Lane's End Farm, a perennial leader at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sales, will not have a consignment at this year's sale held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Aug. 10-12. Instead, the sales agency of the Woodford County farm will focus its yearling prospects to Keeneland's September yearling sale in Kentucky, to be held Sept. 13-25.
"Our September consignment is our strongest ever," said Bill Farish, director of sales for Lane's End. "Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga sale is continuing to get stronger. The quality has tended to rise over the last couple of years and you need that kind of quality up there. We didn't want to take away from our strength in September to bolster a consignment at Saratoga."
Over the last five years, Lane's End has ranked either second or third among consignors at Saratoga in terms of gross sales. Last year, they ranked third, selling 11 yearlings for $3,892,000, good for an average of $353,818. A total of 154 yearlings were sold at the Saratoga sale, averaging $313,357. Last year's average at Saratoga rose 24.5%. Lane's End sold the sale's top-priced filly, a daughter of Storm Cat out of champion Jewel Princess (by Key to the Mint) for $1.1 million.
"We had been doing it for a long time (selling at Saratoga)," Farish said. "It's a wonderful place to go. One of the things that has brought the Saratoga sale back is the fact they have focused on American pedigrees and American buyers. The buyers have come to expect that."
For this year's Saratoga sale, 212 hips have been catalogued by Fasig-Tipton.
Farish said he figures Lane's End to have approximately 200 horses in the September sale. Last year, Lane's End was the sale's leading consignor, selling 157 of 174 offerings for $32,924,400, an average of $209,710. Just under 3,000 horses were sold at last year's 12-session sale; the average was $92,293. Lane's End accounted for 12% of the September sale's $273,925,300 gross and sold eight of the 27 yearlings that realized a price of at least $1 million.
Keeneland won't disclose the number of yearlings they'll offer in September, but Geoffery Russell, the sales' company's director of sales, said, "it'll be more than last year." In 2003, 4,481 yearlings were catalogued.
"We're delighted that Lane's End has the confidence that the September sale is the marketplace for yearlings," Russell said.