07/09/2015 11:00PM

Fasig-Tipton July: Temper Mint Patty tops horses of racing age sale

Nicole DiGiovanni/NYRA
Temper Mint Patty, seen here winning the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes last fall, sold for $350,000 to lead the Fasig-Tipton summer sale of horses of racing age.

While the Fasig-Tipton summer selected horses of racing age sale lacked the high-level fireworks of previous editions, Thursday’s renewal showed strength among its blue-collar offerings with the highest median price in the sale’s three-year history.

The one-day sale finished with 65 horses sold for a gross of $3,966,000, down 53 percent from last year, when 109 horses brought $8,426,000. It is important to note that the 2014 sale featured the high-profile dispersal of racing stock from Eugene Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm, which accounted for six of the top 10 prices including $1.075-million Bedford Land.

The average sale price fell 20 percent from $77,303 to $61,477, while the median rose 37 percent to an all-time high of $48,000 after finishing at $35,000 last year. The buyback rate closed at 32 percent, up significantly from 15 percent last year, though the 50 horses of the Melnyk dispersal sold last year without reserve.

“Horses of racing age sales are going to be virtually impossible to compare from year to year, just because of the nature of the composition of what you get incorporated in the sale,” said Faisg-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “Last year, basically half the sale was the Melnyk dispersal and it accounted for several of the top prices.”

Three horses sold for $250,000 or more on Thursday, trailing last year’s auction, when eight offerings met or exceeded that mark.

“We didn’t have the ‘showstopper,’” Browning said. “The top of last year was a Melnyk horse and the year before was Starship Truffles, who was a million-dollar horse. We knew realistically we were coming in with some nice horses, but we didn’t have absolute star power at the top end.

“We tried, if some things had happened over the last two weeks on the racetrack, there were a couple of horses who were probably pointed here if they ran successfully in recent form,” Browning continued. “Some years, you get the recent form, and the stars line up, and you get those top quality horses that are going to be the showstoppers, and this year we just missed on a couple of those in terms of their performance on the racetrack and the owners decided to retain them.”

The auction’s final offering, stakes winner Temper Mint Patty, topped the sale, going to owner Mike Repole for $350,000.

The 3-year-old Congrats filly was a late supplemental entry to the sale after winning the New York Oaks by 9 ¼ lengths on July 3 at Finger Lakes. She was previously owned by Mark Stanley and trained by Jeremiah Engelhardt.

“She’s heading up to Saratoga and going to [trainer] Todd [Pletcher],” said Jacob West, who signed the ticket for Repole. “[Repole] was locked on her ever since they entered her into the sale. She’s a New York-bred filly that he knows can go and compete in some New York-bred stakes up there.”

Temper Mint Patty has won three of nine starts for earnings of $274,050, also including a win in the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont during her juvenile campaign. She has also placed in three stakes at Belmont and Gulfstream Park.

The filly was consigned by Bluewater Sales as agent for Stanley. Bluewater’s Meg Levy said the owner had considered entering Temper Mint Patty in the auction prior to her New York Oaks victory, and the effort clinched the decision.

“She’s absolutely stunning,” Levy said. “I was so pleasantly surprised when she shipped in, because she was a late add on Saturday as an entry. She’s ready to go. She’s what everybody’s looking for to go have some fun in Saratoga with all those New York-bred races.”

Bred in New York by Gallagher’s Stud, Temper Mint Patty is out of the stakes-winning Adcat mare His Beauty, who is the dam of two winners from four runners. She is from the family of French Group 1-placed Doha.

Thursday’s sale was the third time Temper Mint Patty has changed hands at public auction. She was first sold in the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale for $30,000, then was purchased by Stanley for $95,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-olds in training sale.

Multiple Grade 3-winner Divine Oath drew the sale’s second-highest price, selling to West Point Thoroughbreds for $270,000.

The 4-year-old Broken Vow colt entered the sale off a last-place finish in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes on July 5 for previous owner Let’s Go Stable and trainer Pletcher.

Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, said Divine Oath would likely be gelded, and that a trainer would be decided at a later date.

“We’ll go to Saratoga with him, probably,” Finley said. “To their credit, you look at the amount of money NYRA has put toward the older horses going long on the turf – you’ve got the Man o’ War, you’ve got the Manhattan, the Bowling Green, the Sword Dancer, the Joe  Hirsch. I’m not saying he’s at that level now. He’s not. But hopefully next year he’s at that level and he’s taking some swings at those spots.”

Divine Oath has won five of 14 starts for earnings of $464,210, highlighted by victories in the Grade 3 American Derby, Kent Stakes, and W. L. McKnight Handicap. He also placed in two additional graded stakes.

Bred in Kentucky by Sanford Robinson Divine Oath is the first runner out of the winning Forestry mare Rejoicing and hails from the family of runners including Grade 1 winners Miner’s Mark, Traditionally, and My Flag, Grade 2 winner Interactif, Grade 3 winners Animal Spirits and Ocho Ocho Ocho, and Grade 1-placed Our Emblem.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Divine Oath as agent.

For complete results of the horses of racing age sale, click here.