08/13/2017 10:41PM

Fasig-Tipton New York: Records fall at sale

A colt from the first crop of Cairo Prince brought the hammer down at $500,000 to establish a record price for the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale.

Expectations were high for the 2017 edition of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale after the grounds saw relentless activity during Friday’s first full day of showing, and the results made good on that potential, posting records in gross, average, and median, and the auction’s highest-priced offering of all-time – a $500,000 Cairo Prince colt

Fasig-Tipton reported 182 yearlings sold at the end of the two-day auction for revenues of $16,214,000, an all-time high for the New York-bred sale and a 19 percent improvement from last year’s auction when 177 horses sold over a single day for $13,672,500.

This year’s average sale price hit a new high-water mark of $89,088, up 15 percent from $77,246, while the median finished at a record $69,500, marking a 16 percent improvement from $60,000 in 2016.

The previous record gross of $14,876,500 from 252 horses sold was set in 2015, as was the former record average of $81,739. The prior bar for median sale price of $65,000 was set in 2014 and equaled the following year.

The buyback rate closed at 25 percent, compared with 33 percent last year.

“The New York sale was record-breaking in all aspects,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “There was great demand literally from start to finish. The growth of the New York program continues to be demonstrated by the results on the racetrack and in the sales ring. The participants in the program have continued to step up their efforts in quality and they were rewarded the last two nights.”

Three horses changed hands for $300,000 or more at this year’s sale, tying last year. The number of horses sold for $200,000 or more improved to 16 from 12, while total six-figure transactions rose to 60 from 43.

The New York-bred sale came on the heels of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, which posted a record median and the second-highest gross and average in the boutique auction’s history.

“It’s been a vibrant week,” Browning said. “The market’s been pretty good through the start of 2017, but I really think this week put a little extra ‘oomph’ and a little extra bounce in both buyers’ and sellers’ outlooks.

“The one caveat we all have to be mindful of is we dealt with pretty carefully selected product this week, both in the main sale and the New York-bred sale,” he continued. “We still have a marketplace that is still polarized and we’re going to have some days ahead in the yearling sale season that aren’t going to be as enjoyable as the four days we had this week, but all in all, there’s certainly a healthy, competitive marketplace.”

A partnership involving Ciaran Dunne, Three Diamonds Farm, and others still in negotiations landed the record-setting sale topper, a $500,000 colt from the first crop of Cairo Prince. The colt surpassed the mark of $450,000 established just last year, when Cheyenne Stables bought an Uncle Mo colt.

The sale topper is out of the unplaced Carson City mare Garden City, whose six foals to race are all winners, including stakes winner U. S. S. O’Brien and stakes-placed Horse and the City.

The colt’s extended family includes champions Inside Information and Smuggler, English classic winner Quick as Lightning, Grade 1 winner Educated Risk, and Grade 2 winner Gone Astray, among others.

“I’ve never seen one like him,” Dunne said. “He’s as good as they come. We saw him three days ago and we looked at him 20 times. He just gets better every time.

“We didn’t care if he was a New York-bred,” Dunne continued. “He’s just a good horse. He could have been here last week [at the select sale], and if he was here last week, he would have fit.”

Dunne is primarily a pinhook buyer, but Kirk Wycoff of Three Diamonds Farm said the colt could be kept to race if the conditions were right. He and Dunne have been partners for about five years. Racing manager Jordan Wycoff recalled a particularly ringing endorsement he received from Dunne on the colt.

“Before the sale, Ciaran said he saw American Pharoah here four years ago and it gave him chills,” Wycoff said. “He said he’d seen 4,000 horses and there’s only two horses that gave him chills – that one and American Pharoah.”

Kirk Wycoff said he bought into a third of the horse, Dunne bought into another third, and the remaining share was still being decided amongst some other associates of Dunne’s.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of begging the next couple of days,” Dunne said.

The sale topper was bred in New York by Chris Bernhard’s Hidden Lake Farm and 3C Joint Ventures, and he was consigned by RFHF Bloodstock, as agent.

“He was our high-show horse from the beginning, and the repositories were higher than anything I’ve ever come over here with,” Bernhard said. “We actually cut him off. We had vets in here scoping, and I asked if we could just share a scope and just have multiple vets look at him at the same time because we didn’t want to do any damage to him by overdoing something.”

Bernhard and business partner Chris Larsen bought Garden City for $37,000 at the 2016 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, with the New York-bred sale-topper in-utero. The mare did not produce a foal this year, but is in foal to Carpe Diem for the 2018 foaling season.

“She was from an incredible Phipps family,” Bernhard said. “I’m a sucker for anything from the Phipps family. Sometimes, even if a mare hasn’t produced something, it skips a generation, and I’ve just done well with that over the past.

“To come up here and bring that return on investment is just incredible,” Bernhard continued. “To come over here and be with the big boys and outperform them is pretty cool, especially being here as a New York breeder and consignor. We don’t leave the state of New York, so it was very gratifying.”

For complete sale results, click here.

Fasig-Tipton New York-breds, final results

Year Sold Gross Average Median Buyback
2017 182 (+3%) $16,214,000 (+19%) $89,088 (+15%) $69,500 (+16%) 25%
2016 177 $13,672,500 $77,246 $60,000 33%

Fasig-Tipton New York-breds, top five purchases

Price Pedigree Buyer Consignor
$500,000 Cairo Prince - Garden City, by Carson City Waves Bloodstock RFHF Bloodstock, agent
$350,000 City Zip - Nicks Honor, by Jump Start Kindred Racing, Mike Ryan, agent Indian Creek, agent
$315,000 More Than Ready - St Francis Wood, by Irish River Bradley Thoroughbreds, agent for Sheep Pond Partners Bluewater Sales, agent
$275,000 Maclean's Music - My Canary, by Mineshaft Vineyard Ventures Vinery Sales, agent
$270,000 Union Rags - Seattle Society, by A.P. Indy Rob Masiello and West Point Thoroughbreds Hunter Valley Sales, agent