F-T NY Sale Holds Its Own During 1st Session

Gross, average, and median rise slightly; buy-back rate drops for New York-breds

The buy-back rate dropped on the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, giving sales officials and consignors alike a breath of fresh air in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Aug. 7.

Gross revenue, average, and median prices all rose 2% from a year ago, and the buy-back rate was down to 29.7% for Day One compared to 50% for the sale’s corresponding session in 2009.

 “Last year we bought back one more than we sold, so we had virtually a 50% buyback rate on the same day,” said Fasig-Tipton chariman Walt Robinson. “Tonight, people wanted horses. We had lots of trainers on the grounds and had some pretty good horses for them. At the end of the day you have to sell a high percentage of horses and that’s what we’re here for. We did tonight and we’re thankful we did. Last year was pretty tough at this time.”

Fifty-two horses sold Aug. 7 for a session total of $1,822,000 against last year’s $1,792,500. The average was $35,038 and the median was $27,500 compared to $34,471 and $27,000, respectively, during last year’s first session. There were 22 horses that failed to meet their reserve as opposed to 53 in 2009.

“We hope these trends continue tomorrow,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning.

A colt by first-crop sire Half Ours was the session topper, bringing $100,000 from New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace on behalf of West Point Thoroughbreds. The gray/roan yearling, Hip No. 341, consigned by Thorndale Farm, is the second foal produced from the Dixie Unionmare Dixie Lyrics; her first is a 2-year-old of 2010 that has not started yet. 

“It’s the first Half Ours (yearling) that resembles his father that I’ve seen,” Chace said. “He actually had a little more (substance) to him than his father. They brought him to the sale very well-groomed and very well-cared for. He has a chance.”

In 2004 Chace purchased Half Ours, a black type-winning son of Unbridled's Songwhose victories included the 2005 Three Chimneys Juvenile Stakes, at auction for a then-record $6.1 million at Keeneland’s September yearling sale. Half Ours was campaigned for owners Aaron and Marie Jones in partnership with Barry K. Schwartz by trainer Todd Pletcher.

“I thought he’d be more money, I really did,” Chase said of the yearling purchase. “I was really happy with the price. I think this year you have a chance to get good horses for fair money. The New York market is beat up but a good horse overcomes anything, and I think the New York market will always be there, it’ll come back and be real strong.”

Chace also purchased a dark bay or brown son of Awesome Again , Hip No. 319, for $65,000. Todd Quast of GoldMark Farm made multiple purchases in that price range during the night, going to $75,000 for Hip No. 334, a bay daughter of Discreet Cat--Clever Maid consigned by Sienna Farms, and to $80,000 for Hip. No. 365, a dark bay or brown Officer--Heartbreaker filly consigned by Legacy Bloodstock Agent II.

The second and final session of the New York-bred auction is scheduled for Aug. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.