10/03/2014 6:00PM

Fasig-Tipton: Mixed sale taps strong New York market


The third annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed and horses of racing age sale offers buyers the first chance to jump into the weanling and broodmare markets as well as assess several racing prospects, with a major emphasis on products of New York’s robust breeding program. The sale was added to Fasig-Tipton’s calendar in 2012 due to a horse population in the region that was growing in the wake of enhanced purses for statebreds and breeders’ and owners’ incentives for New York’s racing program.

That financial boost, based on revenue from expanded gaming in New York, shows little sign of abating two years later, even as the reorganization of the New York Racing Association continues along an uncertain path. As a result, Fasig-Tipton has expanded its fall mixed sale from one day to two for 2014, cataloging a record 424 entries.

The sale kicks off Monday at 2 p.m. Eastern at the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with a session comprising 131 cataloged broodmares, broodmare prospects, and horses of racing age. The second session is Tuesday at 10 a.m. and will feature 102 cataloged yearlings and 191 weanlings. Forty-six horses had been withdrawn from the sale as of Wednesday.

New York’s live foal population grew by 5.6 percent in 2014, based on preliminary estimates released by The Jockey Club last month. That growth is far smaller than the 36.2 percent leap estimated for 2013 but still an encouraging step. Tuesday’s session will showcase a cohort of young horses born during the state’s economic rebound, as all of the cataloged yearlings are New York-breds, and all but one of the weanlings were foaled in the state.

The New York-bred yearlings featured in Tuesday’s open session are a new addition, added to the sale as a follow-up to August’s New York-bred preferred yearling auction. That two-day auction posted double-digit gains in average price and median price, continuing a five-year run of increases.

Last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall sale posted positive results, as 179 horses brought $3,363,600 – a 74 percent increase compared with the 2012 opener. The $18,791 average rose 16 percent, while the $11,000 median dropped 8 percent. The buyback rate was much improved in 2013 at 23 percent, compared with 41 percent during the 2012 sale.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey landed the Dixie Union filly Secret Union, offered as a racing or broodmare prospect, for $150,000 to lead last year’s sale. She has not raced since the purchase and was bred to the Ramseys’ standard-bearer, Kitten’s Joy, for 2015. Several of the more-
accomplished racing prospects in this year’s renewal were early withdrawals. Among those remaining in the sale as of last Tuesday were Hip No. 85, the Darley maiden Ribbon Cutter, a 3-year-old Elusive Quality filly; and Hip No. 133, Turf Kitten, a 3-year-old Kitten’s Joy gelding owned by Al Pike who won his maiden at Evangeline Downs on Aug. 21.

Broodmare prospects include Hip No. 12, the stakes-winning Stravinsky mare Brazilian, whose daughter La Malaguena has won two stakes and placed in another this year; and Hip No. 41, the Grade 3 winner Hello Lucky. Hello Lucky, a daughter of Lucky Lionel, won three stakes overall and earned more than $315,000. She has produced multiple winners Malibu Tide and Moonluck, who each have earned more than $100,000.

The Saratoga auction also will provide buyers the opportunity to view the first foals from stallions who stood their first season in 2013. Among the weanlings cataloged in the sale are ones by first-crop sires Shackleford (2011 Preakness winner, one cataloged), Stay Thirsty (2011 Travers winner, two cataloged), To Honor and Serve (2012 Woodward winner, one cataloged), Caleb’s Posse (2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, one cataloged), and The Factor (2011 Pat O’Brien winner, one cataloged).