Wednesday's third session of the Fasig-Tipton October Fall Yearlings Sale dipped a touch by average and median compared to the first two days of the sale, but well-pedigreed and attractive horses continued to do well on the penultimate day of selling. The 213 horses that sold on Wednesday brought $6,727,700, an average of $31,585. The session median was $15,000.
That left the cumulative 2015 figures at 639 horses sold for $21,566,700, an average of $33,751. The cumulative median is $15,000.
Direct year-over-year comparisons are difficult from 2014, when the sale was held over three sessions. Last year's overall average was $35,850, while the median was $18,500.
Yesterday's RNA rate, from 93 horses not sold, was 30.4%. The cumulative RNA now stands at 31.6%.
“It was a very similar marketplace that we saw over the first two days,” said Fasig-Tipton President and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr. “There's lots of competition for what are perceived to be the better-quality horses. The folks downstairs are saying they can't get anything bought that they really like, and it's hard to sell a horse that's not perceived to be of a certain value.”
Topping the session at $290,000 was a colt from the first crop of the breakout freshman sire The Factor (War Front). Altimira Racing purchased the son of Salvar (Eddington), a half-sibling to the good sprinter Clearly Now (Horse Greeley), from the draft of Paramount Sales, agent. The Apr. 4-foaled bay sold as Hip 927.
The colt was originally purchased for $115,000 by Springhouse Farm. “He was a very nice colt, and all the right people landed on him,” said Paramount's Gabriel Duignan. “We put a stop to the scopes at 13—he was very popular.”
Coming into the session, The Factor was the second-leading first-crop sire with an average of $145,506 from 65 sold. Duignan said he's been impressed by Lane's End sire's first yearlings. “He's definitely making a very, very nice horse,” he said. “They're all a uniform type–they're very athletic, sharp, precocious-looking horses. He's a stallion, I have to say, that has a great shot at making it. Mine here really threw back to War Front, or even to Danzig.”
Asked about current market conditions, Duignan echoed a common theme. “If you're selling numbers, it's tough,” he said. “There's money for the good ones, but it's very selective, and then there's just a huge fall off the cliff.”
Duignan said an imbalance between supply and demand, at least in the bottom third of the market, seems to be the culprit.
“In past years, we had the Russians or the South Americans buy a lot of those [lower-end horses], but we don't seem to have that here. I do think it's more a lack of buyers than the horses themselves—there are going to be some good buys out here.”
A colt by Uncle Mo–Scott's Aly Cat (Tale of the Cat) brought $250,000 to be the session's second-highest lot. Paul Sharp signed for the colt, who was consigned by Van Meter-Gentry Sales, agent, as Hip 944.
“In general, I think the trade's been pretty good,” Sharp said of the market. “Good horses are bringing relative money. But this time of year, there are a lot of horses that might not be the type we want to buy to pinhook, but that are still good horses. And those horses aren't finding the end users.”
The session's third-highest lot, and top-priced filly, was a $160,000 Unbridled's Song miss out of Scoot On By (Catienus). The filly, named She Has Risen, was consigned by Taylor Made Sales as Hip 943. She is a half-sister to MSP Triple Cross (Werblin).
The sale's fourth and final session gets underway today at 10:00 a.m. For complete results and catalogue, visit www.fasigtipton.com.
Loaded for BC Bear, Sharp Reloads at F-T…
If you break and train young horses, to have a single runner in the Breeders' Cup is an accomplishment. So the fact that Paul Sharp is set to have five in the World Championships is truly noteworthy, especially considering the Florida-based horseman and his wife Sarah break only 50 or so youngsters a year.
“My horses are running like crazy this year,” Sharp shrugged in a matter-of-fact manner from the back ring at Fasig yesterday.
Yes they are. Among the Sharp-broke horses pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup is the unbeaten juvenile Riker (Include) (Juvenile); the classy MGISW Hard Not to Like (Hard Spun) (F/M Turf); the Turf Sprint hopefuls Channel Marker (Purim) and Something Extra (Indian Charlie); and Catch a Glimpse (City Zip) (Juvenile Fillies Turf).
But Sharp's mind wasn't lingering on dreams of Breeders' Cup glory Wednesday in Lexington. Instead, he was looking for future stars, and hopes he found one in the form of Hip 944.
“He's absolutely gorgeous,” Sharp said. “He looks like a good Indian Charlie, if you remember what the good Indian Charlies used to look like.”
The colt, consigned by Van Meter-Gentry Sales, is the first foal from Scott's Aly Cat (Tale of the Cat), a half to SW King Henny.
Sharp said he was buying for an undisclosed partnership. “We had got some people together to buy him, and we knew he was going to cost some money,” explained Sharp. “We put one figure on him for racing, and one for pinhooking, and he kind of fell in between. We'll get him home and break him, and we'll evaluate him like we do all our horses. If we think he'll be a pinhook-able horse, we'll definitely give it a try. Uncle Mo is the leading freshman sire, and if he has a good Breeders' Cup, there's a lot of upside here.”
Uncle Mo is expected to a pair in the Breeder's Cup, not including the GI Alcibiades winner Gomo, who has been sidelined by injury. The Ashford sire's unbeaten Nyquist will be among the favorites for the GI Juvenile, while Thrilled is cross-entered in the Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Likely to join the former in the Juvenile is Riker, who emerged from Sharp's program this spring to go four-for-four up at Woodbine. Sold for $60,000 to Tucci Stables and trainer Nick Gonzalez at OBS April, Riker won the six-furlong Colin S., the seven-furlong Swynford S., and, in his latest, the 1 1/16-mile GIII Grey S.–a Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” event.
Though Riker was sold by Sharp this spring, he said the real credit goes to his longtime farm manager assistant trainer Isidro Centeno. “He's an excellent horseman and has been with me for 15 years,” said Sharp. “He pinhooks some horses each year, and I just give him a platform to do it. It was really Isidro who liked the horse, and the horse really progressed as we trained him. He did things so effortlessly, and we got to thinking that this was a good horse. He didn't get the fast work at the sale to get the attention that some other horses got. I think he breezed in
:10 2/5. But he galloped out in :33 flat, and we tried to get him out in front of people because we knew he was a good horse. He went to a good trainer and good connections, and he verified for them he was a nice horse.”
Gonzalez sent Riker out to a five-furlong move of Woodbine's dirt training track on Tuesday, when the colt earned the bullet with a 1:00.20 move. Riker's wins have all come over Woodbine's Poly.
“It's always a question of whether they'll make the move to the dirt, but on the farm, training on the dirt track, I thought he trained just as good as he did on the synthetic at OBS,” said Sharp.