02/08/2015 9:09PM

Fasig-Tipton February: Mixed results in opening session

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The opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale saw varied returns Sunday evening in Lexington, Ky.

Fasig-Tipton reported 131 horses sold during the opener for revenues of $3,968,400, down 11 percent from last year’s leadoff session when 122 horses brought $4,475,100. The average sale price fell 17 percent from $36,681 to $30,293. However, the median saw a 6 percent boost from $16,000 to $17,000.

The widening of the middle market at the winter mixed sale displayed by the rising median was made further apparent by the decline in six-figure horses sold on Sunday, down from 12 during the 2014 opener to seven.

The buyback rate finished at 20 percent on Sunday, holding steady with last year’s opening day of sales.

Sunday’s session was topped by Gamay Noir, a multiple Grade 3-winning Harlan’s Holiday mare, who sold to bloodstock agent Justin Casse on behalf of a newly formed partnership for $375,000.

Casse said the 5-year-old mare would be retired and bred, wrapping up an on-track career that featured five wins in 18 career starts for $346,866. Gamay Noir won the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park and the Grade 3 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream, and finished third in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne. Her final start was a fourth-place effort in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap.

Myron Miller’s Chasing Tail Stables claimed the mare for $100,000 on Jan. 15, 2014, at Gulfstream Park, and all three of her graded efforts in the money came after the claim with trainer Marty Wolfson.

“Obviously, there’s no more Harlan’s Holidays coming,” Casse said. “She’s a very typical Harlan’s Holiday, a pretty version of the sire, out of an Unbridled mare, a deep family. Myron Miller and [his] crew do an excellent job finding mares and developing them, and this just is another example, because it seems like year in and year out we’re here trying to buy them.”

Bred in Kentucky by Fares Farm, Gamay Noir is out of the winning Unbridled mare Uncork, whose three winners from as many runners also include the Puerto Rican Group 3-placed Serafico. She is from the family of Grade 1 winners Al Mamoon and Icon Project, as well as Grade 2 winners Apart, Lasting Approval, and Munnings.

“I actually thought she might bring a touch more than that because she was the star of the show here,” Casse said, “but at the end of the day, we’re happy with the price point.”

Gamay Noir was consigned on Sunday by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

“This mare’s one of the top offerings in here,” said Taylor Made’s Mark Taylor. “She just represents an interesting opportunity for buyers. I think there’s a lot of people that look at her and say, ‘She’s already a multiple stakes-winner. I’d just like to get her underneath a proven stallion and get her into my broodmare program.’

“She’s a good example that people have good enough confidence in this sale to bring mares like her over here,” Taylor continued. “The Melnyk dispersal a couple years ago proved that you can sell six-figure horses in this market and that’s why you’re starting to see higher quality start showing up.”

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt secured the day’s most expensive yearling, going to $180,000 for an Into Mischief filly. She was the only newly-turned yearling of the session to eclipse six figures.

Bred in Kentucky by Fredericka Caldwell, the bay filly is out of the stakes-placed Carson City mare Lanai City, who is the dam of three winners from four foals to race. Her extended family includes Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account, Grade 2 winners Pok Ta Pok, Smooth Air, Overdriven, Justwhistledixie, and Shaniko and Grade 3 winner Eagleton.

The filly was consigned as agent by Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services.

The second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale will commence Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern.