02/09/2016 7:21PM

Fasig-Tipton February: Stronger second session, but overall declines


Tuesday’s second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale proved to be more in-step with the previous year’s renewal, but a weaker opening session led to across-the-board declines in the final numbers.

A total of 341 horses were sold for revenues of $8,260,600, down 22 percent from the 2015 renewal, when 406 horses sold for $10,560,700. It was the first time the auction grossed less than $10 million since 2012, when 270 horses brought $4,601,800.

The average sale price fell 7 percent from $26,012 to $24,225, while the median price dipped 21 percent from $12,000 to $9,500. The buyback rate finished at 22 percent, up from last year’s figure of 18 percent.

“I think the results today just reflect the quality of horses that were on offer compared to yesterday,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “It wasn’t like there was going to be a shift in market trends from last night to today. The way the catalog fell, there were certainly a lot more expensive horses just by chance – the way the alphabet fell – and they were offered today.”

At the top of the market, five offerings sold for $200,000 or more, trailing the eight that met or exceeded that price point in 2016. The 14 horses to bring six figures also finished behind the 21 to do so last year.

“There’s a real thirst and a real desire for quality, and if you don’t meet the standards that the buyers establish as the quality threshold, it’s not fun selling a horse,” Browning said. “It’s also not fun trying to buy a horse that meets that quality threshold, because there’s immense competition. It’s the same trends we’ve seen in recent years, and I would expect those to continue in 2016.”

The sale’s top broodmare and yearling sold during Tuesday’s session, led by Flashy American, a Grade 3-winning daughter of Flashy Bull who sold to Blue Sky Stable for $395,000.

The 7-year-old mare went through the ring in foal to Orb from the Kentucky Derby-winning stallion’s second crop. She won 8 of 39 starts during her on-track career for earnings of $778,683, highlighted by wins in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap and three non-graded stakes races. Her graded placings include the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap.

Neil Howard of Gainesway, speaking for Blue Sky Stable, said a decision would be made at a later time as to whom she will be bred after producing her foal, but Gainesway’s leading sire Tapit was a likely candidate.

“When you come to these horse sales, you look for stuff that quality-wise fits your program, and quality-wise she fits the program,” Howard said. “She fits a horse like Tapit, and if that is where she goes, we are happy to have her.”

Bred in Kentucky by H & W Thoroughbreds, Flashy American is out of the multiple stakes-placed Quiet American mare Inn Between, whose three winners from six foals to race also includes stakes-placed Sassy Flash. She is from the family of Grade 3 winner I’m Already Sexy.

Flashy American went through the ring during the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale, hammering to Laura Worm for $360,000, but the new owner defaulted on the payment, putting her back in the auction ring on Tuesday.

Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency, which consigned Flashy American in both sales, said that incident required some concentrated marketing.

“We had to go to Plan B and bring her in here,” Taylor said. “We did a lot of extra promotion to get the word out, because we didn't want people to think she was damaged goods, or that the buyer bought her and she had some problem. She was perfectly fine, so we had to do some extra work and promotion to get that word out.”

Flashy American’s situation was further hampered by a trailer incident en route to the sale that left her with bandages on her two left legs prior to the sale, and one remaining when she went through the ring.

“She hurt herself on the trailer coming over and she had a wound on her left hind, but Dr. [Rolf] Embertson [a surgeon at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital] did a nice job stitching it up and she'll be fine. A couple weeks of bandaging and she'll be right back to normal.”

Despite the series of mishaps leading to the sale, Taylor said he was happy with the final price.

“The reserve was well below the final number, and it looked to me like there were three or four people bidding above the reserve,” he said. “She was fairly sold, and I'm glad it worked out for everybody.”

A colt from the first crop of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms stallion Violence led the newly turned yearlings, going to Marc Ricker, agent, for $100,000.

Bred in Kentucky by Black Rock Thoroughbreds, the May 27 foal is out of the Grade 3-placed With Approval mare Bala, whose five winners from six foals to race includes Grade 2 winner Bay to Bay.

"We really liked that colt,” said Hanzly Albina of consignor Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services. “We held him back from the [Black Rock Stables] dispersal that we had in [Keeneland] January because he was a late foal. That mare's been really good to us. We sold the half-sister a few Septembers ago for half a million dollars to Japan. We thought the foal was really good, but he needed the extra time, so we waited until February.

"When you bring a nice horse here, they tend to stand out, and that's what we did,” Albina continued. “We talked it over, myself, Nick Sallusto, who co-manages Black Rock with me, Ron Blake, and we all agreed February was the place to go with a younger foal. I think the purchasers, whoever they may be, will make money. I think he's a nice horse with a good sales history.”

Tuesday’s session closed with 157 horses sold for $4,966,100, down 25 percent from last year’s closing session gross, when 275 offerings brought $6,592,300. The average sale price rose 32 percent from $23,972 to $31,631, while the median rose 9 percent over last year’s comparable session, from $11,000 to $12,000. The buyback rate finished at 17 percent, keeping fairly steady with last year’s second session figure of 16 percent.