Son of Nyquist on Top at Fasig Midlantic Finale

Hip 160 | Fasig-Tipton Photo

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A son of Nyquist brought a sale-topping $205,000 during Tuesday's second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale in Timonium, MD.

With a catalogue some 20% smaller than it was last year, the 2023 renewal of the auction saw 289 head fetch $7,078,000 at an average of $24,491 (down 7.9% year over year from $26,597) and median of $12,000 (down 20% from last year's cumulative figure of $15,000).

Last year there were 23 horses to sell for $100,000 or more–there were only 12 to reach that number this week.

For Tuesday's longer session, which came after a later-starting afternoon of selling Monday, 190 yearlings changed hands for gross receipts of $4,715,000. The average was $24,816 and median was $12,000.

“I thought it was fairly consistent, very much in line with previous years,” said Fasig-Tipton President and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “The catalogue was smaller this year, which obviously had an impact on the gross. Average declined slightly, median declined a little bit, which are trends we've been seeing in the regional markets. All in all, I thought the sale was fine, it was fair, it was consistent, and really as expected–it was in line with our expectations and what we've seen in this marketplace in recent years.”

The overall buy-back rate was 21.5% compared to 17% 12 months ago. The RNA rate was 25.5% at the conclusion of the session Tuesday–it had been 16.2% at last year's corresponding session and was 19.5% on Monday–but Browning noted that post-sale transactions were still being processed and the RNA rate would come down as those additional sales were finalized and recorded.

Nick Sallusto's Thorostock LLC and Seth Morris Thoroughbreds purchased the sale and session's top two lots Tuesday: hip 160, a Maryland-bred Nyquist colt from Becky Davis Inc., agent; and hip 376, a $175,000 son of fellow Darley resident Street Sense offered by Northview Stallion Station.

The sales top five sellers all went through the ring Tuesday. Eight of nine toppers for the sale were colts, with the lone filly in that group hip 368, a Maryland-bred miss from the first crop of Vekoma. Northview also consigned that filly, who was purchased by Golden Lion Racing.

“I think, generally speaking, the average person would generally rather have a colt than a filly to go to the races with,” Browning said. “And I think that's even more so the case in a regional marketplace where you don't have collector-type pedigrees, generally speaking, so I think there's always going to be an affinity for colts.”

Yearling season will wrap up later this month when Fasig holds its four-day Kentucky October Yearlings sale Oct. 23-26, and Browning isn't anticipating any more surprises back in Lexington: “There were no real emerging great signs or negative signs with the marketplace [in Maryland]. We already have a pretty good idea of where things are, it was in line with what we've already seen this year and I would when we go back to Kentucky in a few weeks for the last yearling sale of the year it'll again be very similar to what we've been seeing.”

Visit www.fasigtipton.com for complete sales results.

Sallusto 'Stocks' Up

Nick Sallusto's Thorostock, in partnership with Seth Morris Thoroughbreds, took home Tuesday's top two lots, the $205,000 Nyquist colt consigned by Becky Davis, Inc. as hip 160; and hip 376, a $175,000 son of Street Sense bought out of the Northview Stallion Station consignment.

The purchases, along with four other more inexpensive pick-ups ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, will be heading to next year's 2-year-old sales.

Hip 160 is out of Laurel debut winner How My Heart Works (Not For Love), who has been a very productive mare for Maryland breeders Bowman and Higgins Stable. Her first foal Monday Morning QB (Imagining) fetched $25,000 at this sale in 2018, but has racked up more than $334,000 in earnings, including two stakes victories and a graded placing. A 3-year-old full-sister to hip 160 sold to Cary Frommer for $200,000 here in 2021, then brought $450,000 back in the Timonium sales ring last May. Now named Asawer, she was third in this year's G3 U.A.E. Oaks. A still-unraced Arrogate colt from the mare sold for $180,000 to Cash Is King and LC Racing here 12 months ago.

“I think he's very much like his father–he's got a very similar physical to his daddy; very beautiful type of horse,” Sallusto said of hip 160's appeal. “He's very, very well put together–near perfect conformation. He's got plenty of development left in him, he's still a little bit of a baby. I'm a big fan of the sire, he's got a stallion's pedigree, he already has a full-sister who's graded-placed, the mare already has two graded stakes horses from two with a 2-year-old who hasn't started yet. There were just too many things to like about him to not take a swing at him. We just felt lucky that we had the money to buy him today.”

The dark bay also hails from the family of last year's MGISW sophomore colt Cyberknife (Gun Runner), highest-level winners Well Armed and American Patriot, et al.

Sallusto said the final price paid for hip 160 was in line with what he was expecting. When asked if the absence of the colts groups, which have been such a force at the major yearling auctions in Kentucky and Saratoga, made for an easier time shopping for higher-end male prospects, he said, “There's a little less resistance I would say, but I think he was fairly bought,” adding of the market as a whole: “There's good support for the locally based Maryland-bred horses, and overall I think the horses who vet clean and have good physicals are bringing fair money.”

Later in the session, Sallusto was back at it acquiring another top-end Maryland-bred colt by an established Kentucky sire. Hip 376 is the second foal out of Victory Rally (Jump Start), who was a stakes winner going a main-track mile. His second dam is SW American Victory (Victory Gallop) and third dam is MGSW and good producer Who Did It and Run (Polish Numbers).

Hip 376 had RNA'd for $90,000 in August at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga. He was bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds. A now 2-year-old half-brother by Union Rags sold for $75,000 here last term and has most recently been breezing in Kentucky.

Nyce Sale for Davis

Consignor Becky Davis admitted that she knew heading into the Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale that she was coming with some standouts, and the market agreed. Davis's consignment grossed $1,005,000 from 25 sold, led by Tuesday's session and sale-topping Nyquist colt as well as another $110,000 son of the Darley stalwart.

“I haven't gone to Saratoga or Kentucky in a long time. I've specifically focused on bringing everything to Maryland and trying to improve our offerings,” Davis said during a brief lull in the action Tuesday. “A lot of what we sell are horses we've raised on our farm. We started sending a lot more mares to Kentucky and improving what we were breeding to when we started missing out on the Two Punch and Not For Love and the Allen's Prospect era. So, I know that we're breeding some of the higher-quality horses in the region. A couple years ago, I made a commitment–along with some other consignors–to try and make the Maryland sales better and take everything we had here. There was a group of us who decided that the sales weren't going to get any better unless we brought our own best, so that's what I've done.”

Davis had also consigned each of hip 160's aforementioned prior foals.

“I think overall, he's been the nicest foal the mare has had. He's phenomenal. I sold his full-sister here two years ago, and she sold for $200,000, but this is a nicer horse than she is,” Davis said of the Apr. 26 foal. “Honestly, he's darn near perfect. Since he was a foal, you just couldn't really pick out anything wrong with him. Some people may have liked to see him be bigger because he's a colt–I would call him average sized–but he's just so well put together, and such an athletic horse with a really good walk. He moves in the field like a dream. He's just the whole package. I was not disappointed by what he brought, but I wouldn't have been surprised if he brought a good bit more.”

Davis notably includes footage of her offerings in the field as part of her promotional walking videos (click for hip 160's video). When asked why, she explained:

“In [2002], I sold [eventual GII Pennsylvania Derby winner] Love of Money (Not For Love) here [for $70,000]. The sale was huge, there were 600-some horses and we had tents in the infield. That horse got loose from a lot of my handlers, and he was running loose in the infield a couple of times. Samantha Siegel (of Jay Em Ess Stable) bought him from me and she told me later that she bought him because she got to see him run.

“I believe it was the very next year–it's been a good 20 years now that I've been doing videos like that. I used to send DVDs out to people. I've been selling horses for a long time, and I've always done so much of it myself. I've prepped all the horses, raised half of them, so I started even doing the videos myself.

“This year, I did a lot of the footage myself… Then my 16-year-old daughter edited all the footage and put the videos together… Even with [hip 160], he was so tired [after being inspected so much]. I don't do any forced exercise on the farm, so none of them have been on walkers or lunged or anything like that. They're healthy horses, but they're not like fit athletes–they're babies. So when they get here, and they get shown as much as he did, they get tired. So, I want people to be able to see more than just a tired horse dragged up and down the asphalt… I've had a lot of people buy a lot of really good horses and tell me that they've bought it off of video.”

Davis's other Nyquist colt offering was hip 253, who was sold on behalf of breeder Glenangus Farm and purchased by David and Lori Hughes's Mens Grille Racing. The Maryland-bred is the second foal out of stakes winner and graded-placed turfer Peach of a Gal (Curlin). Second dam Richetta (Polish Numbers) was a Maryland standout herself, and also responsible for MSW/GSP Concealed Identity (Smarty Jones) and two other black-type performers.

“He's also another really impressive, big, strong colt, but not nearly the same [as hip 160],” Davis said of the chestnut. “He was bigger and taller, but not conformationally the same as the other horse. I think he benefitted from being behind the other horse because people who didn't get the first Nyquist I think were in there a little bit on this one. But, he's an athletic horse himself. He didn't have all the conformation to make him top dog… He's a nice colt. I think he'll be a good racehorse.”

Hip 253 had RNA'd for $185,000 at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga while consigned by a different outfit.

Davis acknowledged that while she was having a good sale, not everyone was.

“I've seen a lot of disappointments, for sure,” she said. “For me, it's going very well. But I think I brought the best group of horses I've ever brought here, and it's probably one of the best consignments this sale has ever seen overall… I honestly think the market is more realistic. To be honest, things have been so over the top; people quadrupling their stud fee. Nobody is happy anymore with just doubling their stud fee. You get caught up in these overinflated numbers and get disappointed… at some point we have to realize that people are losing their shirts and spending too much money and maybe everyone's just becoming a little more realistic.”

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