The intent of the Fasig-Tipton July Selected Horse of Racing Age Sale is evident in its title, but the top of the market was dominated on Monday by the kind of long-term planning commonly seen at a breeding stock sale.
Fillies with the pages and race records to set up future broodmare careers accounted for three of the day's top four prices, and the lone colt in that group was purchased as a stallion prospect.
The racing-age catalog has become a target for astute eyes looking to add to their broodmare bands in the immediate or distant future, or build the fillies' resumes for a future turnaround into a fall mixed sale catalog, following a summer campaign. Each of the auction's six editions since its debut in 2013 have been topped by a filly or mare.
My Miss Tapit, who was purchased by the Breeze Easy partnership of Mike Hall and Sam Ross, was the latest filly to top the sale, dropping the hammer for $700,000. It was the most expensive transaction at the sale since Bedford Land brought $1,075,000 out of the Eugene Menlyk dispersal in 2014.
A 4-year-old Tapit filly, My Miss Tapit has won three of six starts for previous owner Mathis Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher, highlighted by a score in the Game Face Stakes last year at Gulfstream Park. She entered the sale off a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Princess Rooney Stakes on June 30 at Gulfstream.
Randy Hartley, who helps manage Breeze Easy's bloodstock interests, said My Miss Tapit would return to Pletcher's barn with eyes on spending the summer in Saratoga.
“There ain't no sense in starting over,” Hartley said about the trainer decision. “[Breeze Easy doesn't] have a lot of racehorses. They've got a few 2-year-olds, but we're trying to get more broad across the board, with different distances and older horses. Sometimes it's hard to develop that and get it there now.”
Upon her retirement, My Miss Tapit will join Breeze Easy's fledgling broodmare band, which boards at Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla., and Chris Baccari's Seclusive Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Elite Sales consigned My Miss Tapit, as agent.
Monday's returns reflected a strong interest in the racing-age sale from both buyers and sellers, posting the highest gross of the auction's six-year history and trailing the record number of horses sold by just nine offerings.
A total of 100 horses changed hands for revenues of $9,318,000, marking a 15 percent increase in gross from last year's sale, when 84 horses brought $8,083,000. The previous record of $8,426,000 was set during the auction's second edition in 2014, which featured the Melnyk dispersal.
The average sale price fell three percent to $93,180, while Monday's median declined 11 percent to $50,000. The buyback rate finished at 16 percent, just slightly higher than last year's 15 percent.
Given the higher gross and number of horses sold, the average and median figures can be excused for taking a slight dip to compensate.
Bloodstock agent David Meah, who has found success buying out of racing-age sales at Fasig-Tipton and elsewhere, said the variety of the catalog likely helped drive buyer turnout. Parking on pavement at the sale pavilion was beginning to get scarce with an hour before sale time, and the sale grounds remained crowded until the final offerings.
“What I liked about it moreso this year was the scale,” Meah said. “They had everything from $20,000 maiden claiming horses to what we believe are Grade 1 horses. It had everything from the bottom to the top, and everything in between, and that's what a sale needs to be. You need to have everybody here. If you get everybody here, you get some action, and everyone can walk away happy.”
Now firmly past the half-decade point, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said the auction has settled in well to its spot in the calendar and in the public conscience. He said the volatility of the catalog, both with late supplemental entries and horses racing in the days leading up to the sale to improve their resumes, gave the auction a unique atmosphere and buying experience.
“The formation of the sale was a perceived niche in the marketplace,” Browning said. “You never know when you take a shot to fill a niche. You don't always bat 1.000, but we perceived a need. It fills an important role in the marketplace, it creates liquidity, and it creates some real racing opportunities on the buyer side of things to improve their stables or increase their stables.”
Rounding out the top five:
– Alter Moon, a stakes-winning 3-year-old Alternation filly sold to Steven Young, as agent, for $675,000. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned her, as agent.
– Fire Away, a Grade 3-winning 6-year-old War Front horse, went to Joseph Brocklebank, as agent for South Africa's Form Bloodstock for $450,000. The half-brother to Mr Speaker will be exported to South Africa to begin his stallion career. Claiborne Farm was the consignor, as agent.
– One Liner, a Grade 3-winning 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, sold to Whispering Oaks for $400,000. Winstar Racing consigned, as agent.
– Factorofwon, a stakes-winning 3-year-old filly by The Factor, sold to Everett Dobson's Cheyenne Stable for $400,000. Warrendale Sales handled the filly, as agent.
Selling continues on Tuesday with Fasig-Tipton's July Sale of Selected Yearlings, beginning at 10 a.m.
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