07/06/2012 3:27PM

Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale to be held Tuesday with bigger catalog


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fasig-Tipton’s July yearling sale here on Tuesday launches the select auction season with a larger catalog and high hopes that 2011’s market gains will continue, or even improve, in 2012.

Fasig-Tipton’s 2012 July catalog began with 338 horses, an 11.5-percent increase over last year’s initial book of 303. Scratches by July 6 had reduced the total to 307, still up from the 261 yearlings that ultimately went through the ring at Newtown Paddocks last year.

The larger 2012 catalog reverses a recent downsizing trend that reflected the recent steep drop in North American foal crop size. But Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning has said he believes the uptick in yearling numbers at Fasig-Tipton is too mild to weigh the market down at a time when supply and demand are generally well aligned, and more yearlings could spur trade by offering more variety for buyers.

Between European debt concerns and a slow U.S. jobs market, there are some economic clouds on the horizon. But there’s also good news, including a long-sought Eurozone debt-aid deal that could lend stability there. And racing’s basic figures for global handle, purses, and race days have held their upward trend so far this year. According to Equibase’s monthly leading economic indicators report, U.S. purses (helpfully bulked up for now by gaming subsidies) so far are up 8 percent over last year, and racing opportunities as measured by race days also were up 2 percent over last year in the same timeframe. Buyers also appeared to be in a pretty positive mindset earlier this year at the nation’s major juvenile sales, which broadly saw gains in boutique and key middle-market sales. Those gains benefitted an important buying base at Fasig-Tipton’s July sale: the yearling-to-juvenile resellers called pinhookers.

The July sale’s bellwether position on the calendar makes it a good place to gauge early market reaction to young sires’ first yearlings. This season’s first-crop stallions include Colonel John, Cowboy Cal, Dixie Chatter, Dunkirk, Einstein, Kodiak Kowboy, Old Fashioned, Parading, Pioneerof the Nile and his half-brother Forefathers, Thewayyouare, U S Ranger, Visionaire, and Zensational.

Ashford Stud freshman Dunkirk leads all sires by number of yearlings on offer with 18 cataloged. Among them are half-brothers to Grade 2-placed stakes winner Karama (Hip No. 12), stakes winner Musical Flair (233), and Grade 2-placed A Lulu Ofa Menifee (275); and colts from the families of Euchre and C. C. on Ice (285) and of High Stakes Player (319). His fillies include one from Shadow Cast’s family (150).

Old Fashioned and Zensational also have numerous entries with 11 and seven, respectively. Old Fashioned’s colts include a half-brother to Grade 3-placed Safe Trip (125) and a son of $310,000 earner Vicki’s Honor (92), and his daughters include half-sisters to Grade 3 winners Host (7) and to Grade 3-placed Selective (98) and The Best Day Ever (108). Among Zensational’s colts are ones from the families of Octave (105), Seattle Smooth (51), and Dispute (189); his fillies include a half-sister to My Magic Moment (20) and Freesgood (212).

Several other first-crop sires with fewer nominees still have eye-catching pedigrees. For example, Cowboy Cal’s half-dozen include a half-brother to Grade 3-placed Soul Candy (251) and a colt from the family of Miss Lodi (88), and Colonel John’s five include a half-sister to Grade 2-placed stakes-winner Feisty Suances (221). Parading’s trio features a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Connections (79).

Among sires with their first runners this year, Big Brown has half-brothers to Sweet Repent (63) and Grade 3 winner Trick’s Pic (306) and half-sisters to graded producers Jaramar Rain and Carson’s Star (247) and graded-placed Rosencrans (215).

Established sires, more in fashion after the recession, also have some noteworthy pedigrees in the catalog. Artie Schiller has a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Gaviola (209), Include has a full sister to Grade 1-placed Pulsion (44), and Bluegrass Cat has a half-brother to Grade 1-placed Force Freeze (117). Rockport Harbor’s entries feature a half-brother to graded-placed True Feelings, from the immediate family of champion Wait a While (223). Malibu Moon’s get include a half-brother to Grade 3-placed More Moonlight (291). Stormy Atlantic has a three-quarter-sister to $742,000 earner Mountain General (83). Thunder Gulch’s Hip 103 is a half-brother to Grade 1 performer Go Forth North. I’ll Have Another’s sire, Flower Alley, brings a half-sister to graded-placed Somethinaboutbetty and Petunia (23). Awesome Again is the sire of a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Silent Roar (245), and Corinthian has a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Queen ofthe Castle (255). First Samurai’s filly trio includes the first foal out of $459,000 earner Magnetic Miss (280). And Harlan’s Holiday has Hip No 95, a half-sister to Grade 1-placed Magical Illusion, plus Hip No. 85, a half-brother to Tajaaweed from Mr. Greeley’s family.

Speaking of Mr. Greeley, the July sale also has a single lot from his final crop: a colt from the family of Grade 1 winner Vicar (242).

The one-day sale takes place at 10 a.m. at Newtown Paddocks in Lexington. It will stream live at www.fasigtipton.com.