Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., concluded its two-day run on May 20 with mixed results.
Following an opening session on May 19 that experienced across-the-board gains in all economic categories, the sale's second session saw final figures decline when compared to last year's numbers.
A total of 161 juveniles changed hands in the second session for gross sales of $8,048,000 compared to 128 head sold in the corresponding session a year ago for $9,440,000. The session's average of $49,988 dropped 32% from last year's second session average of $73,750. Median price was $30,000, a 35.4% drop from $46,500 last year.
Forty-two horses were reported as not sold in the session, up from 17 listed as not sold in the second session a year ago.
Responding to the drop in the second session's figures compared to last year's results, Paget Bennett, Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales director, said, "It's just the way the catalog fell. It's the way the book played out."
All told over two days, 329 head sold for gross sales of $19,601,000, an increase of 17.5% over total sales of $16,675,000 on 249 head sold in 2013, and the highest gross for the sale since 2006 when 370 juveniles sold for $21,236,500.
"I think it was a great horse sale," said Bennett. "We had a lot of nice horses. The consignors were confident to bring their good horses here, and we had buyers who are confident they can buy good horses here. It all lined up."
Overall, sale average decreased 11% to $59,578 from $66,968 last year. Median price was $31,000, down 22.5% from $40,000 in 2013.
Two youngsters, each selling for $425,000, topped proceedings during the final session.
Hip No. 450, a chestnut filly by Speightstown consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent, sold to Ellen Charles.
Out of the graded stakes-placed Old Trieste mare Sandra's Rose, the filly was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. Stonestreet sold the horse for $165,000 to Beacon Street Stable through the Three Chimney Sales consignment at last year's Keeneland September sale.
"She is a beautiful, handsome filly," said Charles of the filly who will be trained by Rodney Jenkins. "She was better than anything we've seen all day. She was my choice of the day. We are excited to get her. This is a very strong market."
Racing under Hillwood Stable, Charles, a granddaughter of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the founder of General Foods, campaigns the graded stakes winner Bandbox . That son of Tapit captured this year's General George Handicap (gr. III) at Laurel Park for Jenkins.
Brennan was confident the filly, who breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 at the under-tack preview, would represent herself well in the ring.
"She's an example of what the top end of the market is like," Brennan said. "She's a beautiful filly by one of the best sires in the country. She's a great physical by a proven sire, and she trained like it. I came up here with a lot of confidence. This is as nice a filly as I've had this year.
"You have to step up to buy these kinds," Brennan added. "There were several people interested in her. There was a lot of competition for her. We're very happy Ellen Charles got her."
Chris Brothers of Xavier International Bloodstock, on behalf of Paul Pompa Jr., signed the ticket for Hip No. 455, a gray or roan colt from the first crop of Desert Party consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.
Out of the winning Olympio mare Satinet, the colt is a half brother to multiple stakes winner and grade I stakes-placed Britt's Jules, stakes winner Probation Ready, and stakes-placed runners Social Probation and Dirty Rush.
Bred in Kentucky by Chris and Kirt Cahill, the colt breezed a bullet quarter mile in :21 at the under-track preview.
Bought by Bradley Thoroughbreds for $180,000 out of the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment at the Keeneland September sale, the colt failed to meet his reserve on a final bid of $245,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale.
"He had one of the best breezes, we thought, of the whole sale," noted Brothers. "I knew he was in the other sale, but we weren't real active in that sale. He's a gorgeous horse. He ticked all the boxes."
Pompa had plenty of reason to take notice of the son of Desert Party, a Darley stallion standing at Sequel Stallions in New York. Pompa, represented by Hidden Brook, agent, pinhooked Desert Party for $425,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2007 from the consignment of Sinatra Thoroughbreds and Wayward Wind Farms.
The following year, Pompa sold the son of Street Cry (IRE) to Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock agent, John Ferguson, at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale for $2.1 million through Scanlon Training Center, agent.
Desert Party went on to win six of 10 lifetime starts for the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing and earned $928,467. Numbered among his stakes scores were victories in the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course at 2, and the Gulf News United Arab Emirates Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-II) at Nad Al Sheba at 3 in 2009.
Hip No. 308, a gray or roan filly by Rockport Harbor consigned by Sequel Bloodstock (Becky Thomas), agent, sold to Bluewater Sales, agent, for $420,000.
Bred in Kentucky by Brent and Beth Harris out of the stakes-placed Mt. Livermore mare Livermore Leslie, the filly is a half sister to Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner Sweet Reason and Florida Oaks (gr. III) winner Don't Forget Gil.
"I thought she was the best in the sale," said Bluewater Sales' Meg Levy of the filly who breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 at the second under-tack preview May 15. "If the name Rock Star is not taken that's a good name for her. She has a nice page. Her sister obviously ran early. We hope she will be able to go to Saratoga and do the same thing."
Thomas, impressed by the filly's presence as a yearling, spent $115,000 for her at last year's Keeneland September sale where she was consigned by Bettersworth Westwind Farms, agent.
"Sweet Reason was not even in the catalog," Thomas said. "She had won but wasn't in the catalog. I try to cover everything, so I did look at her. If you weren't looking for a Rockport Harbor you wouldn't have known she was a half to Sweet Reason because it wasn't in the catalog.
"She was awesome," Thomas added. "She's one of the best fillies I've ever had. She has the greatest mind, she's a pretty mover. She's quiet, she's a doll, and she looks the part. She just floated (in her breeze)."
David Ingordo went to $300,000 to secure the bid on Hip No. 296, a filly by Congrats for an undisclosed client. Consigned by Stephens Thoroughbreds, agent, the filly, who is out of the stakes-winning Menifee mare Letgomyecho, sped an eight in :10 2/5 at the under-tack preview.
Ingordo indicated the filly will be sent to trainer John Sadler in Southern California.
"I bought her mother as a 2-year-old a long time ago, and I thought she was one of the most talented fillies I'd ever bought," said Ingordo. "So I've seen a lot of the offspring out of the mare. This is the best I've seen, and she reminded me of her mother."
Bred in Kentucky by Peter Lamantia and Jim Blackburn, the filly was offered by Stephens Thoroughbreds at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March sale where she failed to meet her reserve on a final bid of $190,000.
Hell Pony acquired the filly for $100,000 out of the Betz Thoroughbreds consignment at the Keeneland September sale.
"Sometimes March isn't the best time for them," Ingordo said. "(The couple of months) definitely did this one some good. The mother was the same way. She got better with time."
A War Front colt (Hip No. 274) from the consignment of Eisaman Equine, agent, sold to Steve Young, agent, for $520,000 during the first session to top the sale.
Eisaman Equine, agent, led all other consignors, selling 33 of 35 head offered for $2,250,000. Eddie Woods followed, selling 13 of 14 through the ring for $1,350,000.
Steve Young, agent, spent $1,940,000 on six juveniles to top all other buyers.