By JEFF SCOTT
After an opening session during which horses seemed to sell for a nice sum or not at all, Fasig-Tipton's New York-bred preferred yearling sale wrapped up its two-night stand Aug. 10 at the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion with results that differed somewhat from those of the night before.
The average ($46,774) and median ($35,000) prices were considerably lower than the opening numbers of $62,979 and $52,000, respectively. But the figures for the entire sale -- an average of $54,390 and median of $45,000 -- were increases of 5.4% and 18.4%, respectively, from 2007.
Last year’s average was $51,606 from 113 yearlings sold. The median was $38,000.
The buy-back rate of 41.8% during the second session was an improvement over the opening session’s rate of 52.5%, resulting in a 47.4% figure for the sale. This compares with a 41.5% buy-back rate in last year’s sale. This year’s totals of 100 horses sold for a gross of $5,439,000, represented decreases of 11.5% and 6.7%, respectively. Last year’s gross was $5,831,500.
Denali Stud was again the leading consignor this year, selling 19 horses for a gross of $1,206,000 and average of $63,474. Denali also had a Songandaprayer colt (Hip No. 394) that failed to meet its reserve with a final hammer bid of $240,000.
"You have to have a nice horse," said Denali's Craig Bandoroff. "You have to have what (buyers) want. If you have what they want, there's money for it. If you don't have what they want, it doesn't matter what the reserve is, they're not going to want to own it."
Linda Rice was one of a number of trainers on the grounds over the weekend. After purchasing two horses Aug. 9, Rice signed the ticket (as agent for Jack Liebau Jr.) Aug. 10 for a filly by Jump Start out of the Dynaformermare Dynatrek.
"I've always had good luck shopping at this sale," said Rice. "They offer some nice horses here, some nice New York-breds." Asked about the high buy-back rate, she added, "I think it's the economy. We'll just have to stay the course and wait it out."
Eight yearlings sold for six-figures during the final session, including the session topper by young Ashford stallion Chapel Royal, whose first foals are 2-year-olds this year. James J. Barry went to $165,000 for the colt out of Devoted. The yearling was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent.
Five Chapel Royals sold (of six that went through the ring) for a total of $383,000 and average of $76,600.
The final six-figure yearling sold during the final session was Hip No. 408, a colt by Street Cry-- Isn't It Fun (by Crusader Sword). A. C. M. R. Stables purchased the colt for $100,000 from Topsmeade, agent.
"We're happy that the horse sold," said Topsmeade's Greg Garofalo. "He's a nice horse, and I'm glad he's going to be in good hands. He's got a great pedigree and a great physique. I'm looking forward to seeing him win some stakes races here at Saratoga."
The sale-topper was Hip No. 274, a son of Exchange Rateout of Star One One, by Caller I. D., that sold for $250,000 during the opening session. The bay colt was consigned by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds as agent, and was purchased by Buzz Chace, agent for West Point Thoroughbreds.