The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training soared to new heights, recording the highest gross revenue and average price in its history during a two-day run that ended Tuesday in Maryland. In addition, the auction established a record for a horse sold at public auction in Maryland with a $625,000 Johannesburg
colt named Zounds during its first session Monday and also had the state's second-highest auction horse ever with a $525,000 Mr. Greeley -- Victorious Vice colt during its final session.
"It's been a very, very strong sale," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "The best thing about the sale is that there has been a legitimate marketplace at virtually all levels, from the relatively inexpensive horse, to the middle-priced horse, to the top end. And that's the sign of a really healthy and robust market when you can get horses moved at all levels."
New York-based bloodstock agent Billy Badgett purchased the Mr. Greeley colt for Steve Weizcholz of Boca Raton, Fla. The colt is out of the 15-year-old winning Vice Regent mare Victorious Vice and is a half-brother to Forest Princess (by Hansel), who captured the 2002 Navajo Princess Stakes at the Meadowlands and finished third in the 2000 Canadian Oaks. Other members of the family include Irish champion Swiftfoot.
"He was extremely athletic, and he really moved well on the track," said Badgett of the $525,000 colt. "He was real fluid, and he had a long stride. When you'd see him back at the barn, he was very professional. Nothing upset him."
Badgett had been the immediate underbidder on Zounds. Agent Joe Brocklebank purchased Zounds for New York resident Jeff Singer.
A strapping chestnut, the colt worked a quarter mile in :22 2/5. The time wasn't exceptional when compared with the performances of other horses in the auction, but the colt was an impressive physical specimen. An ankle problem had interrupted his training earlier this year, according to his consignor, Florida pinhooker Niall Brennan.
"Originally I had planned him as a Calder horse (pointing him for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale), but I gave him time off because he had a little injury to an ankle," Brennan said. "It was minor, but he couldn't go down to that sale. We loved him back then, and he's come along beautifully. with the regard to the fact that we missed some training time with him, it was a spectacular effort (in his work). People realize that he's a big horse, and he was only 80% ready. But his class and his talent allowed him to be able to breeze beautifully."
Kentucky bloodstock agent Mike Ryan, as agent, purchased the colt for $110,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction from Trackside Farm, agent.
Badgett said that Todd Pletcher would train the colt.
In all, 370 horses were sold at Timonium for a gross of $21,236,500. The average and median were $57,396 and $30,000, respectively. The former records for gross and average of $18,911,500 and $48,994, respectively, were set in 2005 when 386 horses were sold. The median price fell from the sale record of $31,500 last year to $30,000 this year. The buy-back rate rose from 22.5% in 2005 to 27.2% this year.