The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale closed out its two-day run in Maryland Tuesday with a 9.5% increase in average price as the top of the market strengthened. Ten horses were sold for individual prices of $100,000 or more compared to six a year ago. With a smaller catalogue, the gross revenue suffered a moderate loss, but the median price held steady.
"It was a very solid," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president. "In my mind, it was a typical Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale; this is a very consistent market. It was not spectacular, but it was a very honest horse sale. It is one of the most predictable markets in the country because of the number of trainers and number of end users who are within 200 miles of this sales facility. We had good crowds both days and a good mix of pinhookers and end users. We also had a few better horses in the catalogue this year."
Fasig-Tipton reported that 456 horses were sold for a gross of $8,325,500, an average of $18,258, and a median $9,500. The number sold was down 14.0% from a year ago, but the gross declined only 5.8%. The final figures for 2002, according to Fasig-Tipton, were 530 horses sold for a total of $8,840,400 and an average of $16,680. The buy-back rate was 24.8%, the same as last year.
A strapping Not For Love colt sold for $230,000 Tuesday to top the sale. New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace was the buyer, acting on the behalf of Terry Finley's West Point Thoroughbreds. The Maryland-bred colt's dam, Gala Goldie's Best, is a 9-year-old stakes-placed daughter of Phone Trick. She is a half-sister to three stakes winners: Gala Goldilocks (by Shelter Half), Gala de Oro (by Shelter Half), and Gala Gold Digger (by Rollicking).
"I thought he was the standout of the sale," Chace said. "He was just a big, beautiful horse. He had a great demeanor, and I like the Phone Trick mare because she puts a little zip in him. He looks like he'll be an early (running) colt. He had a lot of charisma. I thought he would go for maybe $100,000 or $150,000, tops, but obviously someone else liked him a lot, too, and made us pay for him. I had Terry on the phone after he (the colt) reached $150,000. At $230,000, he (Terry) said, 'That's kind of enough for him.' "
The colt, which stands around 16.1 hands, is a racing, not a pinhooking prospect, Chace added. He will be sent to Florida, where he will be broken by David McKathan.
The Bender family's Maryland-based Glade Valley Farms bred and consigned the colt.
The statistics on the sale's final day were 221 horses sold for a gross of $4,285,300, an average of $19,390, and a median of $10,500.