Opening night for the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale saw increases in revenue but also in the buy-back rate compared to last year, as a $220,000 yearling topped session one Aug. 11 at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The gross revenue of $3,657,000 was up 19% versus $3,067,500 for the opening session in 2011, while the average of $57,141 rose 10% opposed to $51,992 last year. The median was $50,000 compared to $33,000 on the first night in 2011, a 52% increase.
The RNA rate rose from 36% last year to 43% this year; 64 horses sold versus 59 in 2011, while 48 were bought-back compared to 33 on night one in 2011.
This is the second straight year the New York-bred sale has posted gains. In 2011 gross revenue was up 60.8% from 2010, while average, median, and number of horses sold all soared well past the previous year's figures. The buy-back rate also increased sharply that year, from 25.7% in 2010.
"I think consignors were probably a little more aggressive (with their reserves) and they perceive their horses as having more value," said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. "But we continue to see in every marketplace that the buyers are still discriminating...they carefully evaluate each prospect and only bid on those horses that meet their criteria."
Browning said he anticipates a solid second session Aug. 12, as the sale concludes.
"Every buyer I talked to has more horses on their short list tomorrow than they did today," he said. "I think tomorrow night consignors will adjust their reserves a little bit, but we're going to have some excitement; we've got some guns for tomorrow night."
A Majestic Warrior colt was the session topper late in the night, bringing $220,000 from Nick de Meric. The dark bay or brown colt out of the blacktype-winning Sea of Secrets mare Road to Mandalay is a half-brother to blacktype winners La Concerto and Game Token. His second dam also produced stakes winner Lune Rouge and the grade III-placed Justice for Auston.
"We're excited to have this horse; for us he was the complete package," de Meric said. "The female family's there and he's by an exciting young stallion in Majestic Warrior that we think is destined for great things. Most of all we just loved the physical specimen. We loved his balance, his athleticism, and we're just thrilled to get him. I think he would have significant appeal in any market. I would say we're buying the individual most of all, but the pedigree was all there for us."
Thorndale Farm, agent, consigned the yearling, Hip no. 314, for owner Seth Gregory.
"Give the consignor credit; they brought him to the sale in beautiful condition, just the way you like to buy a yearling," de Meric said. "He sold for about where we appraised him. We didn't want to give a lot more for him, we wouldn't have complained if we got him for a little less, but we're comfortable with our price."
A Tale of the Cat colt was the session's second-highest-priced yearling, sold early in the evening for $200,000 to Gotham Boys, a Florida pinhooking operation led by David Scanlon, who signed the ticket. Paramount Sales, agent, consigned the bay yearling, Hip No. 218 out of the Rahy mare Grace's Valentine, for MDS Farms and Tale of the Cat Syndicate. He is the mare's first foal; his second dam is 1990 Yellow Ribbon Invitational (gr. IT) winner Plenty of Grace.
"We feel like he's an athlete, a racy-looking colt that's just kind of what we're looking for,' Scanlon said. "We've had a lot of luck with Tale of the Cat, love the female family, and just love the individual. We marked him as one of the best horses here; the New York-bred part was a bonus but we liked the individual."
Those two were among six yearlings selling for $100,000 or more apiece. Also included was a $170,000 son of First Samurai purchased by Crupi's New Castle Farm.
"He's a beautiful colt and he has everything in the right places," Jim Crupi said. "We liked his pedigree. Maybe we didn't want to pay quite that much for him, but we had to."
The dark bay or brown colt, out of the Distinctive Pro mare Miss Thermal Tech, was Hip No. 268 consigned by Avandelle Farm.
A chestnut daughter of Stormy Atlantic out of the Raffie's Majesty mare Raffie's Dream was the evening's most expensive filly. LRK Stable purchased her for $145,000 from Vinery Sales, agent.
The New York-bred sale's second and final session set for Aug. 12 is now scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).