The economic indicators at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale in Lexington, Ky., were up substantially over the 2010 auction, but company president Boyd Browning said the industry still had some work to do to restore good health to the marketplace.
“There was a higher level of confidence than there was a year ago,” Browning said after the one-night sale concluded Sunday evening, but he added the economics of the industry remain troubling. “We still have to improve our racing product,” he said.
Nevertheless, Browning called it a “strong sale” that comprised largely of numerous graded stakes-winning fillies available as racing or broodmare prospects, some young, fashionable, in-foal mares, and a select number of weanlings.
For the night, Fasig-Tipton sold 79 horses (including one lifetime breeding right to stallion Congrats) for a total of $32,745,000. The average was $414,494 and median checked in at $200,000. Those figures are up 17.0% in gross, 31.8% in average, and 53.9% in median. Thirty of 109 through the ring were bought back by consignors, an RNA rate of 27.5%. Last year, 44 of 133 through the ring, or 33.1%, were bought back by consignors.
Forty-four of the 155 lots catalogued were withdrawn, a figure that Browning said was in line with previous sales of this type.
Browning said it's difficult to compare this particular sale from one year to the next because of the small number of horses catalogued and the impact one or two horses can have on the overall totals.
“We had a very broad and diverse buying group here tonight…a broad international level of participation that we had noticed on the sales grounds three or four days prior,” said Browning. “It was more competitive in the upper levels of the market than it was last year.”
Thirteen horses sold for $1 million or more, compared with nine last year.
The top price was $2.3 million, paid by Barnes & Noble bookstore chain chairman Leonard Riggio, in the name of his My Meadowview racing and breeding operation, for Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks winner Funny Moon. The 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon was believed to be pregnant to the cover of Indian Charlie. She was sold by Gainesway, agent. Agent Lincoln Collins signed the ticket on behalf of Riggio.
Last year's top price was also $2.3 million.
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs was the leading buyer, purchasing three broodmares or broodmare/racing prospects for $2,560,000. Other buyers who purchased $1-million or more on one horse were Alpha Delta Stables (represented by Reynolds Bell); Teruya Yoshida's Shadai Farm of Japan; Aaron and Marie Jones; Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables (represented by John Moynihan); France's Wertheimer brothers, who bred and raced Goldikova; Katsumi Yoshida; Maria Niarchos Gouaze's Flaxman Holdings; and Town and Country Farms.
Lane's End led all consignors (by average, two or more sold), with its five offerings through the ring all selling, bringing a total of $5 million – an average of $1 million. Three of the 13 seven-figure horses came from Lane's End. Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency also sold three for $1 million or more, with Taylor Made selling a pair for seven figures.
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