02/05/2015 5:41PM

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky: Sale offers last call to land a broodmare


The mixed portion of the North American auction calendar has seen the market level out, which, given the rapid ascension out of the cellar from 2008-10, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale will be the final measure of the broodmare and short-yearling markets on a national level before the sales move on to the 2-year-olds in training season. Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said he expects a solid renewal.

“I feel like we’ve got a good catalog,” he said. “There’s been lots of interest. There are some outstanding racing and broodmare prospects in there, some nice in-foal mares and short yearlings. There’s literally something for everyone in there. It should be a well-received catalog. The market seems healthy, and we expect it to be a solid, consistent horse sale.”

The two-day auction will be held Sunday and Monday at the auction company’s Newtown Paddocks base in Lexington. Hip Nos. 1-200 will be offered Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern, while the remaining horses will go through the ring Monday, with a 10 a.m. start time.
This year’s catalog comprises 611 offerings after supplemental entries, making it 4 percent larger than the 588 horses in the 2014 catalog.

Much of the catalog’s strength lies in the supplemental entries at the end of the sale. Fasig-Tipton has seen continued success keeping its catalog open to entries well after the catalogs have been printed, and this time around, it yielded Rose to Gold, a multiple Grade 3-winning broodmare prospect; Gala Award, a Grade 3-winning stallion prospect; and Angelica Zapata, who finished second in this year’s Houston Ladies Classic Stakes.

“It’s an opportunity to continue to add quality and attract interest in the sale, both from a seller’s perspective and a buyer’s perspective,” Browning said.

The winter mixed sale’s profile has risen sharply in recent years. It hosted a major installment from the dispersal of Eugene Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm in 2013, selling off most of the owner and breeder’s high-profile broodmare band. Included in the dispersal was the $900,000 sale-topper Pool Land and 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill, who gave birth to a Distorted Humor filly on the sale grounds the night before the auction.

Prior to the Melnyk dispersal, the Kentucky winter mixed sale often posted a gross in the mid-seven figures, an average between $15,000 and $20,000, and a median in the upper-middle four figures. In its wake, the gross hit eight figures, the average more than doubled, and the median added another zero at the end of its figure.

“It certainly has grown, and one of the keys to that growth was having the Melnyk dispersal a couple years ago,” Browning said. “Those horses sold very well, and a lot of those horses have gone on to produce nice foals for their buyers.

“It just gave people confidence that you could buy and you could sell a quality horse in February, and it just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The consignors are bringing us a better-quality horse, the buyers are seeing a better-quality catalog, and as a result, both buyers and sellers alike are more confident to buy and sell horses here, and the quality continues to improve every year.”

The comparative numbers from last year’s sale were a tad deceiving. On paper, returns appeared to be mixed; 406 horses sold for $13,527,500, down 2 percent from $13,781,700 from 245 sold at the 2013 sale.

The average sale price sunk 41 percent from $56,252 to $33,319, while the median rose 7 percent from $15,000 to $16,000. The buyback rate rose from 12 percent in 2013 to 20 percent last year.

However, last year’s sale came off the renewal headlined by the Melnyk dispersal, where revenue spiked 199 percent from 2012 and the average saw a 230 percent gain because of the high-profile offerings.

The 2014 edition nearly eclipsed the final gross from 2012 at the end of its 122-horse opening session, showing that the open market was still on a comparatively steady upward trajectory despite coming down from a one-year spike.

Hidden Expression, a then-7-year-old Yonaguska mare, sold to Gainesway for $360,000 to top last year’s sale. A stakes winner, she is out of the stakes-placed winner The Hess Express, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Bullsbay, Grade 3 winner Our Khrysty, and multiple stakes winner Vegas No Show.

Hidden Expression was not in foal at the time of the sale and was consigned by Charlton as agent for the dispersal of the estate of Anne F. Thorington.

Catherine Parke, acting as agent, secured the sale’s leading short yearling, an Arch colt, for $230,000. The dark bay or brown colt is out of the unplaced Seeking the Gold mare Trappings, making him a half-brother to She Be Wild, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2009. He was consigned by Bluewater Sales as agent.

To view the online catalog, click here.