Purge/Ballagren Colt

Purge/Ballagren Colt

Jim Arnold

Median Rises at F-T Texas Sale; Gross Plunges

Average declines 14.8%.

By Shelby Downs

Reduced to a one-day sale, the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling auction posted a gross that was down significantly Aug. 31 at Lone Star Park. Under last year’s two-day format, 443 horses were cataloged, but only 319 were offered this year, contributing to a 43.9% decline in the gross, from $3,369,700 to $1,889,400. The buy-back rate rose from 36.6% in 2008 to 42%, with only 185 head selling. While the median increased to $5,000 from $4,500, the average dipped from $11,992 to $10,213, a 14.8% decline.

“It seemed like the market was going to be thin,” said Tim Boyce, director of sales for Fasig-Tipton Texas. “I think there was plenty of money for the good ones, but the middle ones were having a hard time. We thought we had a pretty good crowd here today. When you look at the economy and the other sale results, to be down in average by 14% isn't too bad.”

A colt from the second crop of grade I winner Purge topped the sale by earning a bid of $87,000 from Midwest Thoroughbreds, the stable name of Illinois-based Karen and Richard Papiese. A half-sister to stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Plaid and a full sister to graded stakes-placed Ashmore, the colt’s dam, Ballagren, is a daughter of Saint Ballado that has produced three winners from three starters, including 3-year-old Down the Road, an Indian Charlie colt also owned by the Papieses. The Louisiana-bred colt will be trained by Alvin Sider.

“I thought he was a really nice colt and was one of the better ones here,” said Bethe Deal, whose Inside Move Inc. consigned the chestnut yearling. “I think he’s going to be a nice racehorse and will be able to go the distance. I think they will have a lot of success with him. He’s just one of those who shows a lot of class; he’s real hard to pick apart. He’s got a lot of personality and lot of class.”

Five other horses were hammered down for more than $50,000, all of which were colts. The top filly sold for $48,000 to J.R. and Rita Young from the consignment of Mark Toothaker and Tommy Eastam’s Legacy Bloodstock, agent. A daughter of Tapit, the filly is out of the Indian Ridge mare Pace, who is a half-sister to grade I winner Stroll.