Welker ‘Encouraged’ Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale Will Go On As Planned, Lays Out Details For Selected Yearlings Showcase

The North American auction calendar is going to look different in just about every way during the second half of 2020, and Fasig-Tipton executive vice president Bayne Welker laid out some of that landscape in an interview with Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club president Donnie Snellings.

First, Welker addressed the upcoming Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, which is set to be held June 29-30 in Timonium, Md. It will be the first auction for Fasig-Tipton since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down business on a global scale, and forced the company to cancel or consolidate events and move the Midlantic juvenile sale back from its usual spot in mid-May.

As it stands right now, Welker said the sale is set to move ahead as planned in its new spot on the calendar.

“We are encouraged that we are going to be able to hold that 2-year-old sale at the stated date at the end of June,” Welker said. “We continue to monitor the situation in Maryland. We’re in constant contact with the Stronach Group and the protocols they’re putting into place. We’re in constant contact with the board of directors with the Maryland State Fairgrounds…We have very reasonable expectations that, working through the Department of Agriculture and the Fairgrounds that by the end of June, that things should be opened up and moving freely enough that we are going to be able to conduct business and have a 2-year-old sale.”

Even though the sale is expected to go on, Welker acknowledge that the proceedings will make the auction a different experience than it was before. As evidenced by plans announced by consignors including Woodford Thoroughbreds, steps will be taken to limit contact with people and objects as much as possible while inspecting horses and offering them in the ring.

Welker also addressed the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, set to take place in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 9-10. Designed to consolidate Fasig-Tipton’s July, Saratoga, and New York-bred sales, Welker said its place on the calendar – set to begin shortly before the Keeneland September Yearling Sale on Sept. 14 – was done with the thought of keeping the bloodstock community in the area and limiting the number of exposures within and outside the group, treating it more as one long event than two separate ones.

“We are working with health professionals,” Welker said. “We are trying to also monitor and watch how Churchill Downs is opening and how their protocols are going to work. It’s two separate populations because you’ve got a static population on the backside with not a lot of movement, but what I do see is a lot of common sense.

“There’s certainly going to be social distancing measures that are going to be put into place,” he continued. “You’re going to try to minimize the amount of personal contact that you have. I do see that there will protocols put into place that don’t allow for people to pick up somebody’s pen at a consignment. You’re probably going to have card people that’ll take somebody’s request [of what horses] to look at. You’re not going to ask them to sign a card. We’re going to do everything we can possibly do both on the grounds and internally ourselves to mitigate the amount of contact people come into with each other. That will probably involve some groupings on the grounds, and trying to limit cross-exposure. We’re retrofitting bathrooms as we speak to minimize having to touch handles and paper dispensers, and those things of the like.”

In regards to the Selected Yearlings Showcase format, Welker said Fasig-Tipton did not have a pre-determined number of horses that it’s shooting for to have in the sale, but it did have a rough cross-section of the types of horses it would try to put in the catalog.

“The way we have looked at is we’ll take the top half to top third of the horses we would have had in July, we’ll take the top half to top third of the horses that would have been in the New York-bred sale, and we figure the horses that were nominated to Saratoga, and that we would have selected to Saratoga, would be able to stand on their own anywhere in any horse sale.”

“The horses are going to have to stand up on their own merit,” he continued. “The lesser horses, the $30,000 to $50,000 horse that would have been a very solid horse in July, probably doesn’t fit for the Select Showcase.”

Another unique wrinkle Welker mentioned for the Select Showcase sale would be a segment dedicated specifically to the catalog’s New York-breds, given that the state’s program has lost its primary yearling marketplace for 2020. Where exactly that piece would fit into the overall sale setup remained to be determined.

Looking ahead, Welker said the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale, scheduled for Oct. 12-13, would also feature a specific New York-bred segment for breeders and sellers who wanted to offer their horses to buyers closer to their home state.

The full interview can be seen below.

The post Welker ‘Encouraged’ Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale Will Go On As Planned, Lays Out Details For Selected Yearlings Showcase appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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