Following the generally positive trends in the yearling market this year, the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall sale ended its two-day run Oct. 5 in Timonium, Md., with increases of 15.7% in average price and 72.9% in median price from a year ago. The buy-back rate of 26.2% was down from 30.1% in 2010.
Making the statistics even more impressive was the fact that one of the auction’s most important buyers in the past, Jay Em Ess Stable, didn’t participate. Last year, Jay Em Ess, which is owned by California residents Mace Siegel and his daughter, Samantha, was the sale’s biggest spender, paying $572,000 for four yearlings.
“We’re pleased with the results,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning of the Midlantic auction’s performance. “The sale was similar to what we’ve seen throughout all the yearling sales of 2011. There was significant demand for the quality horses, with pretty competitive bidding and good depth of buyers. But for those horses that aren’t deemed to be desirable, it’s not easy to produce meaningful sale results for their owners.”
The auction’s final figures included a gross of $6,149,600 for the 332 yearlings that were sold. The average was $18,523 and the median was $9,250.
Compared to last year, the number sold dropped 15.3%, but the gross declined only 2%.
According to Browning, the excitement about a video-lottery-terminal casino that is scheduled to open in New York later this year helped boost the popularity of some yearlings. Revenue from the casino is expected to increase purses in the Empire State significantly.
“I can’t say that I saw a significant difference in the number of New York owners or trainers here, but I think that the level of competition and what buyers are willing to pay for New York-bred horses was higher this year than in recent years,” Browning said.
The sale’s most expensive horse, a Hard Spun – Lucky Lavender Gal colt, brought $200,000 during the first session Oct. 4. Bradley Thoroughbreds purchased the dark bay or brown yearling from Paramount Sales, agent.
During the second session, a Harlan's Holiday colt commanded the highest price of $180,000 to become the auction’s second-most-expensive horse. Lawrence Karp of Texas bought the bay yearling in the name of BARLAR. Rick and Dixie Abbott bred the colt in Pennsylvania and offered him in their Charlton consignment.
The session-topper is out of the Smart Strike mare Christmas Strike. She failed to win in three career races, but is a half sister to Christmas Kid (by Lemon Drop Kid ), who captured three added-money events, including the 2007 editions of the Ashland (gr. I) and Davona Dale (gr. II) stakes. Christmas Strike also is a half sister to another added-money winner, Elusive Gift (by Elusive Quality ).
In addition to the $180,000 colt, Christmas Strike's offspring include Double Down Vinman (by Out of Place), who scored in the 2008 Lil E. Tee Handicap at Presque Isle Downs, and two stakes-placed winners: No Passing Zone (by Pleasant Tap) and Holy Christmas (by Holy Bull). Christmas Strike's 2-year-old, Market Strike (by After Market), topped last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale, bringing $250,000 from Jay Em Ess.
The 162 yearlings that were sold during the second session of this year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction generated a gross of $2,955,100. Their average was $18,241 and their median was $9,000. The buy-back rate for the day was 27%.