Skip Dickstein

Business Down at F-T Preferred Yearling Sale

Average price falls 25.2%.

A Medaglia d'Oro  colt brought the sale-topping price of $275,000 as the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction ended its two-night run Aug. 16 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, well behind last year’s record-setting pace. Trainer Seth Benzel, agent for Whitehall Stable, purchased the bay yearling. James Pippo is the president of Whitehall, which puts together racing partnerships.

Thorndale Farm, agent for Akindale Farm, consigned the colt, which is a half-brother to the winner Watboo (by Silver Deputy). Their dam, the 13-year-old Southern Halo mare Miss Mary, scored in the 2000 Premio Arturo R. Bullrich (Arg-II). Miss Mary is a full sister to Argentine champions Miss Linda and Mr. Nancho.

Miss Linda captured the Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park in 2001 and the Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in 2002. Her other efforts included a third-place finish in the 2003 Overbrook Spinster.

The sale’s final results included a gross of $4,353,500 for the 107 horses that sold. The average price was $40,687, and the median price was $27,000. Compared to a year ago, when 100 yearlings were sold, the gross was down 20% from $5,439,000. The average dropped 25.2% from the auction’s all-time high of $54,390. And the median fell 40% from $45,000, which had equaled a sale record that had been established in 2005.

The buy-back rate declined from 47.4% in 2008 to 46%.

During the second session, the 55 horses that sold grossed $2,561,000 and averaged $46,564. The median was $30,000. The buy-back rate was 40.9%.