Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 582 horses for its Kentucky select yearling sale that will be held in Lexington July 16 and 17. The number is up 22% from last year's total of 477, but it doesn't come close to the auction's record high of 679 in 2005.
"We were exposed to more horses that we thought worked for the sale this year," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We think that our selection criteria were at least as high as in the past, if not higher. We just found more yearlings that we thought were acceptable. We have a nice group of horses, and the new sire showcase continues to be very, very popular. There are some exiting stallions that have their first and second crops of yearlings this year, and we're all looking forward to seeing those."
During the North American yearling market's record-setting run last year, the Fasig-Tipton July sale posted all-time highs for its average and median prices. However, there are questions this year about how strong the yearling sales will be after downturns at juvenile auctions.
"We have probably seen some stabilization in the Thoroughbred marketplace," Browning said, "I don't think we are going to continue to see never-ending increases in averages and grosses and things of that nature. But I do think the yearling market still will be very good. I can see some cutbacks, but there hasn't been an across-the-board, dramatic shift in the marketplace."