Bedford Land, a 2-year-old daughter of Speightstown , was purchased by Three Chimneys Farm for $1,075,000 to top the July 14 Fasig-Tipton summer selected horses of racing age sale in Lexington.
For the session, FTK reported 109 horses sold for total receipts of $8,426,000, compared with a total paid $5,819,000 paid for 55 head during a much smaller sale a year ago. The average price of $77,303 reflected a 26.9% decline from the 2013 average of $105,800 and the median fell from $45,000 a year ago to $35,000.
Bedford Land was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for the dispersal of Eugene Melnyk's Melnyk Racing Stables.
Chris Baker signed the ticket for Bedford Land, who was produced from the grade I-winning Silver Deputy mare Pool Land. He said the farm paid more for Bedford Land than they would have liked, but that in this marketplace you sometimes have to do that to get the horses you want.
"We're hoping we didn't overpay," Baker said, citing the filly's pedigree and ownership as reasons Three Chimneys was attracted to her. "Time will tell. Based on the way everything is selling, anything that is quality or is perceived to be quality is going to be expensive."
Baker said it is uncertain who will train Bedford Land, noting that the goal will be to "win grade I's (stakes) and produce grade I winners."
Trained by Mark Casse, Bedford Land won her career debut going 4 1/2 furlongs June 22 at Churchill Downs and earned $26,400.
FT president Boyd Browning said sales company officials were pleased with the results of the horses of racing age sale as well as the summer yearling sale and a sale of Melnyk dispersal broodmares and weanlings held earlier July 14.
"It was a full day of selling; there is depth within the marketplace," Browning said. "It's always refreshing to start off a new sales cycle with an active and vibrant marketplace. There were lots of new faces participating in this sale for us. "There is not unbridled enthusiasm, but there is still a lot of enthusiasm for quality offerings. I think the top end of the marketplace was certainly very, very strong today."
He said the horses of racing age sale, held for the second time in conjunction with the annual summer yearling sale, has proven to be a successful format.
"The horses of racing age sale has become an important part of the July sales market," Browning said. "It's not a segregated (equine sales) world. The buyers are going to bid on some yearlings and they are going to bid on some racehorses. Some of them even bid on some weanlings and mares. There is no question there is a niche in the marketplace for the horses of racing age (sale)."
Tizcano, the last horse through the ring, was sold for the session's second-highest price of $710,000. He is a 2-year-old son of Tiznow who has won his only career start for owner Oscar Diaz and trainer Michael Yates.
Consigned by Shadybrook Farm, with Yates as agent, the colt was produced from the grade II-winning Gone West mare Westerly Breeze and was bought by David Lanzman and Rockingham Ranch, with Raymie Lightner signing the ticket. Lanzman, who was on the phone with Lightner as the bidding took place, said the colt will be trained by Peter Miller.
The sale's third-highest price of $600,000 came late in the session when WinStar Farm president and CEO Elliott Walden went to that figure to acquire the multiple grade I-placed Street Girl, a daughter of the WinStar stallion Street Hero, on behalf of Maverick Racing.
Consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, the 4-year-old filly has won or placed in eight of 18 starts and earned $388,476. Winner of the 2012 Calder Oaks, the filly placed second in this year's Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and was third in the 2013 Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
Hillaby, a 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor also trained by Casse, was purchased by Stonestreet Stables for $500,000 earlier in the session.
The filly, produced from the Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill, an earner of more than $1.2 million, was sold by Taylor Made Sales Agency as part of the Melnyk Racing Stables dispersal. The filly is coming off two consecutive victories at Woodbine this year that improved her record to 2-1-1 from four starts, with earnings of $91,892.
John Moynihan, who signed the ticket on behalf of Stonestreet, said the Ontario-bred filly would remain with trainer Casse.
"She looks like she's sitting on the verge of being a stakes horse," Moynihan said. "We'll take a shot and see what happens. She's got a great pedigree. She's by Distorted Humor, who is a great broodmare sire."
Casse said he was not only pleased to be retaining Hillaby in his stable but also glad to have the opportunity to train for Stonestreet.
Just before signing the ticket on Bedford Land, Baker, on behalf of Three Chimneys, went to $470,000 to acquire Bath Village, an unraced 2-year-old daughter of Marchfield, also from the Melnyk dispersal.
The filly's second dam, Felicita, by Rubiano, is the dam of multiple grade I winner Take Charge Lady, who in turn produced champion Will Take Charge and grade I winner Take Charge Indy.