10/20/2017 10:16AM

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale entries up 17 percent

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A North American yearling season that saw more peaks than valleys in 2017 closes at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale, which expands this year to four days after drawing near-record entries.

The auction will be held Monday through Thursday at Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks base in Lexington, Ky., beginning each day at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Fasig-Tipton’s stabling will be near capacity, with 1,457 entries, up 17 percent from last year’s catalog of 1,250 sold over three days. This year’s fall sale is just shy of the record catalog of 1,485 that packed the 2015 edition.

Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton’s president, said the auction’s growth from a last-stop sale to a market milepost comes from continued results, both in the sale ring and on the racetrack, and a diverse slate of offerings. Horses in the catalog were bred in 23 different jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, and Ireland.

Returns have been largely positive during the 2017 yearling season, showing a deeper marketplace than in recent years and giving Browning cause for optimism that the upcoming renewal will continue to flatter the auction’s status.

“I think we’ve gotten to a fairly stable foal crop,” Browning said. “We see people needing horses to get into racing programs, and I think the supply and demand is in pretty good tune right now, which has resulted in a little more demand throughout the year than we might have had a few years ago.”

The October sale is the largest event on the Fasig-Tipton calendar. The auction company brings in several massive tents to house overflow horses from the barns already in place.

In 2015, nearly every spot on the Newtown Paddocks property was occupied by a stall or walking ring. Browning said he did not know exactly what an even bigger October sale would look like if market interest warranted it, or how it would be pulled off logistically, but he was open to exploring the idea if necessary.

“We’ll continue to do everything we can to serve the marketplace, and who knows what can happen in the future, but as the sale continues to produce great results on the racetrack and in the sales ring, certainly potential growth is a possibility,” he said.

Last year’s auction finished with 777 horses sold for revenues of $25,691,500, down 13 percent from the 2015 edition. The average sale price declined 4 percent to $33,065, the median dipped 3 percent to $14,500, and the buyback rate settled at 25 percent.

Two colts topped the sale, each bringing $350,000.

JSM Equine bought a Curlin colt out of the Pleasant Colony mare Party Chatter, a half-brother to Grade 3-placed stakes winner Rock Candy and stakes-placed Status Pending. He later sold for $375,000 at this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March 2-year-olds in training sale.

Now named Canadian Game, the Curlin colt races for owner Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill. He has raced twice, most recently finishing third in a Santa Anita maiden special weight Sept. 29.

Stonestreet Stables secured the other co-topper, a Bernardini colt out of the Smart Strike mare Desert Gazelle. Still unnamed, the colt is unraced and has not turned in a recent workout.

On the track, last year’s graduates are headlined by Ten City, who won the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes but was euthanized after suffering an injury in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity.