Four horses brought six-figure prices during the second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale Aug. 8. A strapping bay colt by Tale of the Cat brought a sale-topping $140,000 at the auction held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Cumulatively, the number of horses offered declined 12.1%– 94 sold for $3,676,000 this year versus 107 for $4,353,500 in 2009 – with the gross total of sales dropping 15.6%. The average was down 3.9% for the two-day sale, $39,106 compared to $40,687 last year, while the median was up 11.1%, $30,000 against $27,000 in 2009. The best figure of the sale, however, was a reduced buyback rate – 34% this year versus 46% last year. Last year 91 horses failed to sell during two sessions; this year, 48 went through the ring without a buyer.
“Basically, the whole difference is the fewer numbers,” said Fasig-Tipton chairman Walt Robertson. “We had a little bit better clearance rate last night than we did tonight but overall the buyback numbers are better. I don’t think the game’s easy but this was a better sale than it was a year ago. A higher percentage of the horses sold, the median was up, and the average was very similar. And similar is good in these days and times.”
The sales-topping Tale of the Cat yearling, Hip No. 428, was consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Sales Agency and purchased by J.J. Crupi on behalf of Repole Stable. He is the second foal out of the unraced Fusaichi Pegasus mare Regard. Her first foal, Highest Regards, is a 2-year-old son of Anabaa who broke his maiden impressively at Belmont June 24 with a frontrunning score for trainer Todd Pletcher.
“I do business with (Todd) Pletcher with Repole, and he had the 2-year-old and said it could really run,” said Crupi. “So that really turned us on to the horse. But we liked the horse to start with. He was just a grand, good-looking horse. He had everything in the right place. He looked like a runner.”
All but one of the sale’s six-figure yearlings were purchased during the second session of the sale, as Crupi also went to $105,000 for a chestnut daughter of Afleet Alex --Try N Sue, the top-priced filly of the auction. He purchased the yearling, Hip No. 466 consigned by Avandelle Farm, agent, on behalf of his own New Castle Farm and said she would be offered next season at the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale of select 2-year-olds in training.
Jack Brothers of Hidden Brook purchased the other six-figure yearling of the night, Hip No. 438, on behalf of Marc Holliday's New York-based Blue Devil Racing. The $100,000 dark bay or brown daughter of Speightstown , consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent, is out of the stakes-winning Elitsh mare Shot Gun Favorite.
"This filly was by the right sire, she looked the part, and the dam obviously can run," Brothers said. "I think she'll be a very useful filly in Marc's program; he's run three horses here at the meet at Saratoga and he's won with all three starters, so he's up-and-coming, building a nice racing stable using several trainers."
During the second session of the sale, 39 yearlings went for a total $1,768,000, that gross dropping 31% when contrasted with the $2,561,000 spent in 2009. The session’s average was down 2.6%, $45,333 versus last year’s $46,564. The median was up 16.7%, $35,000 from $30,000 on the corresponding day in 2009. Twenty-nine horses failed to sell for an RNA rate of 42.6%, but that figure was still an improvement over the 38 RNAs on the second day of the comparative sale in 2009.