There were a wide range of unique forces working for and against a successful renewal of the Fasig-Tipton July Selected Yearling Sale on Tuesday, ranging from the momentum of a record-setting juvenile market this spring to the uncertainty over the state of racing in southern California. When it all shook out, the returns generally came back a nose behind a strong 2018 renewal.
The single-session auction finished with 202 horses sold for revenues of $18,621,000, down six percent from last year's gross of $19,762,500 from 196 sold.
Tuesday's average sale price declined nine percent to $92,183 from $100,829, but it's important to note that last year's average was the first six-figure return in that category for the July sale since 2007. The median sale price went unchanged at $75,000.
“I think you can have minor fluctuations,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “If you're up seven percent, I don't think you're jumping up and down. If you're down seven percent, I don't think you're terribly concerned about it. A couple big horses can influence that pretty significantly.
“You always want to have increases,” he continued. “It's human nature, but the market's been pretty healthy, and we came off a pretty good bump in 2018 from 2017. It's like the stock market, it can't go up forever.”
The buyback rate finished at 33 percent on Tuesday. While a third of the horses being cataloged hammering under their reserve is a significant portion, it was only a mild jump from last year's buyback rate of 30 percent.
“It's about what we expected, a consistent marketplace to the 2018 market,” Browning said. “It felt very similar to last year, the bidding patterns were very similar. I think it's a healthy market. There's not irrational exuberance. Buyers continue to have some selectivity, consignors continue to have the ability to have other alternatives for horses in later sales, whether it be a sale in September or October, or the 2-year-old route.”
The early bar at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale was set and sustained by a Flatter colt who sold to the high-powered partnership of WinStar Farm and China Horse Club for $440,000.
The bay colt, offered as Hip 22, is out of the stakes-placed Cherokee Run mare Ruth and Neva, herself a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Sassy Sienna and Grade 3-placed Newton John. The extended family includes French Group 1 winner Romildo and U.S. Grade 2 winner Golden Reef.
“We thought he was the best horse here, from a proven sire, and he checked what we like as far as going forward,” said WinStar Farm's Elliott Walden. “I think he'll look good in the stud barn if he can win a Grade 1.”
The colt was bred in Kentucky by Susan King, but his time in the Bluegrass State was actually quite small. King boards her mares at Indian Creek in Paris, Ky., to foal out, then takes them back to her own farm near Lebanon, Ohio. The foals are eventually weaned at King's farm, then are sent back to Indian Creek for sale prep.
“We knew he was nice, then in the last month and a half, once he got here and got himself prepped, he did really well,” said Indian Creek's Shack Parrish. “We knew if the end-users stayed in, we could go there. If it was pinhookers, it would be another number, and the end-users stayed in.”
The transaction continued a run of sale-topping performances by Claiborne Farm resident Flatter at the Fasig-Tipton July sale. The son of A.P. Indy sired the top horse at last year's sale, when Al Rashid Stable bought a Flatter colt now named Silvertonguedevil for $520,000.
Tallaj, Sisk Grab First-Crop Nyquist Colt For $330,000
The Fasig-Tipton July sale often serves as a coming out party for the first-year stallions of that particular season, and Darley's Nyquist felt that energy in a big way on Tuesday when the partnership of Dr. Ramon Tallaj and Wilson Sisk bought the sale's lone offering by the stallion for $330,000.
The dark bay or brown colt, offered as Hip 333, is out of the winning Storm Creek mare Murky Waters, whose three winners from four runners includes the Grade 1-placed stakes winner Red Vine. Grade 3 winner Fort Prado can be found in the extended family.
Wesley Ward will train the colt for the partnership, which also campaigns the Carpe Diem filly Nayibeth, who most recently ran in the G3 Albany Stakes on the Royal Ascot program.
“I really liked his brother when he sold a few years ago with Ciaran Dunne, and this is a nice horse,” said bloodstock agent Ben McElroy. “He's a good representative for the first crop from the sire.”
Stuart Morris consigned the colt for breeders Highclere Inc. and Springtown Show Stables.
“It's hard to expect any horse to be received that well,” Morris said. “We had high hopes that he could, and we're very excited to have him in Wesley Ward's barn.”
Let's Go Stables Buys First-Crop Frosted Filly For $330,000
Darley's first-year stallions had a big day on Tuesday, with Nyquist being joined by Frosted, who had a filly sell to Let's Go Stables for $330,000.
The gray or roan filly, who went through the ring as Hip 246, is out of the stakes-placed Street Sense mare Humble Street, whose two foals to race are both placed. The extended family includes Grade 3 winner Humble Creek.
Bred in Kentucky by H. Allen Poindexter, the filly was consigned by Wynnstay Farm, agent.
McPeek, Walking L Thoroughbreds Snag Outwork Colt For $300,000
Trainer Kenny McPeek also went big for a first-cropper, landing a colt by the Grade 1 winner on behalf of Walking L Thoroughbreds for $300,000.
The bay colt, offered as Hip 134, is out of the Grade 2-placed Successful Appeal mare Back Spin, whose two foals to race are both winners. Bred in Kentucky by Jose Luis Espinoza, the colt is from the family of Grade 1 winners Only Queens and Tactile.
“He's probably sore from me looking at him so much,” McPeek said. “Some of [the Outworks] grab you, but this was by far the best one. I had a pretty good feeling he was going to be tough to buy, and it sounds like there were some high-dollar principals bidding against us.”
The fall of the hammer completed a successful pinhook, after the colt was purchased as a weanling for $50,000 by D W Partners at last year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He was consigned at the Fasig-Tipton July sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Empire Maker Colt Brings $300,000
Empire Maker struck with one from his second crop of yearlings since being repatriated to Gainesway late during Tuesday's session, with bloodstock agent Steven Young landing a colt for $300,000.
The bay colt, Hip 320, is out of the unraced Bernardini mare Miss Patchouli, who is the dam of one placed runner from two foals to race. Bred in Kentucky by Austin and Brenda Paul, the colt is from the family of Grade 1 winners Snow Ridge, Afleet Express, Materiality, and Embellish the Lace.
Shawhan Place consigned the colt as agent for the breeders.
To view the full sale results, click here.
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