The Fasig-Tipton July select auction received generally positive reviews as it launched the 2012 yearling selling season in solid fashion. The gross revenue and average price increased 15.1% and 16.3%, respectively, from a year ago while the median price remained the same.
“It was a relatively healthy marketplace,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning following the sale July 10 in Lexington. “I think it kicked off the yearling season in a positive direction and with positive momentum. I also think buyers and sellers both left here today feeling more confident in the yearling marketplace than they did yesterday.”
The results included a gross of $15,364,000 for the 189 horses that were sold. The average was $81,291 and the median was $60,000.
Browning expressed disappointment in the buy-back rate, which rose to 33.2% from 26.8% last year when 191 horses were sold. But he was satisfied with the rest of the statistics. The North American auction yearling market rebounded in 2011 following a four-year slump and the Fasig-Tipton July auction, to a significant degree, continued the upward trend.
“It was a continuation of the marketplace we’ve seen for many, many years,” Browning said. “There was significant demand for what buyers perceived as quality horses and there were numerous bidders on most horses that sold for over $50,000. But buyers continue to be selective and possibly, as the the first sale of the year, it allowed them to be even more selective because there are other buying opportunities later.”
For consignor Carrie Brogden of Select Sales, the Fasig-Tipton July auction’s performance was encouraging.
“Considering the economy we’re living in right now, it’s strong for the good horses and we’ve gotten all our RNAs (buy-backs) sold privately except for one,” said Brogden as the end of the sale approached. “There’s a lot of trade going on and there are a lot of people here who want to buy. But they’re not going crazy and the market is sensible.”
A handsome Malibu Moon colt commanded the top price of $375,000, which exceeded 2011’s sale-topping amount of $310,000. Kentucky-based trainer Kenny McPeek purchased the dark bay or brown yearling for Magic City Thoroughbreds of Montana. According to McPeek, Carter Stewart heads Magic City, which races 2012 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) runner-up Golden Ticket .
“The price was more than we expected, but that’s typical,” McPeek said. “A good horse is hard to buy and average horses are easy to buy. He really looks the part. He has all the right parts in all the right places. He ought to be a nice two-turn-type horse and hopefully, a year from now, we’ll be getting him geared up for a nice campaign.”
Canada-based trainer Mark Casse was the immediate underbidder.
The Kentucky-bred colt is out of the 11-year-old winning Wild Again mare Uncontrollable, who finished second in the 2003 Top Flight Stakes at Arlington Park. He is a half brother to Southern Truth (by Yes It's True), who won the 2009 Small Wonder Stakes and 2010 Tax Free Shopping Distaff Stakes at Delaware Park. The yearling also is a half brother to Meistersinger (by Yes It's True), who was third in the 2011 Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park.
Herb and Ellen Moelis, who own a farm, CandyLand, near Middletown, Del., bred the colt in partnership with Jim Ferguson in the name of Classic Thoroughbreds. CandyLand, agent, consigned the yearling to the Fasig-Tipton auction.
“We were extremely, extremely excited,” said CandyLand general manager Mike Palmer. “The price was well above our expectations. The horse was well-received the first time we pulled him out for his first show here and he never looked back.”
According to Palmer, the colt was the most expensive yearling ever sold by CandyLand at public auction and he was also the first Fasig-Tipton July sale topper for the farm.
A War Front colt was the second-highest-priced horse sold at the July sale, bringing $300,000. Chris Brothers signed the sale ticket for IEAH Sales Corp.
The dark bay or brown yearling is the second foal out of the Seeking the Gold mare With Golden Wings, who finished third twice in four career races. His second dam, Sky Alliance (by Sky Classic), was a grade III winner in Canada.
Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned the colt to the July sale. The 2N6 Ranch bred him in Kentucky. The colt was a $120,000 buy-back when Hunter Valley, agent, offered him as a weanling at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed auction.