The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training generated an average price on its opening day in Timonium, Md., that was only 1.7% below last year’s comparable figure and a median price that was down 7.4%. The 2011 edition of the auction is a two-day affair while the 2010 version lasted only a day.
“I thought the market overall was very good today,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning following the May 23 session. “For the most part it seemed like there was pretty spirited bidding on most horses. There a number of bidders and I didn’t feel like very often that there was just one bidder and the reserve.”
This year’s first session grossed $7,641,600 for the 162 juveniles that were sold. The average was $47,170 and the median price was $25,000. The buy-back rate was 26.4%.
“I think the horses that were the nicer horses sold fine,” said Dr. Barry Eisaman of Eisaman Equine. “The ones that might have been perceived by the public as average were harder to sell.”
During last year’s one-day auction, the gross was $13,099,500 for the 273 horses that were sold. The average and median were $47,984 and $27,000, respectively. And the buy-back rate was an astonishingly low 12.5%.
Compared to 2009’s results, the gross and average price increased 23% and 14%, respectively, while the median price rose 8%.
“Last year it was a remarkable sale; statistically we think we’re probably going to be in the same general ballpark that we were last year in terms of average and median,” Browning said. “When you do that and increase your catalog size 50% -- we’ve gone from a little over 400 horses last year to 600 horses this year – it’s a success. The increase in supply probably is the cause of an uptick in the RNA (reserve not attained) rate this year, but it’s still in the acceptable range for a 2-year-old in training sale.”
Eden’s Moon, a sleek daughter of Malibu Moon , topped the first session, commanding $390,000. Bidding on the telephone through Browning, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert purchased the bay filly as agent.
“It’s for one of Bob’s clients,” said Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms’ bloodstock services director, Donato Lanni, who helps Baffert pick out horses at the sales. “She is a well-bred filly with a strong family, she worked awesome on the track, and she’s by Malibu Moon, so she has sire power. Check, check, check.”
Florida-bred Eden’s Moon was among the four horses in the auction that turned in the fastest time for a quarter mile during the under tack show, covering the distance in :21 3/5. She is the second foal out of the winning Giant's Causeway mare Eden’s Causeway, who is a half sister to champion Paradise Creek (by Irish River), grade I winners Forbidden Apple (by Pleasant Colony) and Wild Event (by Wild Again ), added-money winner I’m Very Irish (by Pleasant Colony), and Paradise River (by Irish River), the dam of English champion David Junior (by Pleasant Tap).
Eden’s Moon’s breeder, Bridlewood Farm, consigned her to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction as agent.
“I’m certainly pleased, but not totally surprised,” said Bridlewood general manager George Isaacs. “She showed at the farm that she had plenty of ability and she actually worked well at an earlier sale in South Florida, but it wasn’t quite over the top.”
Denali Stud, agent, consigned Eden’s Moon to the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, but she was scratched. Isaacs said the filly was “plain-looking” at that point in her life. Consigned to this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training by Niall Brennan Stables, agent, Eden’s Moon was a $110,000 buy-back after breezing an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5.
“What we’re doing isn’t rocket science,” Isaacs said. “We’re trying to sell the ones that we think can sell for good money that we can use to run the farm with. We’re a commercial operation.”
A Kentucky-bred Street Sense filly was the second-most-expensive juvenile sold during the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction’s opening session, bringing $280,000 from Bill and Terry Mathis of Mathis Stables. The dark bay or brown juvenile worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 prior to the auction.
The Mathises, who live in Oklahoma City, Okla., were accompanied by David Ingordo of Lane’s End Bloodstock.
“She’s a beautiful horse,” Ingordo said. “Number one, you look at her and no filly that I’ve seen in a while has looked that good at a sale. She’s in great condition and has beautiful dapples on her. She handled everything well even though those weren’t the best conditions to breeze under (in stormy weather). Mr. and Mrs. Mathis have hired (trainer) John Shirreffs, who was here for the Preakness (gr. I), and I said, ‘John, you better come over to the sale and look at this horse.’ He and Dottie (Shirreff’s wife and Ingordo’s mother) came over (to the sale grounds) and they loved her. It was pretty much a done deal after that.”
Produced from the winning Polish Numbers mare Polish Nana, the filly is a half sister to the winners Northern Indy (by A.P. Indy) and Five Star General (by Mineshaft ). Polish Nana is a half sister to grade II winner Love of Money (by Not For Love) and added-money winner Astrid (by Concern).
“We were in the (Thoroughbred) business in the ’80s with a few horses that were successful,” said Bill Mathis, who is involved in the furniture industry. “We’ve been out for close to 20 years, and Terry and I are getting back in as kind of a second business. We’re having fun with it and we think the business is going through somewhat of a renaissance right now. We got interested in racing again by watching (2010 Horse of the Year) Zenyatta, so we spoke to John and Dottie Shirreffs and we’ve been working with David Ingordo. We have, I guess, four horses now. We’re excited to get back into the business and we hope we have some luck.”
John Shirreffs trained Zenyatta.
Eisaman Equine, agent, consigned the Street Sense filly for her breeders, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Walsh. Indian Creek, agent, consigned the filly to the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock and 2010 Keeneland September yearling sales, but she was scratched from both auctions.
“She’s a wonderful, wonderful filly; she’s as good as prospects come,” Eisaman said. “She’s big, smart, sound, and fast. I see she’s going to go to John Shirreffs and he’s very accustomed to handling quality fillies.
“We sell a horse or two each year for Peter; he likes this sale,” Eisaman continued. “The filly was always pointing to this sale. It’s not that she had trouble or got delayed or got hurt. She was always coming here; that was her schedule.”
A $250,000 son of Harlan's Holiday was the most expensive colt and the third-highest-priced horse on the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale’s first day. Patrice Miller of the Pennsylvania-based consulting firm EQB signed the sale ticket for the dark bay or brown juvenile.
Jeffrey Seder, EQB’s president, declined to reveal the identity of the colt’s new owner.
“For his age, he (the colt) is big, he’s fast, and his gait is clean,” said Seder, whose company uses various forms of technology and data gathered about horses over a number of years to analyze sale prospects.
Consigned by McKathan Bros., agent, the colt worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 prior to the Midlantic auction. He is the second foal out of the winning Lear Fan mare Motivated Sreva, who is a half sister to grade II winner Adore the Gold (by Formal Gold).
Bred in Kentucky by Jayde Inc., the colt was consigned by Mill Ridge Sales, agent, to the 2009 Keeneland November auction, where he brought $180,000 from A Delaware Corp. He was a $220,000 buy-back when consigned to the 2010 Keeneland September sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, and a $185,000 buy-back when consigned by McKathan Bros., agent, to this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida select juvenile auction in early March.
The second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction is scheduled for May 24. Selling will begin at 10 a.m. (EDT).