By Jessica Martini
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – After a three-day hiatus in the wake of a record-setting Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale, action returns to the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion Saturday evening for the first session of the company’s two-day New York-Bred Yearlings Sale. The selected sale produced its highest-ever gross, as well a record-tying median and its second highest average. Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. looks for that momentum to carry into the New York sale.
“We expect to see a continuation of the strong market that we saw earlier in the week,” Browning said. “The quality of New York-breds on offer continues to improve each year, both in terms of pedigree and conformation and we are very excited and optimistic about the sale Saturday and Sunday.”
Fasig-Tipton has sold a pair of million-dollar New York-breds this year; a 2-year-old colt by Scat Daddy fetched that figure at the Gulfstream Sale in the spring and a yearling colt by American Pharoah matched it Monday in Saratoga. The outstanding results of New York-breds in the sales ring have been matched on the racecourse, most recently with the one-two finish of Empire-breds Diversify (Bellamy Road) and Mind Your Biscuits (Posse) in the GI Whitney H.
“I think when you see New York-breds like Diversify win the GI Whitney and when you see Mind Your Biscuits win the Group 1 in Dubai, it demonstrates the quality of the horses that are being raised,” Browning said. “New York-breds are outstanding and can compete anywhere in the world at the highest levels. And people are will to pay strong prices for them because they are legitimate top-drawer horses.”
With the New York-bred yearlings shipping in Thursday and the sale starting Saturday, showings were fast and furious at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Paddocks Friday.
“It’s been very, very busy,” consignor Mike Recio of South Point Sales Agency confirmed. “It’s kind of like Keeneland, you get one day to look and then you’ve got to rock ‘n roll. So it’s been really busy and we’re already starting to see some second looks. Which is always encouraging. But like any other sale, they have to vet and they have to look the part–that’s where we are right now as a business.”
The 2017 New York-bred sale set records across the board, with a colt by Cairo Prince bringing the auction’s highest ever price when selling for $500,000 and the sale concluding with record gross, average and median. In all, 182 yearlings sold last year for $16,214,000. The average was $89,088 and the median was $69,500. This year’s auction looks to build on that success.
“I think expectations are strong for this year’s sale,” Recio said. “The New York program is on fire right now and we’re coming off of a super main sale. These New York-breds are in demand and it’s a wonderful program.”
The yearlings have a ready-made market of potential buyers with several trainers heading across the street to shop after training hours at Saratoga Friday morning.
“I think you’ll have some middle ground, with more trainers,” Recio said. “I think those $30-50,000 types are going to have some success as well. We’ve had several trainers here today and you don’t get that at a lot of places.”
Recio has been impressed by the strength of this year’s catalogue, which includes a colt by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
“You’re starting to see better mares and better-bred horses than ever,” he said. “It’s one of the best catalogues I think I’ve ever seen over here. It’s a great program and it keeps getting better and these races are getting very competitive. That has raised the bar for what you have to have at this sale and what you have to breed to.”
While the yearlings by Kentucky-based stallions jump out of the catalogue, Recio is looking for young local stallions to start making their marks.
“They are still in search of that great New York stallion who stands here,” Recio said. “Freud has had that torch for a while and now there are some young up-and-comers. I have a nice Normandy Invasion and I think he has a shot. And Central Banker is off to a great start. War Dancer obviously has a big chance over the next couple of years. There is more variety to breed to now.”
The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale gets underway Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes Sunday.
Taylor Made Takes Momentum into NY Sale
Taylor Made Sales Agency opened the week in Saratoga with a strong showing at the select sale, not only consigning the $1.35-million sale topper, but also leading all consignors by gross at the two-day auction. The operation will look to keep the momentum going with a 17-strong consignment at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearlings Sale.
“We were really happy with the results of the select sale,” said Frank Taylor. “It was a good sale. We had a low buy-back rate and the horses sold really well in what I thought was a really good market.”
Taylor Made sent 31 horses through the ring during Monday and Tuesday nights’ select sale, with 26 yearlings selling for a gross of $9,765,000 and an average of $375,577.
The highlight of the consignment was hip 196, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro who sold for $1.35 million to the partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds, Robert Masiello, Chris Larsen and Siena Farm.
“I thought he was about as nice a horse as we’ve ever brought up here,” Taylor said of the sale topper. “He was just big and strong, very athletic and he had a great walk to him and a great mind. He showed over 200 times and he showed good every time. He was just a really good horse.”
Taylor agreed the results were extremely gratifying for the company, which is perennially a leading consignor in the country.
“It’s always our goal at every sale we go to to have those types of results,” he said. “And it’s good to achieve your goals and get the results. We have a really good crew that did a heck of a job at the sale. And we get to work for great people who have bred a lot of very good horses. So we are lucky.”
New York-breds got an extra push recently when Diversify (Bellamy Road) won the GI Whitney H. just across the street from Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sales grounds last weekend. The 5-year-old was bred by Fred Hertrich and John Fielding’s Watercress Farm. Taylor Made will offer nine Watercress yearlings during the two-day New York-bred sale. Included in the group is a hip 547, a colt by Blame who is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Party Boat (Into Mischief); as well as hip 624, a filly by Blame who is out of a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Summer Applause (Harlan’s Holiday).
Taylor Made’s New York sale consignment also includes hip 558, a son of Awesome Again out of Queen Buxley (Super Saver), who is from the family of Grade I winners Pool Land and Very Subtle.
“It seems like the market is strong all the way through, especially in the middle of the top,” Taylor said. “I think the New York sale should be good.”