Fresh on the heels of a world-record setting Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, Fasig-Tipton officials are gearing up for their Kentucky Fall yearling sale Oct. 25-26.
A total of 831 hips are scheduled to go on the block at the two-day, two-session affair. The young horses are represented by 322 individual sires, including leading sires A.P. Indy, Storm Cat, Giant's Causeway, and Wild Rush.
"We had a very strong sale last year," said executive vice president and chief operating officer Boyd Browning. "We certainly anticipate having another strong sale this year, even though you never quite know for sure the quality you'll have in a 'non-select' sale without a screening process for the entries.
"But we've got a record number entries this year, and the level of pre-sale interest has been very high." Browning said. "In talking to some of our consignors they think they've got some real nice horses entered, so we've got every reason to be optimistic."
Browning is hoping this year's figures match or eclipse last year's stellar event which saw 528 head sell for a gross of $9,219,400, up 44.5% from the previous year. Last year's average of $17,461 was up 42% over the 2002 figures, and the median of $9,100 was up 51.7%.
"When you consider the strength of the yearling market in North America this year -- even though Tattersalls and Goff's disappointed a little in Europe earlier this month -- the market has been strong across the board."
Among the notable consignments will be 57 yearlings as part of the dispersal of the John Franks Estate stock consigned by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency. Former Franks stallion Kissin Kris is represented by a sale-high 14 of his offspring, 11 from the dispersal.
Also up for sale will be six yearlings from the consignment of Glen Hill Farm, who were unable to make it to the Keeneland September sale due the spate of hurricanes that gripped Florida this season.
As for the hot hips, Browning said since none of the horses had reached the grounds it would be "a little premature on our part to come up with the 'talking horses' as we just don't have a feel for it. But there are some top of the line, leading sires represented here, and when you pick up a catalogue and see Storm Cat, A. P. Indy, and Giant's Causeway represented, that always makes it interesting."
In addition to Kissin Kris who is represented by 14, Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed sale's second-leading sire Pike Pass, Petionville and Louis Quatorze have eight each catalogued for the sale.
Browing said Fasig-Tipton--which has 800-stall capacity--has erected 70-75 temporary stalls under a large tent to hold the overflow crowd. "We utilized a similar tent earlier this year at Timonium in our Midlantic sale. The tent will be set up adjacent to Barns 1 and 2, and it makes for a very nice, safe environment for the horses--as a matter of fact, some in the Midlantic
region actually prefer it to the regular barns. It's worked out well so far."
Paramount Sales, who consigned last year's sale-topper--a $400,000 Saint Ballado filly out of the stakes-winning Metrogrand mare Metromane--and Kitty Rhoden's Warrendale consignment, will bivouac under the big-top.
The sale gets underway Monday at 10 a.m. EDT at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks location near I-75. Recent stakes winners Wholelottabourbon, Noon Win and America America were sold at the fall sale in recent years.