Mine That Bird's half-brother, by Yonaguska, will sell as hip #107.

Mine That Bird's half-brother, by Yonaguska, will sell as hip #107.

Lydia Williams

F-T Midlantic Sale Results Could Surprise

Half-brother to Mine That Bird among horses in the auction.

Even in the midst of an economic crisis, there is hope for a solid performance from the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is scheduled for May 18 and 19 in Timonium, Md. The bulk of the auction’s catalog consists of reasonably-priced, blue-collar stock, and some of the other regional sales, which offered juveniles of the same type, generated results that were better than expected earlier this year.

At the Fasig-Tipton Texas auction, the average price held steady and the buy-back rate dropped when the sale got a big boost from a Middle East-based buyer who spent $701,000. The buy-back rate also decreased at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring auction, where the average was down 14.7%, which was a significant improvement from the 28.6% setback for the figure experienced by the five major select juvenile sales in California, Florida, and Kentucky combined.

“I think there is a pretty good market for the right horse – a good individual with enough pedigree -- regardless of what segment of the market he’s in,” said Fasig-Tipton Chairman Walt Robertson.

“I know that sounds like jibber jabber, but there’s a market for the $40,000 or $50,000 horse as long as he has a decent work and good conformation. A horse that’s got a reasonable shot of getting through his conditions at the racetrack has got value. We’ve got a nice bunch of horses with some pedigree for this (Midlantic) sale, and it has a hell of a track record because there are always runners that come out of here. There’s also an interesting addition, and that’s fun.”

The “interesting addition” is a Yonaguska colt that is a full brother to Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Mine That Bird. Paul Saylor, through Craig Wheeler, purchased the dark bay or brown juvenile for $100,000 at the OBS March select sale of 2-year-olds in training from Cary Frommer, agent. Following the Derby, Saylor wanted to try to resell the colt at the Midlantic auction, and Fasig-Tipton officials accepted the 2-year-old as a late entry.

Consigned by Frommer, the colt is Hip No. 107 in the Midlantic catalog. Prior to the OBS March sale, the juvenile worked an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5. But during the first session of the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale May 13, the colt just galloped because Saylor didn’t want to stress him further. The 2-year-old is out of the 8-year-old unraced Smart Strike mare Mining My Own.

In 2008, the 327 horses that were sold during the Midlantic auction grossed $15,757,400 and averaged $48,188. The median price was $28,000. Many sale participants blamed the country’s struggling economy for downturns from the previous year of 19.2% in gross, 13.5% in average, and 18.8% in median price. The buy-back rate rose to 34.1% from 28% in 2007.

Each session of this year’s sale will start at 10 a.m. (EDT).