The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale got off to a rip-roaring start Monday in Maryland, with increases of 44.9% in gross revenue, 29.0% in average price, and 50.0% in median price from last year's opening session.
"We're following the (upward trend of) the previous yearling sales," said Mason Grasty, the executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic.
The 265 horses sold at Timonium grossed $5,853,000 and averaged $22,170. The median was $12,000. In comparison, the results from 2003's first session were 235 yearlings sold, a gross of $4,040,200, an average of $17,192, and a median of $8,000. The buy-back rate dropped from 23.7% last year to 20.0% this year.
"This sale continues to gain respect on a national basis with the success of its graduates," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. Recent alumni include such talented runners as Lion Heart and Declan's Moon.
Monday's top-selling horse was a $210,000 Not For Love
colt. He is the first foal out of the 8-year-old stakes-placed Wolf Power mare Vicki's Vixen, who is from the family of grade II winner Little Bold John (an earner of $1,956,406). New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace was the buyer, outlasting Samantha Siegel of California.
"He's a nice, well-balanced horse," said Chace of the handsome Maryland-bred bay. "He's out of a nice young mare who could run, and she's from a running family. I thought he would bring a lot of money; I thought he would be the session topper today."
Chace was acting on the behalf of Bill Poston, who is in the residential building and development business in Georgia. Poston didn't attend the auction, but Chace kept in touch with him by cell phone during the bidding.
"I liked him (the colt) because Buzz liked him," Poston said later during telephone interview. "Buzz has bought me some nice horses, so I like anything that Buzz likes. I have a Not for Love filly, (grade III winner) Angela's Love, who is doing real good now, so I liked the pedigree."
Asked if the high price made him hesitate, Poston replied: "We talked about it (quitting), but Buzz liked the horse enough that we thought it was worth it to go on. I don't know where we would have stopped (if Siegel had continued to push the price upward)."
Poston owns approximately 12 horses in training that are with Dale Romans, Todd Pletcher, and Buddy Edwards.
Mr. and Mrs. David Hayden's Dark Hollow consigned the session topper as agent for Peter Bradley, who was in France when the $210,000 colt was sold. The Kentucky bloodstock agent purchased Vicki's Vixen privately while she was carrying the colt. Reached by telephone, Bradley said he was the sole breeder of the colt even though The Jockey Club's records list Willie deBurgh as his partner. According to Bradley, deBurgh didn't purchase an interest in the mare until after the colt was born.
"I am absolutely ecstatic," Bradley said. "I thought he would bring $100,000 to $125,000. Dark Hollow did an excellent job raising him and preparing him (for the sale).
The second and final session of the auction is scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).Complete Results from October 4 Session