07/11/2016 9:45PM

Fasig-Tipton July: Gross, average improve at racing age sale


The fourth edition of the Fasig-Tipton July selected horses of racing age sale posted improved returns in gross and average figures on Monday, led by the $575,000 private purchase of Grade 1-winning broodmare prospect Stormy Lucy and the well-received dispersal of Eutrophia Farm.

However, the highly anticipated offering of Grade 3 winner Donegal Moon ended in a $1.6-million buyback.

The single-day event was held on a separate day from the auction house’s July selected yearling sale for the first time in its history, selling 72 horses for revenues of $5,048,500. That marked a 26 percent increase from the 2015 sale when 65 horses brought $3,996,000.

The average sale price rose 14 percent from $61,477 to $70,118, while the median fell 13 percent from $48,000 to $42,000. The buyback rate finished at 21 percent, improving significantly from 32 percent last year.

It is important to note that the Eutrophia Farm dispersal horses sold without reserve beyond the upset price, which helped improve buyback figures. Removing the dispersal from consideration, the buyback rate finished at 28 percent.

“It was a pretty similar marketplace to what we’ve seen in recent years,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “I thought there was pretty competitive bidding on most of the lots. I thought the dispersal was very well received and exceeded expectations. There was plenty of activity and interest for the most part on the vast majority of the racehorses.”

At the top of the market, two horses changed hands for $250,000 or more, trailing the three to do so at last year’s sale. Fourteen horses sold for six figures on Monday, bettering the 11 to reach that point in 2015.

Browning said he was pleased with the turnout under the new format, which saw the racing-age sale held on the evening prior to the yearling sale, instead of immediately following as a companion session.

“I thought it was fabulous,” he said. “Mother Nature couldn’t have been much more cooperative. I thought there was a great crowd here tonight. It felt like there was some energy on the sale grounds. There was no shortage of bidders tonight on virtually every horse.”

Leading the session was Stormy Lucy, who sold privately to Gavin Murphy and Neil Bowden’s SF Bloodstock for $575,000 after hammering as a buyback for $650,000 during her turn in the auction ring earlier in the day.

The 7-year-old Stormy Atlantic mare sold as a broodmare prospect after being retired in June when a small tumor was discovered on her arytenoid, which impaired her breathing. She won eight of 34 starts for owner Steve Moger and earned $851,700.

A turf specialist, Stormy Lucy’s biggest wins came in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes, the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes, and the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Stormy Lucy, as agent.

Bred in Kentucky by Mercedes Stables, Stormy Lucy is out of the placed Dixieland Band mare Here Comes Lucinda, whose three foals to race are all winners. She comes from the family of Grade 3 winner Moonwalk and Grade 2-placd Thatswhatimean and Atswhatimtalkinbout.

"We were a little disappointed when she didn't sell the first time around,” said Leif Aaron of Taylor Made. “I think there was a lot of confusion with the bidding because a lot of people bid $600,000 at the same time, and we were just saying, 'We're just going to take her and sell her in November,' but a lot of people showed interest after they saw it was a buyback. We got a lot of offers afterward and SF just made us the best offer.”

SF Bloodstock also bought the sale’s second highest-priced lot overall and the mare with the top hammer price, the $250,000 Best Behavior, a 6-year-old Into Mischief mare who won the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream Park in December. Taylor Made Sales Agency handled that mare, as well.

Donegal Moon was a supplemental entry to the catalog, coming off a win in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on June 19 at Monmouth Park. The 3-year-old son of Malibu Moon was bought back by owner Donegal Racing with a hammer price of $1.6 million. Jerry Crawford, founder of Donegal Racing, said the bidding was “very close” to the reserve, and that a private sale could still be a possibility, but he would be willing to keep the colt to race.

“If we don’t sell him we’re going to take the 5-2 favorite to the West Virginia Derby and say ‘come and catch us,’” Crawford said. “There are worse things than that.”

Duncan Taylor of consignor Taylor Made said he was not surprised by the outcome given the traffic that he saw leading up to the sale.

“From the action we had, I just don’t think there were enough buyers here of that magnitude,” he said. “It was a good try, he’s a good horse, I think he’s worth that when you see what people pay for yearlings, but I just don’t think there were enough of those kind of buyers here.”

Leading off the sale was the 22-horse dispersal of Ohio-based Eutrophia Farm, handled as agent by Taylor Made Sales Agency, which grossed $1,673,000 with an average sale price of $76,045.

The dispersal accounted for five of the day’s top 10 prices, led by Kitness, an 8-year-old Storm Cat mare who sold with her March 13 Candy Ride colt to I. Green for $205,000. Kitness sold in foal to Competitive Edge and hails from the family of champion Outstandingly, Grade 1 winner Sky Mesa, and Grade 3 winner Bernstein, among others.

“The dispersal went unbelievably,” Aaron said. “We had appraised the whole dispersal around $1.2 million and ended up bring $1.68 million.

“Anytime you add the word ‘dispersal’ to the end of a sale, people come in droves,” he continued, “but I think what was really interesting about it was we’d never offered mares with foals before [at a racing-age sale], and the foals just looked fantastic, so it was really easy to go out and sell those when they looked as good as they did.”

Selling at Fasig-Tipton continues on Tuesday with the July selected yearling sale, which begins at 10 a.m. Eastern.