Updated on 11/08/2016 12:00PM

Fasig-Tipton November: Sale posts across-the-board gains

Baffled, the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Constitution, sold for $3.5 million to lead the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale.

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale provided its usual shower of seven-figure prices on Monday night, and finished with across-the-board gains topped by the $3.5-million broodmare Baffled.

A total of 87 horses brought in revenues of $53,652,000, according to figures reported by the sale company shortly after the close of business, marking an increase of 23 percent from last year’s gross of $43,666,000 from 92 horses sold.

The average sale price saw a 30 percent boost to $616,690 from $474,630, while the median soared 60 percent to $375,000 from $235,000. The buyback rate closed at 28 percent, improved from 34 percent in 2015.

The number of horses to sell for $2 million or more rose to seven from five, while the number to bring seven figures rose to 15 from 14. Thirty-seven horses traded for $500,000 or more, rising from 25 last year.

“There were horses that were greatly exceeding reserves, not just a bid or two, but greatly exceeding reserves,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. “It’s a really good group of men and women that are selling horses, particularly in this segment of the marketplace. They know what’s going on, they’ve read the room, they’ve been out here for four or five days. They’re good. When the market shifts a bit, they’re able to adjust and navigate. There were some folks tonight that were somewhere between very pleasantly surprised and blown away by what their horses brought, and that’s always a good feeling.”

John Malone’s Bridlewood Farm and Liliana Solari and Carlos Heller’s Don Alberto Corp. bought sale-topper Baffled for $3.5 million. The 11-year-old Distorted Humor mare is the dam of three winners from as many runners, and all are graded/group stakes performers: the multiple Grade 1 winner and young stallion Constitution, English Group 2 winner Boynton, and Grade 3 winner Jacaranda, who sold later in the auction for $2 million to Alpha Delta Stables.

English Group 3-placed Baffled sold in foal to two-time reigning leading sire and prominent commercial stallion Tapit, making the resulting offspring a full sibling to Constitution.

"What can I say? She's got it all - looks, triple-graded stakes producer in foal to the best stallion in America. Say no more,” George Isaacs, Bridlewood Farm’s general manager, said.  “She's what we're looking for. We're trying to develop a serious breeding program geared toward the commercial market, and she's definitely going to get a good foal.”

Isaacs said a decision on which stallion to send Baffled after she foaled out would be made later.

Bred in Kentucky by International Equities Holding Inc., Baffled is out of the winning Ocean Crest mare Surf Club, whose eight foals to race are all winners, including Grade 1 winner and young stallion Emcee, U.A.E. Group 2 winner Surfer, and stakes winner Spring Party. She is from the family of Grade 1 winner Awesome Humor.

Baffled won two of 14 starts during her on-track career for earnings of $63,219. She started in England for Tom Ludt of Vinery, where she finished third in the Group 3 Albany Stakes in her second career start. Fox Hill Farm bought into Baffled prior to her 3-year-old campaign, and she returned to the U.S. where she was an allowance-level runner on the East Coast.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Baffled, as agent.

“I just think the sky is the limit for this mare,” said Mark Taylor. “It’s just like all you do is pick the stallion and then harvest your graded stakes winner when the time comes. She’s a can’t-miss opportunity.”

Two of the sale’s biggest attractions were the dams who produced the winning exacta in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Bubbler, dam of Classic winner Arrogate, did not meet her reserve with a high bid of $4.7 million. The 10-year-old Distorted Humor mare, who was offered in foal to Into Mischief, was the sale’s most expensive buyback.

Love the Chase, the dam of Classic runner-up and 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, went to John McCormack Bloodstock, as agent for a domestic client, for $1.95 million. A 10-year-old daughter of Not For Love, Love the Chase went through the ring carrying a Tapit foal.

Other notable names at the auction included Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia, who sold to SF Bloodstock as a broodmare prospect for $1.4 million.

The auction’s top weanling was a Galileo filly who sold Meridian International for French clients for $550,000.

The filly is the second foal out of the placed Street Cry mare Better Not Cry, and her second dam is Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, putting her in the immediate family of champion Rags to Riches, European champion Peeping Fawn, Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron, Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, Grade/Group 1 winners Streaming and Thewayyouare, and Grade 2 winner Casino Drive, among others.

"We are coming from France to the sales, and we bought this filly to race in the long-term,” said Ghislain Bozo of Meridian International. “She was a very nice filly, of course, and we really liked her, and she comes from a beautiful family.

"She's a forthright filly and a very good mover,” Bozo continued. “She's keen and athletic. She's got plenty of class in her. Even though she was not perfect conformation, we would like to take a chance for the racing.”

The filly was bred in Ireland by Elevage II, which bought Better Not Cry for $800,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale. She was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, as agent.

“She’s only been here three weeks,” consignor John G. Sikura said. “She had to fly across the world and get off a plane, and to take all that on, she’s done fantastic. Her ears are forward and she’s never turned a hair. We’re very proud of her. She has a giant walk the way the Galileos do. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime sire, and she’s a great representative of the sire.”

For complete sale results, click here.

Fasig-Tipton November, final results

Year Sold Gross Average Median Buyback
2016 87 (-5%) $53,652,000 (+23%) $616,690 (+30%) $375,000 (+60%) 27%
2015 92 $43,666,000 $474,630 $235,000 34%