08/12/2017 11:21PM

Fasig-Tipton New York: Statebred sale opens with gains

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A colt by City Zip sold for $350,000 to lead the first night of Fasig-Tipton's New York-bred yearling sale.

The first session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale took an extra half-hour to get started, after severe weather delayed the races at adjacent Saratoga Race Course and the start of the sale was pushed back accordingly. But the positive returns of the session were worth the wait, led by a $350,000 City Zip colt.

It was the second straight year in which the opening session’s proceedings were affected by poor weather. Last year’s kickoff session was postponed after a storm dropped a tree on a barn, and the entire catalog was offered in a single day. While true session-to-session figures are therefore not available, this year’s opening session posted across-the-board gains compared to the horses sold who would have been cataloged in the first session in 2016. The sale’s average and median prices are also tracking ahead of the cumulative final figures from 2016.  

Fasig-Tipton reported 93 horses sold at the end of Saturday’s trade for revenues of $8,155,000, up 17 percent from last year’s sale at the comparable point, with 91 yearlings sold for $6,965,500. The average sale price rose 15 percent to $87,688 from $76,544, while the median grew 25 percent to $75,000 from $60,000. The buyback rate closed at 24 percent, improving from 34 percent with last year’s comparable offerings.

The session average is tracking 14 percent ahead of last year’s final figure of $77,246, while the median is up 25 percent compared to $60,000. The buyback rate closed 33 percent in last year’s single session.

“I think we saw a continuation of the same trends that we saw in the select sale earlier in the week,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. “There was tremendous activity on the sales grounds yesterday and today, and a noticeable improvement in the quality of the horses on the grounds, both in terms of pedigrees and conformation.”

Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan signed the ticket on the session-topper, a $350,000 City Zip colt, on behalf of Minnesota-based client Kindred Racing. City Zip, who died last month, began his stud career in New York before moving to Lane’s End in Kentucky, where he became the sire of three Eclipse Award champions.

The bay colt who topped the session is out of the unraced Jump Start mare Nick's Honor, whose four winners from five runners are all black type earners. Her produce includes stakes winners The Lewis Dinner and Kelli Got Frosty, as well as stakes-placed Princess Phoebe and Frosty Gal.

Bred in New York by James Lamonica, Lee Sacks, and Soave Stables, he is from the family of Grade 1 winner Rightly So and Grade 3-placed stakes winners Latent Revenge and Gallant Step.

"I thought he was an exceptional colt by an exceptional sire,” Ryan said. “The mare has thrown runners by New York-based stallions, and City Zip is by far superior to any of the horses she's been bred to.

“He's nearly a June foal and he looks like a 2-year-old already,” the agent continued. “He moves like a good horse. Everything about him: the size, the dimension, the strength, the quality, I thought he was pretty complete in this sale. I thought he was the best horse in the sale. I guess time will tell.”

Ryan said his client has horses with trainers Brad Cox and Rudy Rodriguez, and has been looking to further expand into the New York racing program.

The colt sold as a weanling to Osprey Bloodstock for $240,000 at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

“We sold him as a weanling and the purchasers approached us about re-selling him here,” said Shack Parrish of consignor Indian Creek. “We said, of course, yes.”

Parrish said the colt drew plenty of attention from buyers on the sale grounds, with 117 shows on Friday alone.

The New York-bred sale concludes Sunday, with the session scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

For complete sale results, click here.

-- additional reporting by Nicole Russo