Fasig-Tipton Photo

F-T Winter Mixed Sale's Gross, Average Rise

Median price holds steady during the auction, which was held Feb. 8 in Lexington.

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale provided a little bit of encouragement for the recession-battered Thoroughbred auction industry with its performance Feb. 8 in Lexington. The gross revenue rose 27.6% even though the number of horses sold was down from a year ago. The average price increased 36.9%, and the median price was stable.

“We felt pretty confident when the catalog came out that we had some better quality horses at the top end of the sale,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “There were some nice horses – mares in foal and broodmare and/or racing prospects – that were a step or two above what we had last year, and the results reflect that. There has been and will continue to be a demand for quality horses. Buyers want quality, and the consignors who had nice horses were very busy at their barns, and the people with horses that weren’t terribly commercial had virtually no activity at their barns. There really aren’t very many surprises right now in the marketplace. Quality sells well, and it’s pretty tough for everything else.”

The trends for gross, average, and median improved dramatically from 2009, when the statistics plunged 62.9%, 42.8%, and 28.6%, respectively, from 2008. In addition, five horses sold for six-figure prices, with four bringing amounts that exceeded last year’s top price for an individual horse of $130,000.

The final results for 2010 included a gross of $3,052,600 for the 192 horses that sold. The average was $15,899. In 2009, the 206 horses that sold grossed $2,392,900 and averaged $11,616. The median for both years was $5,000.

The buy-back/no bid rate grew from 15.6% in 2009 to 28.9%.

“It’s OK; there are people walking around and wanting to buy horses,” said Francis Vanlangendonck of the Summerfield sales agency. “The market is leveling off. People are starting to realize where the value is and what they can do with certain horses. I know the stallion managers hate to hear this and I hate to hear it as a stallion shareholder, but I think stud fees still need to come down some more.”

Lavender Sky, a 6-year-old winning daughter of Mt. Livermore, was the most expensive horse sold, bringing $340,000. Dr. William Lockridge, saying he was acting on behalf of a foreign client, signed the sale ticket for the chestnut broodmare prospect, which was consigned by Robert Clay’s Three Chimneys Sales, agent.

“She is very correct,” said Lockridge, a real estate broker who founded Ashford Stud, now owned by Coolmore Stud. “I wish she was a little bigger, but she is very well made. The mares I’ve had success with were mares that could run. That’s one of the criteria that I look for, and they have to be out of one of the blue hen families, which this mare certainly is.”

Lockridge declined to identify his client, but said Lavendar Sky's purchase "is the first of a lot of things we'll do together." The mare will remain in Kentucky and be bred this year.

Lavender Sky’s third dam is Kamar, a 1979 Canadian champion and the 1990 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. Kamar’s offspring included 1990 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Seaside Attraction, Canadian champion Key to the Moon, and Gorgeous, who scored in the Ashland Stakes, Hollywood Oaks, and Vanity Invitational Handicap (all gr. I).

Produced from the 19-year-old Nijinsky II mare Munnaya, who was a stakes winner in England, Lavender Sky finished sixth in the Jan. 2 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) for Tom Lenner, Howard Litt, Margie Strauss, Arnold Zetcher, and Alex Solis II in her last race prior to being sold.

Lavender Sky won two of her 19 career races and earned $195,852. She finished second in the 2008 San Gorgonio and the 2007 Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood Park. She also finished third in the 2007 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood and the 2008 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.

Lavender Sky is a half-sister to French stakes winner Mystic Melody (by Seattle Slew), who also was group III-placed.

“We were very happy with the price considering the market, the downturn in the economy, and everything that is going on,” said Guinness McFadden, Three Chimneys’ assistant director of sales. “It (the price) was on the upper end of the range of what we thought she would bring. The market is what we expected. We’re in the valley, and we’re probably going to stay here for a while.”

Bear’s Kid, a stallion prospect and the winner of the 2005 Summer Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine in Canada, was the Fasig-Tipton winter mixed auction’s second-highest-priced horse sold at $260,000. The Novel Group purchased the 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid  from Peter and Gina Kirwan’s Glenmalure Farm, agent.

Bear’s Kid is out of the 15-year-old grade I-winning Pleasant Tap mare Tap to Music, who is a half-sister to grade II winner and successful sire Northern Afleet  and stakes winner Boss Soss, who is the dam of French stakes winner Hamriya.

Lockridge said he was the immediate underbidder on Julia Tuttle, who brought $235,000, which was the winter mixed sale’s third-highest price. Cherokee Equine’s Tom Ryan signed the sale ticket for the 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway  in the name of Bowden Global Equine. Ryan said he purchased Julia Tuttle, who was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect, for one of Australian bloodstock agent Neil Bowden’s clients.

Summerfield, as agent, consigned Julia Tuttle, who captured the 2008 Twin Lights Stakes at Monmouth Park. Her other efforts included a third-place finish in the same year’s Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs. Julia Tuttle is out of the 13-year-old Ride the Rails mare Candy Cane, who is a full sister to Argentine champion, North American grade I winner, and successful stallion Candy Ride .

Broodmare Rgirldoesn’tbluff, who sold with a Medaglia d’Oro filly that was born Jan. 10 at her side, brought $215,000. Shannon Potter of Taylor Made Sales Agency signed the sale ticket for Town & Country Farms’ mother-and-daughter team of Louise and Kiki Courtelis, who both attended the Fasig-Tipton sale. The Courtelises own a Kentucky nursery and are selling another horse operation they have in Florida.

Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned Rgirldoesn’tbluff, who won the U Can Do It Handicap and three other added-money events at Calder Race Course in 2006 and 2007. A 7-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff, Rgirldoesn’tbluff is out of the 15-year-old Mining mare Chasing Wind, who scored in the 1998 Windmill Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Rate of Exchange, a 5-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Exchange Rate, sold for $125,000 to Three Chimneys Farm, which purchased her from Paramount Sales, agent. Produced from the 13-year-old unraced Pentelicus mare Hannah’s Ink, Rate of Exchange captured the 2009 Connie Ann Stakes at Calder, and her other efforts included a runner-up finish in this year’s Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. She was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.