05/14/2015 4:00PM

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic: High-profile alumni give sale momentum

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The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale enters its 2015 renewal off arguably the strongest year by its alumni in the auction’s history.

First came Bayern, a graduate of the 2013 sale who became a Grade 1 winner over the summer and capped his campaign with a victory in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was an Eclipse Award finalist for Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.

Around the same time, the offerings from last year’s sale began to take center stage, led by Dortmund, who won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity during his juvenile season. By spring, the son of Big Brown had picked up another Grade 1 win in the Santa Anita Derby and was joined among the auction’s top graduates by Materiality, who took the Grade 1 Florida Derby in his third career start.

The pair became top contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby, joined by the multiple graded stakes-placed War Story, giving the mid- to upper-mid-level auction three spots in the starting gate – more than any other juvenile sale in 2015. Dortmund, the betting public’s second choice in the Derby, led the group at the finish, running third. Dortmund was scheduled to run in the Preakness on May 16.

In this year’s sale, in Timonium, Md., a new group of juveniles will have a tough act to follow. Fortunately, the interest in those juveniles is expected to be high.

“People are excited,” said Paget Bennett, sales director of Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic branch. “Consignors are excited to be back here in Maryland. They’ve had success here before. They know they can bring good horses here and sell well and get them into trainers’ hands from all over the country. We’re cautiously optimistic based on our track record over the past 12 months with our graduates.”

The two-day auction will take place May 18-19 at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic base on the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m. Eastern. The presale under-tack show will be held May 13-14, beginning each day at 8 a.m.

This year’s catalog features a group of 490 offerings, down 16 percent from the 580 horses cataloged in 2014. Despite the smaller number of horses on offer, Bennett said there would be new faces on both sides of the auction ring.

“We have new consignors this year, so I think people have heard that it’s a good sale, but perhaps they decided to bring a group of horses themselves and test the market,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of interest in hotel rooms. It’s just been crazy, the requests from people who are now saying, ‘Okay, we’re coming to the sale. We need help with this.’ It’s just been very busy.”

The Midlantic sale is one of the main stops during the open portion of the 2-year-olds in training auction calendar, which comprises the second half of the juvenile season. It has carved out its niche as a place to buy juveniles bred in Maryland and nearby states in a region flush with statebred programs with purses that are infused with expanded gaming dollars.

However, the performance of the auction’s graduates over the past year shows it also can be a place to buy a national-level runner for a relatively manageable price. Owner Kaleem Shah picked up Bayern for $320,000, while Dortmund was a $140,000 purchase through bloodstock agent Donato Lanni.

“[Shah] has been quoted as saying the sale has been very good to him,” Bennett said. “We look forward to having him shopping the barn area and hopefully finding his next Grade 1 winner.”

Meanwhile, Materiality brought $400,000 at last year’s Midlantic sale, and War Story was hammered for $51,000, putting him on the lower end of the spectrum among auction graduates in this year’s Derby.

The auction also benefits from its proximity in time and location to the Preakness Stakes, when the attention of the Thoroughbred industry falls upon Maryland. The second leg of the Triple Crown draws horsemen who might not otherwise come to the Baltimore area.

“Timing is everything,” Bennett said. “You get everybody into one spot, and we’re so close to Pimlico. It makes it all easy to come to town, come out to the sales grounds, see horses, go down and enjoy the races at Pimlico, come back out on Sunday, and either stay for the sale on Monday and Tuesday or leave their lists with their agents and wait for the phone call.”

Last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale finished with 329 horses sold for total revenues of $19,601,000, up 18 percent from the 2013 gross of $16,675,000. However, the average sale price dipped 11 percent from $66,968 to $59,578, while the median fell 23 percent from $40,000 to $31,000.

The sale-topper was a War Front colt out of the winning Wavering Monarch mare Judy’s Magic, who sold to bloodstock agent Steven Young for $520,000. The dam has produced six winners from eight foals to race, including the Grade 1-placed She’s Got the Beat, and the family includes the Grade 1 winner Princess Violet.

Now named Old Mountain Lane, the colt has raced four times, hitting the board in each start for owners Beau Lane and Bortolazzo Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher.

FASIG-TIPTON MIDLANTIC 2-YEAR-OLDS IN TRAINING SALE
WHEN:
May 18-19, 10 a.m. Eastern
WHERE: Timonium Sales Pavilion, Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, Md.
PHONE: (410) 392-5555
CATALOG: 490 horses,
down 16 percent from 580 last year
RECENT RESULTS: The 2014 sale posted mixed results while selling 329 horses for $19,601,000 (up 18 percent), an average price of $59,578 (down 11 percent), and a median of $31,000 (down 23 percent). Steven W. Young, agent, purchased a War Front colt out of Judy’s Magic, consigned by Eisaman Equine, agent, for $520,000 to top the sale. Now named Old Mountain Lane, the colt has placed in all four of his career starts.
INTERNET: Live streaming at www.fasigtipton.com