Wicked Exchange (Hip #441), Exchange Rate - Wickedly Wise by Tactical Cat, brought the top price of $375,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

Wicked Exchange (Hip #441), Exchange Rate - Wickedly Wise by Tactical Cat, brought the top price of $375,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Figures Drop at FT Kentucky

Numbers drop at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.

Despite registering across the board declines, the results of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale, held July 14-15 at the sale company’s Newtown Paddocks near Lexington, did not overly disappoint sale company officials.

“I will say this, the horse business is doing better than my 401K,” said Walt Robertson, president of Fasig-Tipton. “It is a tough world out there, but I thought this was a very good sale. The buyers tell me they were having a tough time buying good horses.”

For the two-day sale, Fasig-Tipton reported 305 horses sold for $28,151,000. The average was $92,298 and the median $75,000. The buy-back rate was 39%.

Compared to last year, the gross fell 23% from $36,441,000, and the average dropped 10% from $102,941. The median fell 6% from $80,000. The buy-back rate in 2007 was 32.1%.

Robertson said he attributed the declines in the overall figures to the toughness of the market at the lower end and the fact the sale recorded fewer horses selling for more than $300,000.  “People are demanding a higher level of a horse than they have in the past years. It is just another factor of the economy,” he said.

A daughter of Exchange Ratenamed Wicked Exchange, purchased for $375,000 by Zayat Stables, topped the first major yearling auction of the summer and fall sale season.

“I thought she was going to go as high as a filly could go in this sale,” said Sobhy Sonbol, racing manager for Zayat Stables, of the sale topper. “She was a really nice filly. I like the stallion (Exchange Rate). We have had good luck with him (Zayat Stables races stakes winner Zee Zee by the stallion). I like way she was shaped, looked to be very quick on her feet, and was the type of horse that we look for.”

Wicked Exchange will now go to McKathan Brothers Farm near Citra, Fla., where she will be broken. Sonbol said it was too early to decide on a trainer.

Consigned by Kitty Taylor’s Warrendale Sales, agent, the filly was purchased as a weanling for $100,000 at the 2007 Keeneland November mixed sale by David Hanley’s Whitechurch Farm, located on 52 acres near Lexington.

“We loved the filly from the first moment that we saw her,” Hanley said. “She’s done well since the day we got her. She has always been a beautiful and classy filly, loads of quality and a great head.”

Bred in Florida by Y-Lo Racing Stables, the filly was produced from the Tactical Catmare Wickedly Wise and is from the family of stakes winners Cayman Sunset and Sailors Sunset.

For the session, Fasig-Tipton reported 163 horses sold for a gross of $14,840,000. The average was $91,043, and the median was $75,000. The buy-back rate was 33%.

Compared to this session last year, the gross dropped 28%, the average fell 22%, and the median was down 17%. The buy-back rate in 2007 was 31%.