Record $16 million paid for Forestry colt at Fasig-Tipton juvenile sale.

Record $16 million paid for Forestry colt at Fasig-Tipton juvenile sale.

Eliot Schechter

Highest Price Ever Helps Fasig-Tipton Set Juvenile Sale Records

Boosted by a $16-million Forestry colt, the most expensive Thoroughbred ever sold at public auction, the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training rocketed into the record books Tuesday at Calder Race Course.

The gross revenue of $62,187,000 and the average price of $403,812 for the 154 horses sold were the highest ever in history for a juvenile sale, exceeding the former marks of $50,132,000 and $341,034 that were established at this auction last year. Meanwhile, the median price of $200,000 equaled the world record for 2-year-olds in training that also was set during the Calder sale's 2005 edition.

In another major development, the buy-back rate dropped significantly, from 44.9% last year to 32.7% this year.

"It was obviously a phenomenal horse sale," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "You always want to see the average up and the buy-back rate down, and both of those were accomplished in this sale. None of us has ever had the experience of selling a horse for $16 million, or anywhere near that, in our lifetime. That was fantastic; that was wonderful; and that was extraordinary. But even without that, it was still a great horse sale. That was kind of the icing on the cake. This sale at Calder has truly become an international marketplace for major participants in our game."

According to Terence Collier, Fasig-Tipton's director of marketing, the group of buyers at the Calder auction was its "deepest and most diverse" ever. There were more shoppers than usual from California and Europe along with a large contingent of Japanese buyers.

"We worked harder in virtually every part of the world to get buyers here this year," Collier said. "We sent more people on more trips. We spent more effort finding out how convenient it was for the buyers to come here. And we sent out a promotional DVD with a review of some of the big stakes winners we had sold in the past. We went all over the world -- literally -- pulling people here, and it really worked."

Fasig-Tipton was rewarded with increases of 24.0% in gross and 18.4% in average from 2005. A major factor in those gains was the $16-million Forestry colt, which shattered the former world record of $13.1 million for Seattle Dancer at the 1985 Keeneland July select yearling auction. The previous world mark for a juvenile was the $5.2 million for Ever Shifting, a Tale of the Cat  colt, at last year's Fasig-Tipton Florida sale.

Irish agent Demi O'Byrne was the Foresty colt's buyer, fighting off a determined John Ferguson, who is the bloodstock manager for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai.

"It's beautiful when two titans hook up," a beaming Browning said afterward.

The bay colt with the big white blaze and streamlined body is an impressive combination of pedigree and athletic talent. A Florida-bred, he is the second foal out of the 8-year-old winning Unbridled mare Magical Masquerade, who is a half-sister to grade II winner Magicalmystercat (by Storm Cat). His second dam, Nannerl (by Valid Appeal), also was a grade II winner. Prior to the Fasig-Tipton Florida auction, the colt worked the fastest eighth of a mile, covering the distance in 9 4/5 seconds.

"He'd better be good," joked O'Byrne, who then added on a more serious note: "He's special, I thought."

O'Byrne said he was acting on the behalf of Coolmore managing partner John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derek Smith, and that the colt will race in this country.

Florida pinhnookers Dean De Renzo and Randy Hartley consigned the colt. They purchased him for $425,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction. Taylor Made consigned the colt for his breeder, Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables.

"It's exhilarating," De Renzo said. "I don't have to sell another horse in my life. But I'll stay in the game because I love it. We'll probably reinvest the money in horses."

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