Surface, Location Provide the Draw as Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale Opens Monday

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales grounds | Fasig-Tipton

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TIMONIUM, MD – The juvenile sales season makes it annual stopover in Maryland when the two-day Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training opens Monday morning at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

After a rain-interrupted under-tack show last week, skies were still overcast but there was no rain during a busy day of showing for consignors Sunday.

“We have had so much foot traffic up to this point so far,” said consignor Randy Miles. “Even yesterday, early in the morning in the rain, they were still coming. So far, I think it's great.”

Consignor Jesse Hoppel had similar observations over at his barn Sunday morning.

“It's been busy,” Hoppel said. “This morning we haven't stopped showing horses. And it's been multiple shows at one time all morning long. We are already getting repository activity, lots of looking, hopefully it will be a good sale.”

The Midlantic May sale is the only major 2-year-old auction which features horses working over a dirt track.

“I think this surface gives buyers a really good opportunity to sort through the massive number of horses and find what they are looking for,” said Carlos Manresa of Sequel Bloodstock. “I think the horses separate themselves out here better than anywhere else. It gives the buyers a lot of confidence when they go to raise their hand.”

Sequel Bloodstock's 2022 consignment to the Midlantic May sale included the $3.55-million Hejazi (Bernardini), as well as future GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic). The consignment targets the Maryland sale to take advantage of its location at the crossroads of several racing jurisdictions.

“Every year, we like coming here,” Manresa said. “We have a pile of New York-breds and every New York trainer ends up at this sale looking for exactly that. They want to win the Stallion Stakes, they want to win maiden special weights at Saratoga.”

The sale's Midlantic location should help build a stronger middle market, according to Hoppel.

“I think, this time of the year for these trainers, especially middle-market guys, they are so hands on, to have a sale right in their backyard, it is really convenient for them to step over and take a peak at what we have,” Hoppel said.

Along with the usual array of trainers and bloodstock agents shopping the grounds Sunday morning, Wavertree Stable's Ciaran Dunne said he was seeing a larger than normal number of overseas buyers.

“I'm really impressed by the number of international buyers that Fasig have attracted to the sale–more so than in years past,” Dunne said. “It's a little bittersweet in terms of some of our bigger horses that we'd like to see stay here and run, but it looks like a lot of the better horses will be going abroad.”

A total of 585 juveniles were catalogued for the Midlantic May sale, but Miles thinks this is an auction that should become more of a target for his fellow consignors.

“We as consignors need to think about bringing even more horses here,” Miles said. “Year after year, it gets so much support. We love to come here because of the weather–even though it rains, it's cool. The horses are relaxed. It's a good climate for them this time of year. The sand seems to really help them after the breeze, they seem to recover faster off the sand. It's just a good scenario. I think the buyers like it. I think they can see more of what they want to see.

“Not everything is perfect, but I do like coming up here instead of asking people to come to Ocala in the summertime, because I know what the temperature is right now in Ocala. So coming up here, more people are more likely to come from New York. And you get the middle market coming from Delaware, Pennsylvania. It's just so much easier for everyone.”

Last year's Midlantic May sale, topped by a $1-million daughter of Arrogate, produced strong results that were within striking distance of the auction's record-setting 2022 renewal. Overall, 375 horses sold for $34,795,500. The average was $92,788–down just 2.7% from the sale record–and the median was $50,000, up 6.4% from 2022.

Bidding at the Maryland State Fairgrounds begins both Monday and Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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