Last Stop for Yearlings: Fasig-Tipton October Sale Starts Monday

Newtown Paddocks | Fasig-Tipton photo

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LEXINGTON, KY – The Fasig-Tipton October Yearlings Sale, which has produced back-to-back record-setting renewals, returns Monday morning with the first of 1,605 catalogued yearlings scheduled to go through the ring at Newtown Paddocks at 10 a.m.

As shoppers made the rounds at the sales grounds on a brisk fall morning the Bluegrass Sunday, consignors were expecting to see some familiar trends during the upcoming four-session auction.

“It's going to be interesting to see where the level of quality is here,” said Legacy Bloodstock's Tommy Eastham. “I think [the market] is going to be really good for the horses that are perceived to be above that level and I think it's going to be more of the same for the horses that they perceive to be below that. I think it's going to be tougher on those horses.”

Despite the expected polarization of the market, consignors were pleased with the activity they were seeing around the sales barns.

“It's very refreshing to come into the parking lot early in the day and have it full up from all the way back here in the tents to the front fields,” said Stuart Morris. “I think the traffic, to me, seems to be on par. I'm not going to say it's extra, but it's definitely not weak. All of the faces that you usually see are here.”

For the second year in a row, the October sale set highwater marks for gross, average and median in 2022 with total of 1,100 yearling selling for $55,426,500, an average of $50,388 and a median of $25,000.

“Over the last couple of years, this has become a really strong sale,” said Hanzly Albina of Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services. “It used to definitely be a lower-end horse and now there are 1600 horses here. I think there are people who are pointing horses here who need a little more time and they are more comfortable waiting to sell their horses here because they know there will be money here for them, versus having to put horses in sales they feel they aren't ready for.”

Albina said his 23-horse consignment at the October sale included yearlings who had RNA'd at previous sales, as well as horses pointed specifically to the last yearling sale of the year.

“We have horses in here that have big pedigrees that we wanted to give more time to and we were comfortable waiting until October,” he explained.

The consignment includes a colt by Curlin (hip 691) out of Kateri (Indian Charlie) and a filly by Tapit out of My Bellamy (Bellamy Road) (hip 948) who were both catalogued for the Keeneland September Yearling sale, while a colt by Into Mischief out of Indy Punch (Pulling Punches) (hip 651) will be making his first sales appearance.

“She was offered at Keeneland in Book, but I think she got overlooked,” Albina said of the Tapit filly. “The Curlin was offered in September and I think he needed more time, too, but the Into Mischief we waited on him to mature a little more.”

Eastham said the October sale is a natural place to sell yearlings.

“It's a nice sale to prep a horse for,” he said. “They naturally mature into it. You don't have to push them as much. They keep them outside longer and put a little less pressure on them.

I think you see some of these upper-end buyers that were really active in earlier sales start holding some cash for this sale. Because a lot of good horses come out of this sale.”

Morris agreed the October's impressive list of graduates has attracted buyers' attention, but he also thinks the auction is helped by its position as the final yearlings sale of the season.

“I think a lot of buyers come here because it's the last stop,” Morris said. “So as sellers, we are a little more cautious–what might be considered realistic–and buyers are a little aggressive because they have to fill orders. I think that helps this sale just because of the calendar time that it's the last stop of the year. There are 1,600 head here and a bunch of stakes horses come out of this sale every year, so if you have a big budget of $500,000 or $600,000, you can find horses here for that money. If you've got $50,000 or $10,000 or $5,000, you can find horses. So I think that creates a big buyer base.”

Eastham observed that buyers have been particularly hard on vet issues at the earlier yearling auctions this fall, but he is hopeful the last auction of the season might have them reevaluating that position.

“At Keeneland [the buyers] were strict on vetting,” he said. “A chip that would normally cost you 20% was costing you 70%. Hopefully they will be a little more forgiving on some small, minor vetting issues because we are getting to the end of the year and we can get those horses sold.”

The October sale will be held Monday through Thursday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

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