A Ringside Seat: Observations on Fasig-Tipton Sale

Compiled by Ron Mitchell, Kristin Ingwell Goode, Leslie Deckard, David Schmitz, Ben Hickman

Buzz Chace, agent, buyer: "It's been a really good horse sale. I am having a hard time buying what I want. It's really tough to try to buy a horse. A lot of people want them and are willing to spend money for them. Pinhookers are buying a lot of horses and are probably paying a little more than they want. It will be interesting if it carries over to the 2-year-old sales."

Nick de Meric, buyer: "My perception is that this yearling market might tighten up as the year goes on. As the slight drop in numbers and supply and demand catch up, there will be less horses. A lot of the early foals were affected by Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. There are 100 fewer horses in this catalog, and there will be less at Keeneland, so assuming the demand is stable, the effects will be more (later in the year). I haven't seen a physical change because of MRLS; they've kept a good quality individual in this sale which keeps buyers coming back."

Ken McPeek, trainer, buyer: "Fasig-Titpon has done a good job finding good horses. It's not easy to buy, but it has never been easy (here)."

Martin O'Dowd, Ruunymede Farm, consignor: "The sale was slow in getting going Wednesday, but picked up in the last 100 hips. We felt confident with the horses we brought here. They were nice and athletic, and vetted clean. We sold four of the five we consigned, and I'm on my way to selling the one that didn't sell."

John Phillips, Darby Dan Farm, consignor: "This is a good sale. The gross is down and the average is down a little but the most important thing is that the RNA rate is down. That means horses are changing hands and that is good for any sale."

William Rainbow, Florida farm owner, consignor: "It's difficult to grow yearlings for the summer sales. Yearlings are better suited for the fall sales because they're given more time to mature."

Mark Taylor, Taylor Made Sales Agency, consignor: "I think the sale has been fine; it's pretty much what we expected. Good horses are selling above average and the horses with vet problems are going lower. But the market is healthy. I think Saratoga will be better and Keeneland September even better. MRLS has not affected the quality (of the offerings), but the average age and size seem to be down. I think the scarcity could show around the third book in September."

Tim Thorton, Airdrie Farm, consignor: "It appears to be a healthy sale. The market's strong for the right horse, especially for ones whose conformation suggests they'll be able to run as 2-year-olds. Bill Graves (of Fasig-Tipton) did a good job with the catalogue, but the sale probably has been hurt a little because of Keeneland's absence."

Tom Van Meter, Eaton Sales, consignor: "It's going well. We're selling most of them and there aren't a lot of RNAs. We have a couple Thunder Gulches that should light things up. The nature of this sale has changed because it always piggybacked off Keeneland July. But people came. We're excited about Saratoga. We have a lot of big ones to take up there, ones we normally wouldn't take. Buyers like the new sires; no one has ever had a bad one. I can't see the MRLS effect. I don't feel like demand is more or less. It's the same market; the same people are buying."