saw only seven horses fail to meet their reserve out of a total of 71 that went through the ring, eight horses sold for $500,000 or more, and two topped the $1 million mark, both of them fillies by Gaineway's leading sire Tapit.
"It was a terrific sale," said Boyd Browning, president and CEO of Fasig-Tipton. "There was a lot of interest from a diverse group of buyers.
"We're dealing with a very professional group of buyers and sellers. Sellers are realistic in setting reserves, and buyers have confidence that consignors are treating them fairly well."
Hip 69, a Tapit filly out of the winning Tiznow mare Rote, was the first to hit the seven-figure mark, selling for $1 million to Nat Rea's Regis Farms.
The gray or roan filly, bred in Kentucky by Marbat, was purchased as a weanling at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale last year by John Stuart's Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services as agent for Merriebelle Stable. The youngster is the first foal from her dam. The filly's second dam, Song to Remember, by Storm Cat, produced grade I stakes winner Magnificent Song.
John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, purchased seven horses for a total of $3.275 million, including Hip 58, a Medaglia d'Oro colt out of the Distorted Humor mare Passion du Coeur for $675,000, and Hip 29, a Distorted Humor colt out of Joanie's Catch, by First Tour, for $550,000. Ferguson was not in attendance, but the bidding was done by a team that included Darley America's president Jimmy Bell, chief operating officer Dan Pride, and Darley CEO Oliver Tait.
Though Tapit was clearly the sire of the evening, with his two offspring selling for a combined $2.15 million, the four offered progeny of Darley's Central Kentucky sire Medaglia d'Oro also attracted interest, selling for a combined $1.665 million.
Overall, 64 horses sold for total receipts of $18,267,000, up 16.6% from last year when 50 horses sold at the opening session. The average of $285,422 dropped 9% and a median of $232,500 decreased by 14.7%.
But the real indicator of the success of the sale, said Browning, lay in the buyback rate of just under 10%, a number unprecedented, he said, in his years in the auction business. The seven horses that failed to meet their reserve this year plummeted more than 50% from last year's 17 that went unsold on the night of the sale.
Browning also pointed to the "overall consistent quality" of the horses that consignors brought to Saratoga this summer.
"You bring a good horse here, you will be rewarded," he said. "It's worked for almost 100 years."