08/08/2013 5:05PM

Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred sale: Big purses aid state-bred auction


Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred preferred yearling sale Aug. 10-11, which comes just days after the Saratoga select yearling auction’s solid financial performance, looks to continue the positive momentum. Hopes are high that the New York-bred market will rise again, thanks partly to continuing demand for racing prospects and to the rich New York-bred program.

Last year’s New York-bred preferred sale rang up impressive increases. After selling 138 yearlings (up from 124 the previous year), the auction amassed $8,632,000, a 28 percent increase in gross. The $62,551 average was 15 percent higher than 2011’s figure, and the $50,000 median performed best of all, jumping 43 percent. The buyback rate did cast a shadow, rising from 32 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in 2012.

This year’s sale already has one increase to report: The catalog size is up to 299 from 260 last season.

“I don’t think it will be any issue at all,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said of the thicker catalog. “There’s more demand for New York-breds ... I think we’ll see significant demand for New York-breds, and there should be, given the quality of horses that are being produced in New York and the purses that are available for them to run for.”

Both New York-based and Kentucky-based consignors are bringing stronger sire power to the catalog, said Browning.

“You’ve got significant improvement in the quality of horses standing in New York. It’s stronger than it was in the past, and that’s been helpful,” said Browning, pointing to recent successes from such New York sires as Freud, Frost Giant, Posse, and Bluegrass Cat. “And the way the New York program works, it’s pretty exciting to pick up a catalog and see four New York-bred War Fronts in there, for example.

“There’s no question that the purse structure that exists in New York for New York-breds and the quantity of races makes it almost a necessity for any significant owner or trainer to consider New York-breds as part of their equation.”

New York-breds’ appeal to a wide audience was evident on the buyers’ list at last year’s sales. And with Empire State purses at a high level, major buyers are likely to return.

“I think you’re going to see a continuation of the trend with New York-breds,” said Becky Thomas of consignor Sequel Stallions New York. “I think it’s going to be somewhat of a two-tiered effect, where you’ve got a very good top end, which I think is going to be very broad.”

Thomas, also a prominent yearling-to-juvenile reseller, said many resellers, called pinhookers, now regard New York-breds as a staple of their inventory. As they look to restock after a largely buoyant 2-year-old auction season, they’ll probably be shopping at the New York-bred sale.

“I’m expecting to see a lot of pinhookers,” Thomas said, “and end users, too. Look at the purses you’re seeing here in New York: Saratoga has $80,000 maiden special weight open races but $70,000 restricted New York-bred races. If you happen to be someone who has a trainer based here, how easy is it for you to get inaugurated in the program? And as we get better and better racehorses and better mares in our state, the New York-breds that run in open races, those owners get an additional 20 percent.”

But there’s one auction figure that sellers and auction officials would like to see go down: the buyback rate. On that score, the slots-pumped New York-bred program cuts both ways.

“The reality is that the sellers of those yearlings have options, too,” Browning said. “They can go race, they can still earn their breeders’ awards, which are significant. A lot of them are in a position where they don’t have to sell that yearling. The thing that’s different with New York-breds is that if you’re a New York breeder, you would rather keep your horse and race it yourself in the state of New York than sell it for a little more than you’d hoped for and have it race somewhere outside New York.”

Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred yearling auction takes place Aug. 10-11 at the company’s Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs. Sessions start each day at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Live streaming is available online at www.drf.com and www.fasigtipton.com.

When: Aug. 10-11, 7 p.m. Eastern
Where: Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Phone: (518) 584-4700
Catalog: 299 horses, up 15 percent from 260 last year
Recent history: The 2012 sale posted overall positive results while selling 138 horses for $8,632,000, an average price of $62,551 and a median of $50,000. Gross receipts increased 28 percent, the average was up 15 percent, and the median increased 43 percent. Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm bought a Tapit colt out of Derrianne, consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent, for $330,000 to top the New York-bred preferred sale.


Year Offered Sold Not sold Average  Median Gross
2012 223 138 85 $62,551 50,000 $8,632,000
2011 183 124 59 54,238 35,000 6,725,500
2010 142 94 48 39,106 30,000 3,676,000
2009 198 107 91 40,687 27,000 4,353,500
2008 190 100 90 54,390 45,000 5,439,000
2007 193 113 80 51,606 38,000 5,831,500
2006 162 101 61 52,421 35,000 5,294,500
2005 183 105 78 47,386 45,000 4,975,500
2004 182 112 70 49,969 40,500 5,596,500
2003 201 127 74 41,567 32,000 5,279,000