Hip 39 by Scat Daddy, commanded $575,000.

Hip 39 by Scat Daddy, commanded $575,000.

Lydia Williams

Average, Median Rise on F-T Sale's 1st Day

The number of horses sold and gross decline for the Midlantic juvenile auction.

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training opened May 21 at Timonium, Md., with increases in a couple of its key business figures. The average price grew 3.6% from a year ago to $47,067 while the median price rose 8% to $27,000.

“It was a good day of selling,” said Paget Bennett, the sales director for Fasig-Tipton Midlantic. “You’re very pleased when you go in a positive direction.”

The 156 juveniles that were sold grossed $7,342,500. Compared to 2011, the number sold declined 11.4%, but the gross declined only 8.2%. The buy-back rate grew to 25.7% from 20% last year.

A Scat Daddy colt commanded $575,000 to top the first session. Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stables, signed the sale ticket for the muscular chestnut juvenile and said the colt would be sent to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in Southern California.

The immediate underbidder was David Ingordo of Lane’s End Bloodstock.

Consigned by Raul Reyes' Kings Equine, agent, the colt breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 during the auction’s under tack show. He is the first foal out of the unraced Congaree  mare Magical Mist, who is a half sister to grade I winner J P’s Gusto (by Successful Appeal ).

“Scat Daddy has done a lot of good things and this colt looked a lot like a really good Congaree,” said Lanni, who is the bloodstock services director for Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky. “Bob came out here on Sunday (May 20) after the Preakness (gr. I) and I showed him the horse; he really liked him. His (the colt’s) work was really good and he is a really well-made horse. He looked fast.”

John Sykes and Susan Sykes bred the juvenile in Kentucky in the name of CloverLeaf Farms II. In that name, the Sykeses also purchased Magical Mist, when she was carrying the colt, for $14,000 from Sweezy & Partners, agents, at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale.

“She was a big, strong, pretty mare in foal to a young horse,” said Matt Lyons, who is the general manager for CloverLeaf in Florida and the Sykeses’ Woodford Thoroughbreds in Kentucky. “I can’t say there was a great deal of science behind it. We just try to buy some nice young mares and she fit the bill. We also had some nice Scat Daddys on the ground. That was it.”

Lyons called the $575,000 colt’s price “a pretty good return on investment,” then added: “You never know where the good horses are going to come from. This colt is a beautiful horse. He is by a very good stallion and he breezed well; everything came together.

“Obviously you’re surprised when a horse brings that much money,” Lyons continued. “But with all the action he had at the barn and the number of scopes (endoscopic throat examinations) he had, we knew we had a lot of players.”

Woodford Thoroughbreds, agent for CloverLeaf Farms II, entered the colt in the 2011 Keeneland September yearling auction. Kings Equine also entered him in the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training earlier this year. The colt was scratched from both auctions.

“He was a just a horse that was going to need a little time,” Lyons said. “We were hoping the way that the Scat Daddys were running in these classic races that they would do well. We just thought this (sale) would be good fit for him. We didn’t take him to the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale because we didn’t feel he was quite ready.”

Woodford Thoroughbreds bred Daddy Long Legs(by Scat Daddy), who won the 2011 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) and this year's UAE Derby Sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed al Naboodah Group (UAE-III). The colt ran in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), but was eased.

A $210,000 Exchange Rate colt was the second-highest-priced horse during the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale’s first session. Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables and Mike Moreno of Southern Equine Stables bought him from Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent. Zayat and Moreno and his wife, Tiffany, race grade I winner Bodemeister, who finished second in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Produced from the stakes-winning Dynaformer mare Maliziosa, the dark bay or brown juvenile is a half brother to the stakes-placed winner Tutti Buona Gente (by Aldebaran). He breezed a quarter mile in :21 4/5.

DWF acquired the colt for $105,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, last year at Keeneland in September.

The opening day’s most expensive filly, which also was the third-most-expensive horse, was a $200,000 daughter of Harlan's Holiday out of the grade II winner Ruby Surprise (by Farma Way). Charles Cella purchased the dark bay or brown juvenile, with trainer Lynn Whiting signing the ticket. She is a half sister to added-money winner Free Flying Soul (by Quiet American).

The filly worked an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5. Last year, K. B. Stable purchased her for $65,000 from Clarkland Farm at Keeneland last September.

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction’s second and final session is scheduled for May 22. It will begin at 10 a.m. (EDT).

Bennett was anticipating additional positive results on the sale’s final day because “I think everybody’s short list is stronger tomorrow,” she said.