11/03/2014 11:44PM

Fasig-Tipton November: Princess of Sylmar tops marquee sale


In a sale known for offering high-profile horses and producing numerous seven-figure horses, the 2014 edition of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale might be remembered for who didn’t sell.

The horses drawing the top three hammer prices on Monday, Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can [$4.9 million] and multiple Grade 1 winners Stephanie’s Kitten [$3.95 million] and Stopchargingmaria [$3.15 million], respectively, did not meet their reserves and were bought back, with Turbulent Descent [$2.45 million] completing a quartet of seven-figure offerings to finish below their reserves.

The one-day sale moved 108 horses for revenues of $63,678,000, down 14 percent compared with the 2013 edition, when 129 horses sold for $73,859,000. The average sale price rose 3 percent, from $572,550 to $589,611, and finished as the third-highest figure of the past decade. The median dropped 20 percent, from $250,000 to $200,000.

At the top of the market, a total of 23 horses sold for seven figures, down from 24 last year. However, the number of horses to bring $2 million or more rose from seven to 12.

“Overall, I thought it was a very solid and strong November sale tonight,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr. “I think everybody’s expectations coming into the sale were that we would see a similar market to what we saw last year, and that’s what we did.

“It’s pretty gratifying when you sell 23 horses for a million dollars,” he continued. “We had a wonderful catalog of horses, great support from our consignors and owners who entrusted some of the most valuable horses in the world with us for this sale, and all in all, I’m very pleased with the results."

The buyback rate finished at 29 percent, up from 21 percent the previous year. Monday’s four seven-figure buybacks doubled the total from 2013.

“At the top of the market, people continue to bid with restraint,” Browning said. “It was more fun when it was irrational at the top of the market, but it’s probably healthier long term with some level of rationality. Buyers set general parameters of how far they’re going to go and they stick to them pretty closely.

“I think a few of those horses, there were some emotional connections and certainly some options available,” he continued. “Those sellers were not in any kind of distress or ‘need to sell’ situations. They’ve got options…A couple of the RNA’s I can promise we’ll be recruiting for the 2015 November sale.”

Princess of Sylmar, winner of the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, sold to Japan's Shadai Farm for $3.1 million to finish as the sale’s most expensive offering.

The 4-year-old Majestic Warrior filly, whose retirement was announced in September, was offered as a broodmare prospect. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the filly as agent for owner-breeder Ed Stanco's King of Prussia Stable.

Shadai secured the mare by jumping in on the final bid.
"Of course, she's a very nice mare," farm representative and translator Patrick Barbe said. "We only made one bid. ... If it's only one bid, it has to be the expected price. We couldn't buy her for less."

Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales called the price "fair," but said that the filly was worth more.

"I'm very happy the Yoshidas got her," Taylor said. "She's going to a great home. Actually, Mr. Stanco does a lot of business in Japan, so hopefully they'll let him have visiting rights. ...  [Stanco] said he couldn't bear to be here. I told him it's going to be fun and he said, 'No, I'm staying home.' He's a great guy and great for the sport. It was a great story all the way around."

Princess of Sylmar won 9 of 15 starts and earned $2,017,220 in three seasons, including seven stakes. She was trained by Todd Pletcher, who was on hand to watch his former charge sell on Monday.

Princess of Sylmar became the seventh winner of the Kentucky Oaks to fetch a multimillion dollar price tag in the last two decades. The most expensive of the group is Ashado, who sold for $9 million, then a record for a broodmare prospect, to John Ferguson at the 2005 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Several other graded stakes winners sold for over a million dollars on Monday as racing or broodmare prospects. Among the cavalcade of stars was Dayatthespa, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf two days prior to going through the ring. Stonestreet Farm purchased the 5-year-old City Zip mare for $2.1 million, and will likely retire her to join the farm’s broodmare band.

"I just watched her race at Santa Anita and was very impressed. She's a beautiful horse," said Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke. "[She will] probably not [race again]. She's done so much and I think she's probably in line for an Eclipse Award. She's done a lot. She's balanced, she's super fast, she has a good broodmare sire. She'll fit right in."

Among the weanlings offered, a Tapit colt led the proceedings, selling to the partnership of Bridlewood and Three Chimneys Farm for $500,000.

Early during the session, news broke that Gainesway raised Tapit’s stud fee for 2015 to $300,000, doubling his 2014 fee. Tapit broke the single-season progeny earnings record for a North American sire during the Breeders’ Cup when his daughter Untapable won the BC Distaff. His progeny have bankrolled over $15 million this year.

Monday’s top weanling, a gray or roan colt, was offered in the supplemental portion of the catalog. He is the first foal out of the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning Forestry mare Maple Forest, and is from the family of French Group 3 winner Golden Century.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the colt as agent for breeder Blue Heaven Farm.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

–Additional reporting by Nicole Russo

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale, final results:

Year Sold Gross Average Median Buyback
2014 108 (-16%) $63,678,000 (-14%) $589,611 (+3%) $200,000 (-20%) 29%
2013 129 $73,859,000 $572,550 $250,000 21%