By Deirdre B. Biles and Esther Marr
Following the conclusion of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training May 24, the auction company’s president Boyd Browning said he was pleased that in spite of the fact there were 69 more horses sold this year, the overall average was just 1.3% lower than last year’s comparable figure.
“The numbers are very consistent from where they were last year, and that’s encouraging, considering the catalog was 50% larger this year,” Browning said. The median price was down 5.5% during the two-day auction in Timmonium, Md., which took place over a single day in 2010.
This year’s second session grossed $8,195,500 for the 166 juveniles that were sold. The average was $49,370 and the median price was $28,500. The buy-back rate was about 20%.
Overall, the sale grossed $16,193,100 for the 342 juveniles that were sold. The average was $47,348, the median was $25,500, and the RNA rate was 22.5%.
During last year’s one-day auction, the gross was $13,099,500 for the 273 horses that were sold. The average and median were $47,984 and $27,000, respectively. And the buy-back rate was a low 12.5%.
“I thought throughout both days there was a very solid marketplace, whether you had a horse that needed to bring several hundred thousand dollars, or a mid-range horse in the $25,000-$50,000 range, and even on the lower end of that,” said Browning. “We had two days of very solid, competitive bidding that took place.”
A stately Indian Charlie colt, which had created a buzz at the auction, lived up to all the hype when he fetched $600,000 to top the sale during its second session May 24.
Patrice Miller of the Pennsylvania consulting firm EQB purchased the handsome bay colt, which worked an eighth of mile in :10 1/5 prior to the auction.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Miller, who declined to reveal the swift juvenile’s new owner. “In our approach (to selecting sale horses), they have to jump through a lot of hoops and he jumped through them very well. This horse had presence. I watched him all week (before the sale); I had people watching him this winter. This horse just makes the grade. He does everything right.”
Sequel Bloodstock’s Becky Thomas, who consigned the colt, bought him for $95,000 from Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling auction. She owned him in partnership with Dennis Narlinger and his son, Michael.
Prior to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction this year, Thomas consigned the colt to the Fasig-Tipton Florida select and Keeneland April select sales of 2-year-olds in training, but scratched him from both auctions.
“He’s so awesome and so professional; I love him,” Thomas said. “He ended up in this sale through a bunch of circumstances, but I couldn’t be happier. He’s performed well every day of his life and he’s got the most laid-back attitude. Our reserve was way below that (his final price).”
Out of the unraced Summer Squall mare Bally Storm, the colt is a half brother to three winners, including Silver Bayer (by Smoke Glacken), who finished second in the Birdonthewire and Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash Stakes at Calder Race Course (now known as Calder Casino & Race Course) in 2008 and the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park in 2009. Bally Storm is a half sister to grade II winner Yarrow Brae (by Deputy Minister).
Jerry Jamgotchian bred the $600,000 juvenile in Kentucky. In 2009, Hill ‘n’ Dale, as agent, consigned the colt to the Keeneland November breeding stock sale but scratched him.
Eden’s Moon, a sleek daughter of Malibu Moon , topped the first session and was the second overall high-priced horse, commanding $390,000. Bidding on the telephone through Browning, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert purchased the bay filly as agent.
“It’s for one of Bob’s clients,” said Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms’ bloodstock services director, Donato Lanni, who helps Baffert pick out horses at the sales. “She is a well-bred filly with a strong family, she worked awesome on the track, and she’s by Malibu Moon, so she has sire power. Check, check, check.”
Florida-bred Eden’s Moon was among the four horses in the auction that turned in the fastest time for a quarter mile during the under tack show, covering the distance in :21 3/5. She is the second foal out of the winning Giant's Causeway mare Eden’s Causeway, who is a half sister to champion Paradise Creek (by Irish River), grade I winners Forbidden Apple (by Pleasant Colony) and Wild Event (by Wild Again), added-money winner I’m Very Irish (by Pleasant Colony), and Paradise River (by Irish River), the dam of English champion David Junior (by Pleasant Tap).
Eden’s Moon’s breeder, Bridlewood Farm, consigned her to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction as agent.
“I’m certainly pleased, but not totally surprised,” said Bridlewood general manager George Isaacs. “She showed at the farm that she had plenty of ability and she actually worked well at an earlier sale in South Florida, but it wasn’t quite over the top.”
Denali Stud, agent, consigned Eden’s Moon to the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, but she was scratched. Isaacs said the filly was “plain-looking” at that point in her life. Consigned to this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training by Niall Brennan Stables, agent, Eden’s Moon was a $110,000 buy-back after breezing an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5.
It was clear that Indian Charlie offspring had made a good impression among buyers at the sale, as not long after the $600,000 Indian Charlie colt became the sale topper May 24, another colt by that sire was hammered down for half that amount.
The latter $300,000 Indian Charlie colt, out of the Seeking the Gold mare Cariada, was the co-third highest priced horse during the two-day auction. Consigned by Breaking Point Farm, agent, he was bought by Carolyn Vogel.
“Indian Charlie himself is red-hot, and the two that sold today both worked extremely well on the racetrack, they were both much talked about horses around the sale grounds, and were very nice individuals, so honestly (their prices) were not a surprise,” said Browning of the sale topper and third-highest priced colt.
Two months ago, the $300,000 colt was acquired for just $13,000 by Sonia Chapman at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March 2-year-old sale from Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, agent. He was also consigned to the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, but failed to meet his reserve when the bidding stopped at $70,000.
From the family of several Canadian champions, including Classy ‘N Smart, the dam of Canadian and U.S. champion Dance Smartly, the Indian Charlie colt was bred in Kentucky by Bailey and Lance Robinson’s Gulf Coast Bloodstock, which began dispersing its horses this year.
Corkage, a fast bay daughter of More Than Ready consigned by Lynne Boutte, as agent, also brought $300,000 from Mandy Pope of Whisper Hill Farm.
The horse was the most expensive ever sold by Boutte. “This is special,” she said with tears in eyes. “Now I’m going to cry.”
Boutte and her husband, Chris, live in Florida where they pinhook, break, and train horses. In the name of Black Swan Stable, they purchased Corkage for $50,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Najid Fares, at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. They were acting on behalf of a partnership headed by John DeStefano, according to Lynne Boutte.
Bred in Kentucky by Fares Farm, Corkage worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 prior to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction. She is out of the winning Unbridled mare Uncork and is a half sister to the winner Unhinged (by Dehere). Uncork is a half sister to added-money winner Chetten County (by Giant's Causeway) and a full sister to Detach, the dam of grade II winner Apart (by Flatter ). Apart scored in the May 21 William Donald Schaefer Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico.
“She was just like she is now when we bought her; she just wasn’t grown up yet,” Boutte said. “She’s been a pleasure. I’m thrilled with the price.”
Bob Hess Jr. will train Corkage, Pope said.