‘The Market Continues To Demand Quality’: Opening Session Of Fasig-Tipton February Sees Healthy Jump In Numbers

by | 02.04.2019 | 5:20pm
Hip 57, Cheekaboo, sold to K R Japan for $300,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale.

The final auction of the 2018/2019 North American mixed sale season started on strong footing Monday, with the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale showing across-the-board gains in its first session.

A total of 146 offerings brought $4,677,200 on Monday, up 13 percent from last year's day-one gross of $4,134,200 from 181 horses sold. The average sale price rose 40 percent to $22,841, while the median saw an 80 percent gain to finish at $18,000. Monday's buyback rate finished at 29 percent, compared with 26 percent during last year's opener.

“The market was very solid today, very good,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “It's the same old story. The quality offerings were very much in demand – lots of activity and bidding on those horses. Unfortunately, not every offering at this time of the year is going to be perceived as a quality offering, but there was for the most part, a marketplace for virtually every horse that walked through there, so I thought all in all, it was a successful day. There's no question that the market continues to demand quality, and is willing to pay for quality.”

The session-topper was Cheekaboo, a Grade 2-winning Unusual Heat mare who sold to K R Japan as a broodmare prospect for $300,000.

The 6-year-old mare retired with three wins in 24 career starts for earnings of $371,995, highlighted by wins in the G2 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita Park and the non-graded Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Peter Eurton trained the mare for the partnership of Burns Racing, Ciaglia Racing and Sharon Alesia.

Small Batch Sales consigned Cheekaboo, as agent for Ciaglia Racing.

“[The price was] what you would expect from a Grade 2 winner in the last sale of the year before the breeding season opens,” said Fletcher Mauk of Small Batch Sales. “Most of the large farms were in on her. They respect the race record.”

Bred in California by Madeline Auerbach, Richard Rosenberg, and Barry Abrams, Cheekaboo is out of the winning Souvenir Copy mare Sandy Cheeks. She hails from the family of G1 winners Miss Josh, Royal Mountain, and Bit of Whimsy, and G2 winners Our Abbadean and Caroline Thomas.

“I think, for the sire, she was a bit of an anomaly, because she's a bigger-bodied horse than what most people expect from an Unusual Heat,” Mauk said. “[She has] that long shoulder, high withers, beautiful hip.”

Monday's highest-priced yearling, and second-most expensive overall horse of the session, was Hip 191, an Into Mischief filly who sold to Irish Meadow Stable for $200,000.

The gray or roan filly is out of the winning Mizzen Mast mare Kashami, whose first foal to race is placed. G1 winners Cetewayo and Dynaforce can be found further down the page, as well as G2 winners Willcox Inn, Raah Algharb, and Bowman Mill.

The filly is the only yearling in the Fasig-Tipton February sale by popular commercial sire Into Mischief, which Ron Blake of consignor Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services said was part of a plan that has worked out well for him in the past.

“The object is to come out here and stand out, and not be one of 40 or 50 Into Mischiefs,” he said. “It's to be the one or two, and be a nice enough horse where everybody wants it, and then they stand out a bit. We sold a Tiznow here for $270,000 last year, and we sold an Into Mischief filly four years ago, Golden Mischief, here for $180,000. We try to do that every year, bring one we think will stand out a little bit.”

To view Monday's full results, click here.

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