Numbers Down for Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Yearling Sale; About the Same for Saratoga

Identifying mare reproductive loss syndrome as the culprit, Fasig-Tipton officials said the company would catalogue significantly fewer yearlings this year for its Kentucky select sale. However, the number for the Saratoga select auction will be about the same as in 2002.

The Kentucky auction will have a book of about 460 horses, a 24% decline from last year's sale record high of 604. The Saratoga catalogue will have approximately 220 horses, a decrease of only 4% from the 2003 total of 229.

Explaining why Saratoga's numbers remained about the same, Fasig-Tipton executive Boyd Browning said: "At Saratoga, some of our traditional consignors are not based in Kentucky. They're from Virginia, Maryland, and New York; those states were not affected by MRLS like Kentucky was. Those same farms are also not traditional Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July consignors. The other thing is that we do have Newsells Park Stud and Classic Star entering the marketplace with horses at Saratoga this year for the first time."

Keeneland's decision not to conduct its July select auction this year might also have given Fasig-Tipton access to some yearlings that it would not have gotten in the past for Saratoga. But Browning and other Fasig-Tipton officials said they didn't know how much impact the Keeneland cancellation had.

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July auction is scheduled for July 16 and 17 in Lexington. The Saratoga sale will be held Aug. 5, 6, and 7.