The polarization of the yearling marketplace was on full display during the third session of the 2019 Fasig-Tipton October Yearlings Sale, which posted the lowest daily returns of this year's sale, but also produced the auction's two most expensive offerings thus far.
Wednesday's session finished with 240 horses sold for revenues of $8,378,100, up 5 percent from last year's third-day gross of $7,990,900 from 244 horses sold. The average sale price finished at $34,909, 7 percent ahead of $32,750 last year, while the median fell 17 percent to $10,000 from $12,000. The buyback rate finished at 26 percent, compared with 24 percent during last year's comparable session.
“Three straight days of increases in average and increases in gross is certainly very encouraging,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “The resiliency and depth of the market never ceases to amaze me. Historically, the sale has been strong throughout all four days, and there continues to be activity throughout the sale.
“There might be a few less people here in-person, but they've certainly left plenty of money on the phones or with other agents or associates to be able to bid on horses, and that was really encouraging,” he continued. “Tonight, I spent the last 30 minutes in the back walking ring and outside, and there were still hundreds of people here for the last 10 or 15 horses to go through the ring – and there wasn't really an expensive buzz horse in there. They were good bread-and-butter October kind of horses, and there was still quite a crowd gathered up to make sure those horses brought fair prices from the buyers' perspective.”
Wednesday's returns outperformed last year's third session, which was the weakest of last year's four-day sale, but the returns were still lower across the board than either of the first two sessions of this year's sale.
Despite the slower pace on Wednesday, the cumulative totals at the end of day three were still competitive. The average sale price of $37,266 was ahead of last year's final figure of $32,750, while the median trailed last year's final number $13,000 to $15,000. Through three days of trade, a total of 740 horses changed hands through the first three days for revenues of $27,577,200.
The new sale-topper through three sessions was Hip 1033, an Uncle Mo colt who sold to Mike Ryan, agent, for $410,000.
The bay colt is the second foal out of the unraced Stormy Atlantic mare Picardia. Though Picardia never saw the track in competition, the family has a strong history of black type production, starting with second dam Pretty City, who had Grade 1 winners Lear's Princess and Pretty City Dancer.
Third dam Pretty Special had Grade 1 winner My Big Boy, while fourth dam Snobbishness was a graded stakes producer and had several other branches go on to create long lines of black type.
Bred in Kentucky by Meg Dumaine, the colt was consigned by Indian Creek, agent.
Also hitting the mark on Wednesday was a filly from the first crop of Runhappy who sold to Speedway Stables for $400,000.
The bay filly, offered as Hip 1090, is out of the stakes-winning Forestry mare Queens Plaza, whose five foals to race are all winners, including multiple stakes winner Queen Caroline, Grade 3-placed Queen Teuta, and stakes-placed K P Slickem.
“We're thrilled to get her,” said bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, who signed the ticket for Speedway Stable. “She's actually the only horse that we've bid on for them this whole sale. We've been waiting for her. She's got a lot of upside for us. She's got a beautiful pedigree. It's [champion juvenile] Folklore's family, and a hugely exciting sire in Runhappy.
The filly was bred in Virginia by Morgan's Ford Farm, which Farrell said was also a selling point.
“They are the organic of the organics,” she said. “It was very good land that she was raised on, and she was pinhooked by an excellent judge in Peter O'Callaghan, whose track record speaks for itself.
Farrell said the filly would be trained by Bob Baffert.
O'Callaghan bought the filly for $215,000 at last year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and consigned her through his Woods Edge Farm at the October sale.
“She was a great foal when we bought her, and she came from great breeders,” O'Callaghan said. “We stretched for her when we bought her. We had a bit of bad luck with her in the summer, she got sick, so we missed our appointment in [the Keeneand September Yearling Sale] with her, so we just put her on the back burner and got her ready for this. She bounced out of it beautifully.
“There was an army of people in there to bid for her,” he continued. “There were telephones in every corner of the ring waiting to bid for her.”
The Fasig-Tipton October sale concludes on Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.
To view the full results, click here.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.