07/12/2016 6:35PM

Fasig-Tipton July: Figures decline in yearling season opener


Tension around the sale grounds prior to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale regarding the tenuous state of the middle and lower markets came to fruition on Tuesday, with across-the board declines and a significantly higher buyback rate.

The single-day auction saw 183 yearlings sold for revenues of $15,756,500, down 21 percent from the 2015 edition when 205 horses brought $20,005,000.

The average sale price declined 12 percent from $97,585 to $86,101 while the median fell 22 percent from $77,000 to $60,000. The buyback rate closed at 38 percent, marking a sizable jump from 29 percent the previous year.

“I think the results were, frankly, pretty indicative of the trends that we’ve seen in sales throughout 2016 and the same trends that we saw emerging in 2014 and 2015,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “There’s tremendous competition on the horses [buyers] perceive as the better offerings…and there’s probably a smaller population bidding on the horses perceived to be not as highly desirable right now than there were a year or two ago.”

At the top of the market, just seven yearlings sold for $250,000 or more compared to 16 to do so in 2015.

“Buyers have discipline,” Browning said. “They don’t plan on thinking they’re going to bid $100,000, then find themselves bidding $150,000. Buyers pick a number, and they may bid once or twice beyond that number, but then they stop, and I think that’s applying to virtually every buying group. No longer do they bid with unbridled enthusiasm or without restraint.”

A Curlin colt topped the sale, going to the partnership of Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds and Mike Hall’s Breeze Easy for $475,000.

The colt will be targeted as a pinhook for next year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida selected 2-year-olds in training sale, but would be kept to race by the partnership if he did not sell.

“We wanted to go for it and we knew we were going to have to pay a lot for him,” said Randy Hartley of Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds. “We'll see what happens in Miami next February. We're going to try to pinhook him, and if it doesn't pan out, we've got some other plans for him, but the goal is to make him into a million-dollar horse as a 2-year-old.”

Bred in Florida by Miller Racing, the colt is out of the winning Stormin Fever mare Franscat, who is the dam of six winners from seven foals to race, including stakes winners Swinger's Party and Hubba Shake and Grade 3-placed Powhatan County. He is from the family of Grade 1 winners Ogygian and Honour and Glory, Hong Kong Group 2 winner Wade Giles, and Grade 3 winners Savorthetime, Rogue Romance, Wonderlandbynight, and Island Bound.

The colt became the most expensive foal out of Franscat to sell at public auction, surpassing the Fusaichi Pegasus colt Pegasus Prancer, who brought $200,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale. St George Sales consigned the colt, as agent.

“He was a lovely horse and he deserved to bring plenty of money,” said consignor Archie St. George. “How much, I'm not quite sure. A lot of the credit goes to the breeders, Myron Miller and his team. They bred to the right horse and he was the right horse."

For complete sale results, click here.