03/24/2014 6:04PM

Fasig-Tipton: High buyback rate depresses trade at Florida sale

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After a pair of strong sales to start the juvenile auction season, the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training could not continue the momentum on Monday, with nearly half of the horses offered failing to meet their reserves.

Fasig-Tipton reported 47 horses sold during the one-day sale for revenues of $13,370,000. That marked a 10-year low in gross sales and a 25 percent drop compared with last year, when 46 juveniles were sold for $17,725,000.

The average sale price dipped 26 percent, falling from $385,326 to $284,468. Meanwhile, the median price of $180,000 was the third-lowest since 2004, and marked a 40 percent drop from $300,000 last year.

The buyback rate continued to climb at the Florida sale, rising to 45 percent after finishing last year at 41 percent. It was the highest rate of horses not sold since 2005, also 45 percent, and marked the second year in a row above 40 percent after four renewals at 35 percent or lower.

The one day sale was held at Adena Springs South in Williston, Fla., after the advent of year-round racing at Gulfstream Park put stalls at a capacity at the auction’s former home, Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach. Future editions of the sale are planned to be held at Gulfstream.

Demi O’Byrne, representing the Coolmore partnership, secured the highest-priced juvenile of the sale, going to $1.2 million on a Malibu Moon colt out of the unraced Pine Bluff mare Lizzy’s Bluff.

The bay colt, bred in Kentucky by Donard Niall and Michael Niall, is a sibling to three winners from as many foals to race out of the dam, including Grade 3-placed stakes winner Please Explain and multiple stakes-placed Nicklaus Way. He is from the family of Canadian champion Truth of It All, Grade 1 winners I Ain’t Bluffing and Borrego, and Grade 2 winners Acting Happy and Together Indy.

Consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight, agent, the colt breezed one furlong in 10 seconds during the pre-sale under-tack show, tying him for the second-fastest time at the distance. The Kights bought the colt at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale for $200,000, making for a very successful pinhook. He is the first foal out of Lizzy’s Bluff to eclipse seven figures at public auction.

A half-brother to three-time champion Royal Delta brought the second-highest price of the day, going to Qatar-based Al Shaqab Racing for $1 million. The dark bay or brown Distorted Humor colt is out of the Grade 3-winning A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, whose four winners from five foals to race also include Grade 1-placed Carnival Court and Grade 2-placed Empire Way. The colt is from the family of Grade/Group 1 winners Biondetti and Indy Five Hundred, Grade 2 winner Lyphard’s Delta, and Grade 3 winner Proud Debonair.

The colt was part of the historic dispersal of the late Prince Saud bin Khaled’s Palides Investments N.V. at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, selling in utero when Adena Springs bought Delta Princess for $2.6 million.

Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds purchased the colt for $350,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, and consigned him at the Florida sale, as agent. He was one of seven horses to tie for the fastest furlong of the under-tack show, covering an eighth of a mile in 9.80 seconds.

The colt is the third foal out of Delta Princess to sell for seven figures, with the previous two being purchased by Ben Leon’s Besilu Stables at the 2011 Keeneland November dispersal. Royal Delta brought $8.5 million at that sale as a racing or broodmare prospect, and the Smart Strike filly Crown Queen sold for $1.6 million as a weanling.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale:

Year Sold Gross Average Median Buyback
2014 47 (+2%) $13,370,000 (-25%) $284,468 (-26%) $180,000 (-40%) 45%
2013 46 $17,725,000 $385,326 $300,000 41%