07/09/2015 6:37PM

Fasig-Tipton July: Yearling sale posts improved figures


The North American yearling calendar got off to a good start on Thursday, with the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July selected yearling sale posting across-the-board gains in the strongest renewal in nearly a decade.

The one-day auction closed with the highest gross since 2009, selling 205 horses for revenues of $20,005,000, up 31 percent from last year’s sale, when 162 horses brought $15,253,000. The average sale price improved for the fourth straight year and reached its highest point since 2007, growing 4 percent from $94,154 to $97,585.

After a slight dip last year, the median recovered to $77,000, up 10 percent from $70,000, and the highest figure since 2007.

The buyback rate finished at 29 percent, slightly improved from 31 percent last year.

“It was a very good yearling sale today,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “I think it’s kind of what our expectations were. It was very solid, very competitive, optimistic but not exuberance out there in the marketplace.”

While the returns were positive, Browning noted that the July sale’s figures must be taken into perspective, considering the fairly small portion of the overall market it represents.

“I would continue to urge caution in trying to read too much [into the results],” Browning said. “We had 332 yearlings cataloged in this sale out of the 7,000 to 7,500 we’ll sell in North America this year, so we’ve seen less than 5 percent of the offerings be exposed to the market thus far.”

At the top of the market, a total of 16 yearlings sold for $250,000 or more, well surpassing last year’s seven horses to meet or exceed that price point. However, none of the horses offered surpassed the price of last year’s sale-topper, a $550,000 Cowboy Cal colt.

“I think we had a slightly better overall group of horses this year,” Browning said. “The catalog was 50 to 60 horses bigger this year, so you would have hoped that you’d have a few more horses that would have been above last year at all levels, and I think that was indicative at the top, but there’s no dramatic shifts or trends in the marketplace that I can detect yet.

“These sales grounds have been busy,” Browning continued. “The barns were shopped hard for the last two and a half days, the parking lot’s been full, there’s a vibrant market, but it’s not exuberant, which is probably healthier long-term.

Leading the sale was a Tapit filly out of the stakes-winning Speightstown mare French Dip, sold to bloodstock agent Steven Young, acting for an undisclosed client, for $500,000.

The chestnut filly is the third foal out of French Dip, who is the dam of one starter. Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway and consigned by the same farm’s sales wing as agent, the filly’s second dam is the Grade 1 winner Mayo on the Side.

“She’s hopefully a wonderful filly by an extremely talented stud,” Young said. “Her mother could run, and I hope she can run. Speightstown, I think, is going to be a good broodmare sire.

“I hope she just gets bigger,” Young continued. “She’s very well balanced, she’s got a beautiful hip on her, and I imagine she’ll be like her mother and be a pace dirt horse.”

Thursday’s auction made the filly the most expensive foal out of French Dip offered at public auction, surpassing the Unbridled’s Song colt Tradfest, who sold for $280,000 at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale.

“Being by a $300,000 sire, that’s what she’s supposed to cost,” Young said. “She cost what she’s supposed to cost. She’s a beautiful horse, arguably the best filly in the sale, and I hope she’s brave and lucky.”

The sale’s second-most expensive offering was a Scat Daddy colt out of the Irish classic-placed stakes-winning Sadler’s Wells mare Starbourne, who sold to Crupi’s New Castle Farm for $385,000.

Bred in Kentucky by Commonwealth, the bay colt is a sibling to three winners from five runners, and hails from the family of Australian Oaks winner Gust of Wind and Group 1 winner Lady Carla. The transaction made him the most expensive foal out of Starbourne to change hands at public auction.

“We just loved this horse,” said buyer J.J. Crupi. “We thought he was a beautiful individual. He had a big walk and a pedigree where he could be a stallion…If he runs the way he looks, he’s going to make his own pedigree.

“He vetted perfectly,” Crupi continued. “Good throat, good x-rays, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

The colt, who Crupi said would be resold at a 2-year-olds in training sale next year, was part of a 12-horse haul at the July sale for the Ocala, Fla., pinhooker.

A trip through the sale ring as a juvenile would mark his third time offered at public auction, after bringing $90,000 as a weanling at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. He was consigned as agent on Thursday by Indian Creek.

“He was a very nice horse and he was really well received,” said Indian Creek’s Shack Parrish, president of Indian Creek. “His interest was very deep. Without getting into names, it was as deep as you would have it at this sale.”

Crupi said he was aiming to land the colt at a price point in the neighborhood of $300,000 to $350,000, but wasn’t bothered by going slightly above that mark. Parrish said he was pleasantly surprised by the hammer price.

“Actually, it was a little higher, so that’s good,” Parrish said. “We’re happy.”

For complete results of the yearling sale, click here.