Fasig-Tipton concluded its July Sale of Yearlings Tuesday with improved figures, highlighted by a million-dollar horse late in the session.
Lawrence Best, owner of OXO Equine, went to $1 million for Hip 290, a Medaglia d'Oro filly out of stakes winner Hung The Moon. Best, who made a splash earlier this year when he bought a pair of seven-figure 2-year-olds at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale, now has a stable of seven. Fasig-Tipton officials said this marked the first time a filly had brought seven figures at the July Sale since 1982.
“I try to review as many horses as I can and if one strikes me as special, I consider it carefully. I found this was the only horse I was interested in,” said Best, who does not work with an agent. “I'm building a portfolio for a ten-year ride and I don't count chips for a long, long time. I hope to have a return on my investments here, but it's like business: it takes seven to ten years to determine whether you've done well or not.”
Best currently has horses in training with Jerry Hollendorfer and Chad Brown, but has not made a determination on where this Medaglia d'Oro yearling will train on the track. He anticipated sending her to Eddie Woods to get her started.
Bluewater Sales consigned the filly.
Overall, numbers for the July sale were improved over 2016 edition. Total sales of $16,107,000 for 172 horses were up 2.2 percent, while the average of $93,645 was up 8.8 percent. The median price of $70,000 was up 16.6 percent.
Buyback rate finished at 29 percent, down from 38 percent last year.
“It certainly gives us great optimism as we head to Saratoga next. I think it should give everyone in the marketplace some confidence during the yearling sales,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “The only caution is it remains a very rational market. That was a very exceptional filly that brought a million dollars, by a stallion who's unbelievable right now.”
Although a number of tickets were signed by pinhookers, Browning cautioned against characterizing the sale as a strictly pinhooker-focused venue.
“The press has referred to this July sale for many, many years as a pinhooker-driven sale,” said Browning. “This July Sale is not a pinhooker sale, it's a really good yearling sale that has featured for 25, 30, 35 years, athletic, precocious, mature, well-developed individuals that appeal to both racehorse people and to pinhookers.”
The sale was delayed an hour due to an ongoing construction project on Newtown Pike which had tied up traffic severely at the scheduled 10 a.m. start time. The Horses of Racing Age sale Monday night was also bumped back 30 minutes due to traffic delays.
“At 9:50 [a.m.] somebody said, ‘You really need to look at it out front,' so I called David Kyle, our facilities manager, and David cussed for like, the first time in 20 years,” said Browning. “That's the great thing about our business – we probably made the announcement at 9:52, and people sort of went, ‘Eh, ok.'”
A colt by Kentucky Derby winner Orb selling earlier in the day took the second-highest price when he hammered at $310,000. The colt is out of the five-time winning Arch mare Aurora Prospect, already the dam of winner Solon's Warning. Second dam is takes winner Screen, a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winning track record setter Scan. Consigned by Gainesway, Hip 194 was purchased by trainer Kenny McPeek on behalf of Fern Circle.
At Monday's July Horses of Racing Age sale, 84 horses were sold for a total of $8,083,000, which was up 60 percent from 2016. The average price of $96,226 was an increase of 37.2 percent from 2016, while the median of $56,000 was up 33.3 percent from last year.
Fasig-Tipton's next auction will be the Saratoga Sale, Aug. 7-8.
To view the sale catalog, click here
To view the sale results, click here
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