05/16/2014 6:25PM

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic: Sale boasts larger catalog

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Following the trend of other multi-day sales on this year’s juvenile auction calendar, the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale has seen a noticeable spike in the number of horses cataloged.

The two-day sale will be held May 19-20 on the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., beginning each day at 10 a.m. Eastern. The presale under-tack show will take place May 14-15, with a start time of 8 a.m. each day.

“We’re excited with the way the open sales have been this spring,” said Paget Bennett, Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic sales director. “We’re hoping for a good sale. We’ve got a bigger catalog, [and] we’ve got a lot of new consignors that have brought their horses to this marketplace and a lot of repeat consignors who know what this marketplace is about and feel very confident bringing their horses here.”

This year’s edition of the Midlantic 2-year-old sale features a catalog filled with 580 offerings, up 36 percent compared with last year’s renewal, which featured 425 horses. The sale company reported 105 outs as of May 12.

The larger catalog falls in line with the pattern established during the select juvenile season and into the early open sales, with sellers gravitating toward auctions already known for having multiple days and those auctions being rewarded with across-the-board gains. The increased entries for these larger sales came at the expense of boutique one-day events, many of which had an alarmingly low number of horses go through the ring, especially after outs.

“The selected sales obviously target a very small group of buyers, and with the open sales, you get everybody,” Bennett said. “There’s something at every level – and in this region, we have people at every level that want to play the game, so they feel like they can come to this sale and leave with a horse.”

The Midlantic sale features juveniles from 13 different states, as well as six cataloged entries from Canada and one from France. Bennett said that being located in an area close to many statebred programs helps draw a diverse group of horses and buyers from nearby, but she also noted that the sale has seen a higher number of sellers come from as far as Texas and Oklahoma to offer their juveniles in the Midlantic sale.

“Our location is something that has got to appeal to so many people,” Bennett said. “We’re like the hub and there’s so many spokes – New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia – it’s amazing just to be able to attract the different people from these areas, and having the statebreds and horses that they’re looking for to race here.”

Also working in the sale’s favor is its proximity to the Preakness Stakes, both in terms of location and on the calendar. The greater Baltimore-area sale will begin two days after the Preakness, making it the only Thoroughbred auction to take place directly following a Triple Crown race and in the same region.
Bennett said the industry’s enthusiasm over the Preakness could help draw horsemen out to the sale to perhaps catch their own lightning in a bottle.

“It’s great timing for us because everybody’s in town – and you get people that might be here if it weren’t for the Preakness – but I think certainly being here for that weekend of big racing in Maryland certainly does help get everybody out here to the grounds,” Bennett said.

The 2013 edition of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale finished with 249 horses sold for revenues of $16,675,000, down 0.3 percent compared with the previous year’s auction, where 312 juveniles changed hands for a combined $16,721,000.

The average sale price at last year’s auction rose 25 percent from $53,593 to $66,968, while the median price increased 43 percent, from $28,000 to $40,000. The buyback rate of 15 percent was a considerable improvement from the previous year’s figure of 25 percent.

Last year’s sale was led by a $450,000 Malibu Moon colt later named Jazz Player, who was purchased by trainer Gary Contessa, as agent for Wounded Warrior Stable. Eddie Woods consigned the colt, as agent. The Kentucky-bred colt out of the Premiership mare Partyship was purchased for $290,000 as a weanling at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, and has yet to make a start.

The most successful graduate of the 2013 Midlantic juvenile sale thus far has been Vicar’s in Trouble, who sold to Ken and Sarah Ramsey for $80,000. The Into Mischief colt was consigned by Pike Racing, agent. Vicar’s In Trouble has gone on to win 3 of 6 starts for the Ramseys for earnings of $788,900, including victories in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes.

Last year’s sale also produced Grade 1-placed Preakness Stakes contender Bayern. The Offlee Wild colt was consigned by Eddie Woods, as agent, and was purchased by Kaleem Shah - under the pseudonym Ed Savant - for $320,000, the fourth-highest price of the auction.