Lacking the horsepower supplied last year when a dispersal of Eugene Melnyk's breeding stock at Winding Oaks Farm dominated the top end, the 2014 edition of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale got under way Sunday afternoon in Lexington, Ky., with the first of two sessions. Average price, as expected, was down from the 2013 one-day sale, but median price held up well and the percentage of horses through the ring finding new buyers stood at a respectable 80 percent.
Devious Intent, a Grade 3 stakes-winning 5-year-old daughter of Dixie Union sold as a broodmare prospect, brought the top price of $350,000 from Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. Consigned by James B. Keogh's Grovendale, as agent, Devious Intent raced for Kevin Hulse's TK Stables and was trained by Kellyn Gorder. Produced from the unraced Machiavellian mare Hafifah, Devious Intent won 4-of-17 races at 3 and 4, including the G3 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park.
Second-highest price at $300,000 was the unbeaten Cluster of Stars, who raced for Harvey Weinstein's Turtle Bird Stable, counting the G2 duo of the Gallant Bloom Handicap and Distaff Handicap among her seven wins. She was trained by Steve Asmussen. Cluster of Stars was consigned as a broodmare prospect by Taylor Made Sales Agency and purchased by Louise and Kiki Coutelis' Town & Country Farms of Paris, Ky.
The top-priced yearling was a filly by Bernardini out of the graded stakes-winning Carson City mare Bohemian Lady, a half-sister to G1 winner and sire Any Given Saturday. Consigned by Hidden Brook, she sold for $200,000 to Wounded Warrior Stable.
Fasig-Tipton reported selling 122 of the 153 horses offered, with 31 failing to exceed their reserve price, an RNA rate of 20.3 percent. Gross revenue was $4,475,100, an average price of $36,681 and median of $16,000. Last year's one-day auction, fueled by revenue of $6,871,000 from 28 Melnyk horses, saw gross receipts of $13,781,700 from the sale of 245 horses, an average of $56,252. The median in 2013 was $15,000.
Sunday's opening session compares very favorably to the 2012 auction when 270 horses brought $4,601,800, an average price of $17,044 and $6,000 median.
The sale continues Monday at 10 a.m. with a larger session that begins with Hip 177 and continuing through Hip 588.
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