02/09/2015 8:51PM

Fasig-Tipton February: Sale closes with declines

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The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale continued to come down from the highs of the Eugene Melnyk dispersal in 2013, trending downward across the board.

The two-day sale finished with 406 horses sold for revenues of $10,560,700 according to figures reported by Fasig-Tipton shortly after the close of trade on Monday evening. That figure was down 22 percent compared with last year’s gross of $13,527,500 from the same number sold. The average sale price also fell 22 percent from $33,319 to $26,012, while the median dipped 25 percent from $16,000 to $12,000.

At the top of the market, 21 horses changed hands for six figures, scaling back from the 30 to surpass that threshold in 2014.

“It was pretty much as expected,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “There was tremendous demand for quality offerings. There were multiple bidders for the quality offeringsc and I think virtually every consignor would tell you that the top-end offerings exceeded their expectations and, for the most part, exceeded their reserves.”

The buyback rate finished at 18 percent, marking a small improvement from last year’s final figure of 20 percent.

“We live in a world where the marketplace is pretty fair,” Browning said. “I think the sellers would say overall, it wasn’t easy to sell your horse, and buyers are walking around saying it dang sure isn’t easy to buy a horse that you like. There was more demand than you’d anticipate for quality offerings and less demand than you anticipate for offerings that buyers don’t perceive as having sufficient quality.”

The sale-topper came in the waning pages of the auction’s supplemental catalog, with WinStar Farm buying multiple Grade 3 winner Rose to Gold for $450,000.

The 5-year-old Friends Lake mare, who was consigned as agent by Hidden Brook, came into the sale as a broodmare prospect after an on-track career that featured six wins in 16 career starts for earnings of $990,183. She won a trio of Grade 3 races, taking the Delta Downs Princess Stakes as a juvenile and the Fantasy and Honeybee stakes at age 3, then the ungraded but lucrative Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at 4.

“She’s a nice mare, a multiple graded winner, a lot of class,” said Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm. “It felt like she would be a good addition to our broodmare band. We were stretched right where we wanted to be. We were hoping to get her around $350,000 to $400,000.”

Walden said Rose to Gold will be sent to WinStar sire Tiznow for her first mating.

“He’s worked real well with Mr. Prospector. He works awesome with Seattle Slew,” Walden said. “If you look at her grandsires, you see Storm Cat, Mr. Prospector, and Seattle Slew. Even Spend a Buck is an influence for speed, so that’s what we were attracted to. [The mare’s] well-balanced, and he’ll give her the size she needs. I thought she’d be a good fit for him.”

Bred in Kentucky by Joe Mulholland Sr., Joe Mulholland Jr., John Mulholland, and Karen Mulholland, Rose to Gold is out of the unraced Tabasco Cat mare Saucy, whose four foals to race are all winners. She is from the family of French Group 3 winner El Fabulous.

Rose to Gold’s position at the top of the Fasig-Tipton February sale was a stark contrast to the same auction in 2011, where she sold as a newly turned yearling for a modest $1,400. She was purchased at that sale by Alexandro Centofamti, who co-campaigned Rose to Gold in the name of his wife, Raffaele Centofamti, with partner Kathleen Amaya for the entirety of her on-track career.

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt secured the auction’s most expensive yearling, going to $180,000 for an Into Mischief filly. She was the only newly turned yearling of the winter mixed sale 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.

Monday’s session finished with 275 horses sold for $6,592,300, posting a 27 percent decline from the closing session of 2014 when 284 horses brought $9,052,400. The average dipped 25 percent from $31,875 to $23,972, while the median fell 31 percent from $16,000 to $11,000.

For complete sale results, click here.