Records Eclipsed Again At Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale

The Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale continued its meteoric rise in returns during its 2018 renewal, posting all-time highs in gross, average, and median, as well as moving the most expensive offering in the auction’s history and the most expensive filly.

However, the marketplace was not entirely airtight. Many consignors found the middle and lower markets more difficult to get horses sold than in recent years, and an increased buyback rate reflected that.

The two-day auction finished with 172 horses sold for record revenues of $18,492,000, up 14 percent from the previous high mark set last year of $16,214,000 from 182 horses sold. The average sale price hit an all-time high of $107,512, rising 21 percent from last year’s record $89,088, while the median finished at a record $76,000, up 9 percent from $69,500.

“The last half of the session tonight was just electric,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “Obviously, that’s reflective with how the horses happened to fall [in the catalog], but we had a run of horses that was one beauty after another that sold remarkably well.

“I think you saw tremendous diversity amongst the buyers tonight,” he continued. “There were certainly some new names in the results that hadn’t been active previously in the New York marketplace, and that’s, I think, a direct result of the quality and success New York-breds are achieving all over the world.”

The buyback rate finished at 35 percent during this year’s sale, compared with 25 percent the previous year. Returns improved during the second session after the opener finished with an RNA rate of 41 percent. With the other measurables finishing as high as they did, this indicates a rush toward quality offerings by buyers, perhaps at the expense of those on the lower rungs of the ladder.

“Yesterday was a little spotty in the lower end, where in years past we could move horses fairly easily, it was harder yesterday,” said Shack Parrish of consignor Indian Creek said in the middle of Sunday’s session. “Today, the one we’ve sold in that price range moved easily. We couldn’t figure it out. The buyback rate yesterday was frightening. We’ve moved two, maybe three, of the ones we bought back.”

Pat Costello of consignor Paramount Sales said he expected the middle market to be a bit stronger at the sale.

“The upper end is really good, the middle is tough enough,” he said. “It’s a game of which people you know and they all want the best.”

For the third consecutive year, a new record price was achieved at the Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearling Sale, this time coming from a Pioneerof the Nile colt who sold to Shortleaf Stable for $600,000.

The price easily surpassed the previous record of $500,000 set last year when Ciaran Dunne’s Waves Bloodstock landed a colt from the first crop of Cairo Prince. In 2016, Cheyenne Stables set the bar at $450,000 for an Uncle Mo colt.

On the page, the bay colt’s appeal came from his lineage tracing through the vaunted Phipps family breeding program. He is out of the Phipps-bred unplaced A.P. Indy mare Score, who is the dam of three winners from four foals to race, including Grade 2-placed Timely Tally and stakes-placed Dattt Melody.

His second dam is the G1 winner Educated Risk, who is herself a sister to champion Inside Information. The page also features champion Smuggler, English One Thousand Guineas winner Quick as Lightning, and Grade 2 winner Gone Astray, among others.

“There was high interest in this horse because of his pedigree, then when you go and look at the horse, the conformation matched the pedigree,” said Jonathan Thorne of breeder/consignor Thorndale Farm. “He’s bred from a line of champions and he looks like a horse that has the potential to be a champion.”

Thorne bought Score with the future record-setter in-utero for $120,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. After the mare failed to get in foal during the 2017 breeding season, he entered her in this year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale, where she sold to Solis/Litt for $45,000. She was bred to Classic Empire, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, earlier this year.

Thorne said Fasig-Tipton had offered to enter the Pioneerof the Nile colt in the auction company’s Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, but he opted to support the New York-Bred sale with a quality offering.

“All of us around here have been doing this for a while and everyone has stepped up their game as a New York program. Every year, the quality of the crop continues to rise, so we’re all trying to up our game and produce high-quality horses. We’re all here trying to do that, and when you get a nice one, people understand that and they like the horse, and they buy them.”

Ed Anthony signed the ticket for his father, John Ed Anthony. He won a drawn-out bidding battle with a client communicating over the phone with Fasig-Tipton vice president of client services Max Hodge, who sat in the second-floor balcony.

“Pioneerof the Nile is a sire of sires, and it looks like he’s going to go a lot further than he already has, if we’re talking about the sireline,” the younger Anthony said. “If you’re looking for stallion prospects that are going to be relevant in the classic picture and Triple Crown trail, you’re going to have to pony up sometimes and play the game.”

Saturday’s day-one session-topper was a filly from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who sold to Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds as a pinhook prospect for $450,000. It was the most ever paid for a filly at the New York-bred sale, and the second-highest overall price of the night.

Kentucky sirepower continued to resonate with buyers on Sunday, with Kindred Stable landing an Into Mischief filly, for $350,000.

The bay filly is the second foal out of the stakes-winning Limehouse mare Risky Rachel, from the family of G2 winner Say Florida Sandy and G3 winner Dancin Renee.

Minnesota-based Kindred Stable bought last year’s opening session-topper at the New York-bred sale, going to $350,000 for a City Zip colt.

Paramount Sales consigned the filly, as agent.

“She was a beautiful, class filly,” Costello said. “Even walking up there, she was cool as a breeze. She had was a lot more leg than most Into Mischiefs.”

Into Mischief also saw a colt from the family of G2 winner Upstart sell to Michael Neatherlin on Sunday for $320,000. The colt was consigned by Summerfield Sales, as agent for breeder Sunnyfield Farm.

The final recorded foal by the late City Zip sent sent his sire out on a high note on Sundayt, selling for $300,000.

The dark bay or brown colt went to Randy Bradshaw, as agent, who said plans will call to pinhook the colt during the 2019 juvenile sale season, likely in the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. Spring Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale or later to allow the colt time to develop.

Born June 2, 2017, the colt was the finale for a 96-horse crop by City Zip, who was euthanized last June due to chronic foot problems. He is out of the unraced Jump Start mare Nick’s Honor, whose four winners from six runners includes stakes winners The Lewis Dinner and Kelli Got Frosty, as well as stakes-placed Princess Phoebe and Frosty Gal. His extended family includes Grade 1 winner Rightly So.

“I thought he’d be a little higher, but that’s where we wanted to be,” Bradshaw said. “City Zip has been a great sire and we’ve had a lot of luck with him in the past. Honestly, I thought he was well worth the money, and hopefully down the road we can make a little more with him.”

Indian Creek consigned the colt, as agent.

“All of these but two that we’re selling here were foaled here and raised in Bourbon County, [Kentucky],” said Parrish said. “We think that’s an advantage.”

Sunday’s closing session finished with 92 horses sold for $10,166,000, up 26 percent from from last year’s gross of $8,059,000 from 89 sold. The average spiked 22 percent to $110,500, while the median rose 23 percent to $80,000. The buyback rate finished at 28 percent, which was a significant improvement from the opening night of trade.

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