High Buyback Rate Punctuates Inaugural Edition of Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Sale

by | 09.10.2017 | 9:15pm
2017 Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase

Fasig-Tipton completed its inaugural Turf Showcase Sale of Selected Yearlings on Sunday night with disappointing figures, including a buyback rate close to 50 percent.

A total of 74 horses were sold, while 71 were not, making for an RNA rate of 48.9 percent. As of late Sunday, that figure included five horses sold privately after failing to meet their reserves in the ring.

Gross receipts totaled $5,035,000. The average price was $68,041 while the median was $52,500.

This is the first edition of the Turf Showcase, which kicked off the night before the start of Keeneland's September Yearling Sale. Although several lots were purchased by American racing and pinhooking outlets commonly seen at the top levels of other yearling auctions – Zayat Stables, De Meric Sales, SBS Sales, Fox Hill Farms, Donegal Racing, and West Point Thoroughbred all opened their wallets – participation from European interests appeared to be relatively scarce.

“I don't think there was a lot of participation from Europe, so that pushed the demand down and the Americans got to buy what they wanted,” said Duncan Taylor, president and CEO of Taylor Made Sales. “I think what you'll see is a lot of those horses probably would have been bought back spread out through the other sale, because if they're turf-bred and they're below average they're hard to sell in America.

“I think it just depends if they can be more select next time,” Taylor continued, when asked about prospects for next year's sale. “I think if it was the exact same kind of horses we sold this year, I don't think it would be sustainable.”

Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said that although a number of European-based buyers were inspecting yearlings in the three days before the auction, he was disappointed more did not purchase.

“It certainly was an interesting evening,” said Browning. “We really didn't know what to expect coming into the night. I think we learned some things: some positive and some areas of improvement.”

Browning also speculated a few Ocala-based buyers were unable to attend the sale due to Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Florida over the weekend.

Browning said he received considerable positive feedback leading up to the sale, but takes the results as an indication that selectivity still reigns supreme in the yearling market, niche or not.

“We didn't know going in if we were going to get 28 horses or 280 horses and it's hard, when you're out looking at horses on the farm to say, ‘Here's how we're going to dial this thing in.' We were probably a little too lenient on some physicals,” said Browning. “We may have had a little stallion overload in a few spots from North America-based stallions that we thought the world would accept and the world really didn't, despite some of the success those horses have had in the US. It didn't necessarily translate as we thought it might.”

Some consignors echoed those questions of whether the quality of turf yearling on offer had some impact on the results.

“It's a little unusual, because it's the first time. There's a lot of RNAs,” said Pat Costello, founding partner of Paramount Sales. “The good horses are probably selling all right. It's a different ballgame starting tomorrow and there's later book stuff here.”

Hip 50, a Scat Daddy colt, was one of the co-sale toppers at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase

The sale was a success for the legacy of Scat Daddy, who was the sire of both the co-toppers at $250,000. Hip 50, a colt out of the stakes-winning Rockport Harbor mare Harbingerofthings, was consigned by Vinery Sales on behalf of Spendthrift Farm. Lothenbach Stables was the purchaser. Hip 84, a Scat Daddy colt out of the Danehill Dancer mare Luvly Rita, was purchased by De Meric Sales. Taylor Made consigned the colt, who is from the family of G1 winners Yesterday and Quarter Moon.


To view the sale catalog, click here

To view the sale results, click here

  • Elle D

    Was an interesting showcase. Nowhere near the usual crowd, but lots of familiar faces.

    • whirlaway

      It would seem fasig tipton would know that for this initial venture there would not be many European buyers. That is going to take some very high quality turf horse prospects
      to do that. You know what a turf fan I am but not sure how many people are ready to just
      seek out a turf horse from a sale like this. I don’t dislike the idea but think it will take a few
      sales to determine If this will work. When I looked at results plenty of not sold with very
      low bids.

      • Elle D

        It’s an innovative idea, and it will be interesting to see how it progresses. Unlike yesterday, Keeneland was buzzing today with some very well bred (pricey) babies, with a who’s who of the industry in attendance.

        • whirlaway

          I think it is definitely not a bad idea, breeders should have a desire to breed top quality turf horses if they want to be competitive on the international stage. You can’t just hope a few turf horses might come along to be able to win at venues like
          Ascot or other big turf meets. I did see prices today and they were big prices for sure
          sired by top stallions and out of broodmares with track credentials and deep female

          • Elle D

            The fact that you had two big industry leaders, Fasig Tipton and Woodbine, partnering on this project was a positive, Both were instrumental in hosting the cocktail event for Old Friends on the previous night. A win-win.

          • whirlaway

            Most new projects need a bit of time to become successful but hopefully this might be the case here. If I was in a position to own a few horses most would be turf horses as I truly enjoy watching turf racing. The best horse I was involved with was a turf filly and I really enjoyed watching her success on the turf even after we were approached and sold her to more success. I really wanted to still retain her and race
            her ourselves as a few others did.

  • Gls

    I looked at the catalog, please explain the turf thing ?

  • Jack The Ripper

    Europe has the best turf sires in the world why would they buy American turf horses ? Tattersalls sales is right around the corner the best turf horses are always available there.

    • Matthew Hood

      For the speed factor.

      • whirlaway

        They already bought BC turf sprint winning speedster Bobby’s Kitten after he went to England to prepare for Ascot and won the Cork Stakes at the Curragh by 8 1/2 lengths. He never returned to the U.S. went to stud at Lanwades Stud near Newmarket. He will have plenty of oppurtunity to produce and Ken Ramsey still has lifetime breeding rights to him but will need to ship his mares, still a big chance for a KJ son.

      • Jack The Ripper

        Europe doesn’t care for speed hence the lack of support for the sale.

  • Jack Frazier

    Another indicator of the bad state of racing. Sales everywhere have too many buy backs. Breeders are breeding horses that can’t stand up to training and retire before their potential can be reached. They breed for speed not endurance, stamina or strong bone structures. Whoever decided many years ago to breed only speed to speed thereby producing fragile animals, changed racing.

    Tesio, a great breeder of classic distance horse had a formula that worked. If you wanted a short running horse, breed speed to speed. If you wanted a middle distance horse, breed speed to middle distance and if you wanted a classic horse, breed classic to classic. I dare say not many breeders today have no idea of how Tesio planned his breeding operations. They should read his book on breeding but they won’t.

    Many today believe six furlong races are distance races. When most horses have only the ability to run three furlongs at top speed, it is nothing but sprints. They have changed great races that used to be run a distances of a mile and quarter to two miles and further because stamina and endurance have been sacrificed for speed. Bad choice and now buyers are not purchasing at the rate they once did. Turf racing, until recently, has not been something breeders bred for. Now with the interest in turf racing, they are trying to find another way to garner money. Most horses sold for over a million dollars actually makes their purchase price back.

    The Green Monkey is one example but there are more horses sold for exorbitant prices that are barely allowance horses. Statistics prove this to be true. Cal Bred horses can’t even bring the stud fee back even if it is $2500 and those who want to breed don’t. That is reality. Hopefully some high mucky mucky breeder will open their eyes and realize this. Not holding my breath.

    • Matthew Hood

      Tesio also thought grey horses were genetically inferior and refused to breed or train a grey horse. So not all his thoughts are spot on.

      • Bryan Langlois

        He also felt that all the important genetics were in the sire, and cared very little who the dam was

    • Cheap Speed

      Wow, I have never in my life read a post with more inaccuracies in it.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram