After losing its record-setting momentum a year ago, the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction rebounded significantly during its latest edition, which ended Tuesday at the company's Newtown Paddocks near Lexington. The sale generated all-time highs for average price and median price. In addition, the auction had its first seven-figure horse since 1983, a $1.2 million Forestry -- Alizea's Song colt that was sold during Monday's opening session.
"The numbers couldn't be much stronger," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson. "We had good horses, and people wanted them, thank goodness."
When Fasig-Tipton had its largest July catalogue ever last year, with 679 yearlings, the gross revenue, average, and median all declined. This year, there were only 477 horses.
"I think this year we had fewer horses that didn't fit this market," Robertson said. "That was a big part of it right there. One of goals when we sat down after last year (to talk about the auction) was to get a higher percentage of horses that fit. This was an awfully good sale, so with our meeting coming up on what we're going to next year, how we approach it shouldn't vary too much from the way we approached this year. I'm only speaking for myself. I could see a few more horses next year, but not to the numbers that we've had in the past.
The 307 horses sold grossed $35,598,000, which was down 4.1% from last year's comparable figure of $37,106,000 when 368 yearlings were sold. The average increased 15.0%, from $100,832 last year to $115,954 this year. The median rose 20.0%, from $75,000 to $90,000. This year's buy-back rate was 24.6%, down sharply from 38.8% in 2005.
The previous records for average of $114,260 and median of $80,000 both were established in 2004. (The Blood-Horse has calculated the median for the sale only since the mid-1980s.)
The results for the Tuesday's second and final session were 153 horses sold, a gross of $18,872,000, an average of $123,346, and a median of $100,000. Last year, 184 yearlings were sold for a gross of $19,603,000, an average of $106,538, and a median of $75,000.
colt was the top seller Tuesday at $750,000. Scott Guenther bought the handsome bay for his Desperado Stables. John Mayer's Nursery Place, which bred the colt in partnership with Robert Manfuso, was the consignor.
Guenther called his expensive purchase the best colt in the sale.
"The Foresty colt was a bit more refined than this horse; this horse had more bone," Guenther said. "He's just my kind of horse."
The immediate underbidder was Richard O'Gorman, representing Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation.
The colt is the first foal out of the 6-year-old unraced Arch
mare Mayhavebeentheone, who is a half-sister to grade III winner Wiseman's Ferry