07/15/2013 7:13PM

Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale: Strong upper market leads to gains in average, median

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A filly by first-crop sire Desert Party topped Monday's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale, bringing $460,000 from Nat Rea's Regis Farm.

A daughter of first-crop sire Desert Party benefitted from some upper-market confidence Monday when she topped Fasig-Tipton’s bellwether Kentucky July sale of selected yearlings on a $460,000 bid from Nat Rea’s Regis Farm. The price easily outpaced last season’s July sale-topping price of $375,000 on a day that kicked off the select yearling auction season with significant gains in average and median prices.

The one-day sale at Newtown Paddocks in Lexington grossed $14,635,000 for 163 yearlings. That was down five percent from last year’s total for 189 horses, but the 2013 catalog was 24 percent smaller overall. Monday’s $89,785 average and $72,000 median were up by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively. This year’s buyback rate was 27 percent, down from last season’s 33 percent.

Regis Farm’s representative, Richard Hogan, called the $460,000 filly “gorgeous” and noted that the price had been higher than he and Rea had wanted to pay for the Feb. 3 foal.

“But you’ve got to reach for the good ones, right?” Hogan said.

Reach they did, easily blowing past the $375,000 price for last year’s sale-topper, a Malibu Moon – Uncontrollable colt now named Moon Gun.

Rea hit everybody’s radar screen back in January, when he spent $1.45 million for a Street Sense – Please Sign In filly that Hurstland Farm sold at the Keeneland January sale. He was back at the juvenile auctions, contributing to some of the big gains that season’s sales posted. At Fasig-Tipton’s Florida sale, he snapped up a $700,000 Smart Strike – Music Room filly from Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, and he was the underbidder to Stonestreet Stables on the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s $1.8 million March sale-topper, a Smart Strike - Mini Sermon filly.

“The plan is just to buy nice horses and have some luck,” Hogan said.

The Desert Party filly has been through the auction ring before. Agent James Keogh sold her as a weanling at last year’s Keeneland November sale, where she brought $85,000 from Everett Dobson’s Candy Meadows operation, which breeds commercially and also does some pinhooking, or reselling. She is out of the Kris S. mare Lil Cozette, who is also the dam of stakes winner and multiple Grade 3-placed Cosmic Kris, by Storm Creek, and stakes-placed winner Foret, by Forest Camp.

The filly also was a personal best price for her consignors, Bert Welker and Clark Shepherd’s Allied Bloodstock agency. The agency sold another six-figure lot later in the day, a $210,000 Lemon Drop Kid filly out of stakes winner A Little Gem. Starlight Racing bought that filly, an April 16 foal from the family of Grade 2 winner Time to Explode.

“She’s as good as filly as I’ve been around.” Shepherd said of the sale topper. “We’re just thankful and blessed that we had the opportunity. It’s a team effort, and if we’re part of that team, we just feel blessed to be part of that effort.

“I don’t know if it’s the economy, the year the 2-year-old guys had, or what. We were optimistic coming over here because of those factors. But I’ve never seen traffic like this over here. We started showing Friday when a lot of other guys weren’t showing until Saturday, so we got an extra day of showing in. Whether that made a difference or not, I don’t know, but the number of people coming through was something. That filly was looked at 81 times just yesterday, on a Sunday, and she had multiple scopes. If that was an indicator, we knew she was going to do well, but nothing like that.”

The yearling auction’s second-highest price, and the highest for a colt or gelding, was the $420,000 that Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm paid for the Gainesway agency’s Bellamy Road son of Grade 3-placed stakes winner Affirmed Dancer. Sold as Hip No. 191, the chestnut colt is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner (and Grade 1-placed) La Gran Bailadora. He also has two stakes-placed half-siblings in Fun in D’ Sun and Affirmed Cat. His second dam is Canadian champion Woolloomooloo.

Gainesway also sold a $375,000 Tapit – Sunny Morning colt to Wounded Warrior Stable; the Mar. 12 colt is a full sibling to Mudflats and was the yearling session’s third-highest price.

Five other yearlings at Monday’s sale brought more than $200,000. They were Hip No. 223, a $300,000 Kantharos – Candescent colt who is a half-sibling to Group 1-placed As You Like, which Stonestreet, through Warrendale Sales, agent, sold to Ernie D. Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables; Hip No. 107, a $270,000 Harlan’s Holiday daughter of stakes winner Rockin’ Kate that Conquest Stables bought from the Select Sales agency; Hip No. 19, a $260,000 son of first-crop sire Pioneerof the Nile and Honolulu Heat, which Stonestreet bought from the Gainesway agency; Hip No. 103, a $250,000 Pulpit daughter of Referendum (from the family of Grade 1 winners Jersey Girl and Jersey Town) that agent Ben Glass purchased from the Mill Ridge Sales agency; and Hip No. 228, a $250,000 Super Saver – Dance Alexa filly who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Dance Daily, another Conquest Stables buy from James Keogh’s Grovendale agency.

“It feels like a July sale again,” said Allied Bloodstock’s Shepherd. “The weather probably helped a little, too, but the electricity – you could feel it. In this game, everybody takes their ups and downs. But I think everybody’s tired of being beat up, and I think they’re ready to rebound.”

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale of selected yearlings

Year Sold Total Average Median Buyback
2013 163 (-14%) $14,635,000 (-5%) $89,785 (+10%) $72,000 (+20%) 27%
2012 189 $15,364,000 $81,291 $60,000 33%