The gross revenue and average price rose 28.6% and 4.2%, respectively, from a year ago during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale in Lexington Oct. 26. The median price, meanwhile, declined 35.5% while the buy-back/no bid rate rose to 26.2% from 21.6% in 2009.
The gross, average, and median all followed the same trends as they did in the opening session, but the buy-back/no bid rate couldn’t sustain its first-day decline.
“I think it’s pretty much what everyone expected,” said Dapple Bloodstock’s Mike Akers. “It seems like the horses in the top third sell pretty decent, the second third is very spotty, and then the ones that aren’t very athletic, we’re just trying to find them new homes. We all know that if we leave here with them, we’ve got to put tack on them.”
Favorite Gal, a Hard Spun filly out of champion Hollywood Wildcat, became the most expensive horse sold so far during the three-day auction, bringing $310,000. Lewis Lakin of Lakland Farm signed the sale ticket for the chestnut yearling, who is a member of her sire’s first crop. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Favorite Gal for her breeder, Irving Cowan, who is dispersing his horses.
“She looks just like the kind I like,” said Lakin, who was sitting in the sale pavilion with Florida horsewoman Becky Thomas. “She has a great family. I don’t think you can replace it for that kind of money anywhere. You don’t often get a chance to do something like this in a situation like this, so I just couldn’t turn it down. I’m in the business to breed, and you look for broodmares like her. It’s almost impossible to get this kind.”
Lakin will send Favorite Gal to Thomas to be prepared for racing.
“I’m planning to keep her; I didn’t buy her to resell her,” Lakin said. “I wish I had partners in her. I had to come up with all the money myself, but I was glad to pay that. I probably would have paid a little more. Obviously, I would have liked to have gotten her for less, but I thought that was a fair price.”
Kentucky-bred Favorite Gal is a half sister to four stakes winners, including War Chant (by Danzig), who captured the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), and Ivan Denisovich (by Danehill), who scored in the 2005 TNT July Stakes (Eng-II). Their dam, a 20-year-daughter of Kris S., was the champion 3-year-old filly in 1993, when she triumphed in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and Hollywood Oaks (gr. I). Hollywood Wildcat won the Gamely Handicap (gr. I) in 1994.
“It was a little less than I thought it would be,” said Taylor Made’s Mark Taylor of Favorite Gal’s price. “I think the filly’s residual value is north of $200,000 if you never raced her and you just turned her out. Mr. Cowan was a little disappointed in what she brought, but he’s getting out, so you’ve got to take what the market will give you.”
Cowan described selling Favorite Gal as the type of situation that is “always emotional and somewhat nostalgic. I think the buyer made a very astute purchase.” He added, “Obviously, I thought she was worth more. She comes from the Danzig line (her sire is a son of Danzig) and has the family to go with it, being out of a champion mare. You don’t usually see those in the lower six figures (in terms of price), but that’s the way it is. I understand totally how the market is now, and that is why I decided to sell her (for that amount).”
The results for the second session included a gross of $3,630,800 for the 237 yearlings that sold. The average was $15,320 and the median was $5,000.
The number sold was up 23.4% from 2009.
“I don’t think the yearling market is really getting much better,” Akers said, “but it’s quit falling for the most part and it may have bounced off the floor a little bit; it’s showing some stability. It certainly hasn’t spiked back up and I don’t think it will soon. But if you’ve got a nice horse, you can get a fair price for it. I don’t think people are as scared as they were.”
According to Fasig-Tipton chairman Walt Robertson, the median’s sharp decline was an indication that more of the lower-end horses were getting sold.
The auction’s cumulative results through two sessions were 466 for the number of horses sold and $6,743,300 for the gross. The average was $14,471. Compared to last year’s figures for the first two sessions, the number sold grew 26.3% while the gross increased 41%. The average rose 11.7%.
The cumulative median was $5,000 and will need to strengthen during the Oct. 27 final session to equal the $6,000 comparable figure for last year's entire sale.
The buy-back/no bid rate was 28.2%, down from 37.1% in 2009.