The Fasig-Tipton winter mixed sale improved its performance from a year ago in two key areas Feb. 7 in Lexington. The median price rose 7% and the buy-back rate dropped to 22.3% from 28.9% in 2010
However, there still were some weaknesses in the market, which continues to be brutal for stock that doesn’t have commercial appeal. The average price and number of horses sold both declined 7.3% while the gross dropped 14.1%..
“Hopefully, we’re starting to see some increased interest from buyers,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “It’s not dramatic and across the board, but I think people are beginning to have a little bit more confidence in the world, and, hopefully as a result of that, in the Thoroughbred industry. Obviously, there was strong demand for quality offerings. It was consistent with sales in the past year and, frankly, the past several years.”
The final results included a gross of $2,623,500 for the 178 horses that were sold. The average was $14,739 and the median was $5,350.
In addition, five no guarantee stallion seasons (of seven offered) were sold for a gross $198,000. A season to Medaglia d'Oro was the most expensive, bringing $78,000.
Fasig-Tipton officials made a special effort for this year’s auction to recruit seasons from popular stallions. The seasons were grouped together in the catalog and the information about them was printed on special blue pages.
“I thought it was OK,” said Browning of the share portion of the winter mixed auction. “The results were indicative of a little reluctance by buyers to stretch, shall we say, on the more expensive seasons. But there was interest in them and we had one (to 2010’s leading first crop sire by progeny earnings, Congrats ) sell for ($33,000), more than two times the published stud fee ($15,000). It’s never going to be a huge segment of what we are trying to do here, but we thought it would be something interesting to spice up the sale a little bit and it drew some interest.”
Six horses were sold for six-figure amounts, with a striking Indian Charlie yearling filly leading the way at $245,000. Bloodstock agent and Select Sales partner Tom Ryan signed the sale ticket for SF Bloodstock, which has been very active recently in the broodmare market.
The dark bay or brown yearling is out of the winning Matchlite mare Lady’s Legacy, who finished second in the 1996 Regret Stakes at Ladbroke DRC. The filly is a half sister to Shameful (by Flying Chevron), who captured the 2003 Pine Tree Lane Stakes at Santa Anita Park, and Little Matth Man (by Matty G), who won the 2004 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct and finished second in the 2004 Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Shameful, who was second in the La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and third in the Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico in 2002, is the dam of champion Indian Blessing(by Indian Charlie).
“She’s obviously a beautiful filly by a proper stallion and she has lots of residual value,” said Ryan of the $245,000 yearling. “She has size, scope, and strength; she’s a queen. Everything adds up. She ticks all the boxes. We’re buying her for our racing program.
“I was very surprised to see her in this sale,” Ryan added. “We’re glad to own her. Any time you pay nearly a quarter of a million dollars for a yearling, it’s a fair price.”
Gavin Murphy, an Australian working in New York City, and Australian bloodstock agent Neil Bowden, founded SF Bloodstock. Australian Henry Field also is involved in the venture.
Wick and Carter McNeely bred the Indian Charlie filly in Virginia.
“They just thought it might work right and it did,” said Virginia bloodstock agent Debbie Easter, an advisor to the McNeelys, of the decision to sell the filly at Fasig-Tipton in February instead of waiting until later in the year. “It’s always nice to be a big fish in small pond. I think that was it, and they took the opportunity. The mare is back in foal to Indian Charlie, so they’re excited about that.”
Gainesway, agent, consigned the yearling.
“The encouraging thing was the number of bidders on a filly like that,” Browning said. “They were all over the house, and I know that she had been scoped (her throat examined endoscopically) in excess of 12 times. If you have a quality offering in February, you still attract major interest from a large number of parties.”
Hatta Diamond, a winning 7-year-old daughter of Street Cry, commanded the winter mixed auction’s second-highest price of $170,000. Dan Hall purchased the bay mare, who is in foal to Bernadini, for Paul Pompa Jr.
Hall is a partner in Hidden Brook, which consigned Hatta Diamond as agent. Pompa is a Hidden Brook client.
“It was a fair price,” Hall said. “We’ll take her back to the farm and see what the baby looks like. She’s by Street Cry and in foal to Bernardini, so there’s lots of appeal. She’s a mare that matches up well with Big Brown and she’ll be bred to him later this year.”
Pompa was a member of the partnership that raced champion Big Brown , who captured the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Running for Rabbah Bloodstock, Hatta Diamond won two of her 10 career races. Produced from the winning Court Trial mare Meguilty, Hatta Diamond is a half sister to the winner Willow Place (by Out of Place), who finished second or third in seven added-money events, and Sword Chief (by Sword Dancer), who was second in the 2001 Roman Brother Stakes at Calder Race Course (now known as Calder Casino & Race Course).
Meguilty is a half sister to grade III winner and successful sire Valid Expectations, grade III winner and stakes producer Little Sister, stakes winner and producer Miss Valid Pache, and added-money winner Littleexpectations, all by Valid Appeal.
Pompa owns nearly 20 mares that are boarded at Hidden Brook, according to Hall.
“There has probably been a little bit more bounce and depth on the maiden mares this year than last year and the year before,” Browning said. “We might be seeing the reduction in the of number of mares get a little bit more in line with demand and help some of the maiden and younger mares that have some quality, which means they have some family or have some racing ability or have both.”
Hidden Brook was the winter mixed auction's leading consignor based on gross receipts, selling two horses for $300,000. The biggest spender was Off the Hook, which paid $268,000 for four horses for Alejandro Ceballos.