While the average price and gross were about the same as last year for the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale, there were a number of positive signs for the marketplace, according to F-T president Boyd Browning.
In addition to an 11% gain in the median price and increased “interest” in bidding, Browning was especially pleased with a significantly lower buyback rate, which was 34% last year.
“It's been a long, long time since I've been standing here at Saratoga after a session with a 17% buyback rate and a 21% buyback rate for the overall sale,” said Browning. “There was almost a feeding frenzy today, and I'm sure there will be tomorrow for the horses that were bought back.”
At the 2012 sale, 107 horses sold for $32 million with an average price of $299,065 and a median of $225,000. At this year's sale, 108 horses sold for $31,870,000 with an average of $295,093 and a median of $250,000.
“We continue to see rationality in the purchasing side of things,” Browning said. “People stop bidding. They don't decide they're going to bid a horse and buy it for whatever it cost.”
“Interest with discipline” is how Browning described the dynamic of the sale. He said during the recent downturn, the interest wasn't there. But the energy appears to be back – in a more disciplined setting.
“It's probably a sign of a very healthy marketplace overall. Sellers are realistic in setting their reserves. Buyers are realistic in valuing their horses.”
George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables went to $750,000 for an Indian Charlie colt and paid the top price on the second and final evening of the sale. The colt, out of the unraced Storm Cat mare, Queenie Cat, was consigned by Hill ‘n' Dale acting as agent.
Other top prices on the second evening included a Distorted Humor filly that sold to Solis Bloodstock for $650,000 – consigned by Denali Stud – and a War Front filly that fetched the same price, sold by Gainesway and purchased by Steven W. Young.
On Monday night, two fillies out of A.P. Indy mares prompted seven-figure bids. A Dynaformer filly was the top price for the two sessions, going for $1,225,000 to the Borges Torrealba family of Brazil, a partner in Three Chimneys Farm. The sale topper was consigned by Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services.
A filly by Distorted Humor out the A.P. Indy mare, Cascading, brought $1 million on the first night. She was purchased by Live Oak Plantation and consigned by Hill ‘n' Dale.
Monday night, Team Valor paid $600,000 for an Indian Charlie filly who was consigned by Gainesway. This is the final crop of Indian Charlie's yearlings being offered. The stallion died from cancer at age 6 in 2011.
Team Valor also went to $875,000 for a Medaglia d'Oro colt on the first night.
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