Mallory Haigh

F-T Fall Yearling Sale Keeps on Truckin'

Gross during first two sessions surpasses last year's total for the entire auction.

Fueled by three horses that sold for more than $200,000 apiece, the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale kept churning out impressive results during its second session after getting off to a fast start on its opening day.

Once again, the key business figures were way above last year’s numbers for the Lexington auction. The gross Oct. 25 was up 73.9% compared to the total for last year’s second session. The average rose 68.5% while the median grew 140%.

“It’s kind of hard to fathom,” said Allied Bloodstock’s Bert Welker of the huge improvements in the auction’s statistics. “I’m not saying buyers will pay ridiculous money, but if you take a horse in there and it has a relatively clean vet report, there will be competition for it in the bidding. It doesn’t matter if it’s $7,500 horse or a $50,000 horse.”

The gross was $6,358,800 for the 254 yearlings that were sold. The average was $25,035 and the median was $12,000. Last year, 246 horses were sold during the second session.

“I think it’s a healthier market,” Welker said. “Can we cover our production costs yet? Well, maybe not, but we’re slowly getting there. In a couple of years it’s going to be really good.”

The buy-back rate was 25.4% compared to 23.4% in 2010.

For the first two session combined, the gross was $11,100,700, which was 18.2% more than the total of $9,395,300 for last year’s entire auction.

An elegant Arch filly became the highest-priced horse sold at the auction so far when she commanded $260,000. Bloodstock agent Steven Young signed the sale ticket.

”I have a lot of respect for Arch fillies, both on the racetrack and after they go home (to become broodmares),” Young said. “She has got a lot of attributes you would like. I thought she pretty much stuck out as one of the best fillies in the sale.”

The bay yearling is out of the winning Royal Academy mare Royal Sanction and is a half sister to Ronja (by El Corredor ), who captured the 2010 Dusseldorfer Henkel-Stutenpreis in Germany. Royal Sanction is a half sister to grade II winner Regal Sanction (by Regal Classic) and grade III winner Nonies Dancer Ali (by Danzatore).

“Her page (in the sale catalog) is nice, but it’s all about physicals,” Young said. “She’s got a good walk to her, she’s got a good mind on her, and she’s got terrific balance. She’s got every reason to be a good horse. I thought she was special, so I knew she would cost (a lot).”

Young declined to reveal the filly’s new owner but said he had bought horses before for that particular client.

“It’s not Mr. (Nicholas) Brady or Ramona Bass,” he added.

James M. Herberner Jr., agent, consigned the filly to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall auction. Louisa Lenehan's Virginia-based Lochlow Farm bred her in Kentucky. Herbener was scheduled to offer her at the Keeneland September yearling sale earlier this year, but she was scratched.

A sleek Medaglia d'Oro  -- Drifa colt and a flashy Unbridled's Song – Pure Symmetry filly brought $220,000 and $210,000, respectively.

Pinhooker Al Pike of Pike Racing acquired the Medaglia d’Oro colt from Allied, which Welker operates in partnership with Clark Shepherd. They sold the dark bay or brown yearling for his breeder, North Carolina resident Joseph M. Bryan Jr., after scratching him from the Keeneland September auction. Pike said he hoped to resell the Kentucky-bred colt at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training and mentioned the possibility of seeking partners for the venture.

The Adena Springs operation of multiple Eclipse Award-winning breeder and owner Frank Stronach purchased the Unbridled’s Song filly. Mark Roberts, the general manager of Adena Springs South in Florida, signed the sale ticket for the Kentucky-bred chestnut, which had four white feet.

Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm consigned the filly for Florida horseman Justin Casse. He acquired her privately after she was bought back for $100,000 when consigned by Denali Stud, agent, to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction earlier this year. The Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust bred the filly in Kentucky.

The most expensive horse sold during the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall auction’s Oct. 24 first session was a $200,000 Medaglia d’Oro – Especially Me colt.