Median Up 20% at F-T Ky. Fall Yearling Sale

Average declines 6.4% while gross falls 11%.

The news wasn’t all bad during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale Oct. 26 in Lexington. The median price increased 20% from 2008 while the buy-back/no bid rate was down significantly. The results also included downturns of 11% in gross revenue and 6.4% in average price, but they weren’t as severe as those suffered by many other yearling auctions earlier in 2009.

“I think the way the market’s been -- especially in the lower to middle segment – an average that is down less than 10% is all we could have expected,” said Fasig-Tipton chairman Walt Robertson. “I wish there was demand for every horse, but this market dictates that that’s not the case.”

The 173 horses that sold grossed $1,933,500 and averaged $11,176. The median was $6,000. Last year, when this country was in the midst of a recession, the stock market was crashing, and the financial crisis was spreading around the world, the 182 yearlings that sold grossed $2,173,100 and averaged $11,940. The median was $5,000.

The buy-back rate declined from 37.7% in 2008 to 33.7% this year.

“I haven’t seen the numbers for today, but our overall volume of shows has not been bad compared to some other sales, and we’re still seeing some new people who are getting here today and looking at Tuesday and Wednesday’s horses,” said Tommy Eastham of Legacy Bloodstock. “There seem to be more folks who are interested in buying, and there is some enthusiasm. They’ve seen their economic situations change for the better or maybe they’re just a little bit more optimistic. We’re hearing people talk about opportunity instead of doom and gloom, but I think it’s still going to be a ‘buy the best and leave the rest’ scenario.”

A Wildcat Heir colt was the first session’s highest-priced yearling, going to MH&B for $85,000.  Florida pinhooker Dave McKathan signed the sale ticket.

Produced from the 16-year-old unraced Black Tie Affair mare Tarahumara, the chestnut yearling is a half-brother to 2005 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes winner Lizzy’s Township (by Delaware Township) and Many Kisses (by Unbridled's Image), who scored in this year’s LuLu’s Ransom Stakes at Calder Race Course.

Michelle Redding bred the colt in Florida and, as agent, consigned him to the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. August yearling sale, where she bought him back for $32,000. Beth Bayer, agent, was the colt’s consignor at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall auction.

The sale runs two more days, with each session beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT)