Fasig-Tipton has a new walking ring at its sale grounds in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It was built in a large grassy open space near the sale pavilion, and the company's executives hope that it will help relieve some of the congestion, especially during the select yearling auction that will be held Tuesday and Wednesday nights.Previously, there was just one small walking ring, and horses entered it from the barn area. Attendants holding ropes had to hold back the crowd. Now there is only a very short stroll from the new walking ring to the old one, and the partition in the old walking ring is narrower to give the horses more room to move. The new walking ring has a partition that lifts out, instead of a gate, that allows the horses to leave." We thought it (the new walking ring) was a huge improvement for safety reasons, and it gives people a larger place to watch these horses walk before they go into the sale ring," said Bill Graves, Fasig-Tipton's director of yearling sales. "We didn't have that before in that little, tight (outside) enclosure. This to me, hopefully, will be a major improvement.Kitty Taylor of Kentucky-based Warrendale Sales is a new consignor at Saratoga.This is my first group up here, on my own," she said. "I decided to come because I had two big, good-looking colts. My client who owns the Tiznow colt had always wanted to come to Saratoga, so when the horse was accepted, I was like well let's go so you can have some fun and the experience. The other client that owns the Silver Deputy colt was looking forward to coming up to Saratoga, too."I've had a lot of activity; the horses have been out a lot," she added. "It's a lot of the same people we see in September and in July in Kentucky. It's a different venue, but the same people."
Prospective buyers, consignors, and Fasig-Tipton officials were cautiously optimistic prior to the Saratoga select yearling sale's starte even though the stock market and the Thoroughbred marketplace in general have lost momentum lately.