by Shelby Downs
Louisiana-breds continued to be a hot commodity at the Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale, where a son of Even the Score topped the first session on Aug. 25 with a $120,000 price tag. The highest-priced filly, a daughter of Gulch, was also bred in the Bayou State and got hammered down for $105,000. The sale is held at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the grounds of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
The figures for the first session exceeded expectations in light of some disappointing results from several earlier yearling sales in other states. The gross for day one of the Texas sale increased 29% compared with the first day of 2007. A total of 145 sold for $1,718,200, up from 121 purchases that brought $1,331,600 a year ago. The average rose 7.7% to $11,850 from $11,005, and the buyback rate improved to 33.8% from 38.9%. The median checked in at $5,000, a drop of 23.1% from $6,500 in 2007. At last year’s sale, the second session yielded better figures when a Louisiana-bred son of Pleasant Tap sold for a record-setting $330,000.
"The demand was still there for the higher horses," said Tim Boyce, director of sales for Fasig-Tipton Texas. "I think we have some horses that can do well tomorrow, and I feel pretty good that we had two over $100,000 today. Coming into this I really wasn’t sure, especially since it seemed a little light with people looking at horses on Saturday."
Lee Young Farm purchased the session-topper, hip 233, from the consignment of Elysian Bloodstock. The dark bay or brown colt is from the second crop of multiple graded stakes winner Even the Score and out of the Malagra mare Whata Rock, a five-time stakes winner who has produced five winners from five starters including stakes-placed Whata Soldier.
"He had a good mind and good conformation and a good pedigree so we took a shot," said Troy Young, who trains horses for his father, Lee. Troy indicated the April colt would not start until his 3-year-old season.
With 79 horses, Legacy Bloodstock has more yearlings in the sale than any other consignor. They hit big with hip 27, which is the top-selling Gulch filly from the family of millionaire Bien Nicole. Leprechaun Racing was the winning bidder.
"I loved her from the moment I saw her," said Mark Toothaker of Legacy. "She’s a good filly, she’s got high energy and she’s done everything right for us. She’s one of the most athletic. She’s got a chance to be any kind of racehorse."
The sale resumes at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, for the second and final session.