By Jessica Martini
The Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearlings Sale kicks off its two-day run Saturday evening at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga with the first of 295 catalogued offerings scheduled to go through the sales ring at 6:30 p.m.
The New York sale follows on the heels of Fasig-Tipton’s record-setting select sale, which produced the highest-ever median and second-highest gross and average in its history earlier in the week. During a frenetic day of showing at the sales grounds Friday, consignors said they were looking for the energy from that auction to carry into Saturday.
“There are a lot of nice horses on the grounds and the success of the main sale should continue on here,” said Paramount Sales’ Pat Costello. “There are quite a few buyers from the main sale who have stayed on for this sale. You’ll have a certain amount of different clientele, but there will be good carryover from last week.”
Danzel Brendemuehl of Royal Bloodstock agreed.
“I think some people didn’t get things bought at the first sale and their expectations are to get something at this sale,” Brendemuehl said. “There has always been good traffic here, but today people were waiting in line to see horses.”
Dodging the odd raindrop throughout the day at the sales grounds was a varied mix of owners, trainers, pinhookers and bloodstock agents. Larry Best, whose OXO Equine has been a major presence at recent sales, was in attendance, as well as Stonestreet’s Barbara Banke, Bridlewood Farm manager George Isaacs and legendary former NFL coach Bill Parcells.
Mark Hennig, Linda Rice, Ken McPeek, Chad Brown and Rick Violette were among the trainers jockeying for position in the crowded barn area and the pinhooker population included Bobby Dodd, Raul Reyes, Ciaran Dunne, Cary Frommer, Nick deMeric, Tom McCrocklin, Randy Bradshaw, Steve Venosa, Randy Hartley, Jim Crupi and Eddie Woods.
“The activity so far at the barns has been busy,” said consignor Archie St George. “We’ve been showing all day since 7:30. So you’d have to think it’s positive, but you still have to have the horse to attract buyers.”
In addition to the success of the select sale earlier in the week, St. George pointed to a strong Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale as cause for optimism going into the New York-bred sale.
“Based on the July sale and the select sale–which was one of the strongest sales I’ve been to in a while–you’d have to be positive,” he said. “At the end of the day, it seems like there are a lot of people from Kentucky selling up here and the sire power and the pedigrees seem to keep improving every year.”
The locally based RFHF consignment teamed by Chris Bernhard of Hidden Lake Farm and Elaine Peck of Rhapsody Farm was a flurry of activity between barns one and three Friday.
“There is a lot of traffic and, off of the momentum from the early sale, I think we are in good shape,” Bernhard said. “I feel like we are seeing more buyers who have been buyers in the upper end of the select sale and are staying along here probably a little more. We have more Kentucky-sired New York-breds and New York-breds are competing in graded stakes–it’s kind of a no-brainer.”
Among its 20-horse offering, the RFHF consignment features a bevy of yearlings by Kentucky-based sires as the farms look to remain competitive with the major operations in town from the Bluegrass.
“We’ve been looking at cover sire and produce trying to upgrade what we are doing each year and I think this is a pretty good indication with some of the sires we’ve brought here–between Uncle Mo, Bodemeister and Cairo Prince–that we can be competitive with the Kentucky operations. We have to give them a run for our own money.”
During last year’s New York-bred sale, held in one continuous session after a major storm led to the cancellation of night one, 177 yearlings sold for $13,672,500. The average was $77,246 and the median was $60,000. Twelve horses sold for $200,000 or more, including the $450,000 sale-topping colt by Uncle Mo. Purchased by Cheyenne Stables and now named Mo Diddley, the dark bay was a debut winner at Churchill Downs in May for trainer Mark Casse. The ‘TDN Rising Star‘ will contest Sunday’s GII Saratoga Special S.
The New York-bred sale continues Sunday with a second and final session beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Royal Bloodstock Back for Year Two
Danzel Brendemuehl may be best known on the sales scene as a consignor of 2-year-olds, but the Ocala horsewoman, along with partners Sandra Lombardo and Britt Wadsworth, will be making their second appearance at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred sales consigning yearlings under the Royal Bloodstock banner.
“We sold with other people three and four years ago in this sale,” Brendemuehl said. “Then we decided to form our own bloodstock agency and we’ve done great.”
She continued, “I’m 61 years old, so it’s time for me to stop doing as many 2-year-olds in training sales. I’m still doing them, but we are also concentrating on some weanling to yearling [pinhooks] and I actually have some broodmares–I’ve been breeding in New York. You just have to embrace all of it and diversify.”
In addition to its consignment at the Fasig New York Sale, Royal Bloodstock will also be consigning at the OBS October Yearling Sale and the Fasig-Tipton November sale.
“We will have a lot of homebreds in the November sale,” Brendemuehl said. “We will have an Honor Code, a Liam’s Map, a Carpe Diem, and a Cairo Prince–weanlings by really nice stallions. We’ve reduced our numbers and raised our quality.”
As part of a partnership for the commercial broodmare band, Brendemuehl purchased multiple graded stakes winner Gitchee Goomie (City Zip) (hip 623), in foal to Carpe Diem, for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February Sale.
“We have her Carpe Diem colt and he is lovely,” Brendemuehl said. “And we bred the mare back to American Pharoah.”
Royal Bloodstock will offer eight horses at the two-day New York-bred sale.
“We’ve got an Itsmyluckyday (hip 379) who is outstanding, there is a lot of buzz on him,” Brendemuehl said. “The Midshipman filly (hip 460) has been out a lot and everyone loves her and there are a couple of Flashbacks (hip 346 and hip 473) who have been popular too.”