10/20/2014 8:58PM

Fasig-Tipton October: Opening session finishes with gains, higher buyback rate


A selective market gravitated toward quality offerings during Monday’s opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale, driving up sales figures compared with the first day of last year’s edition.

A total of 263 yearlings were reported sold on Monday for revenues of $8,956,600, marking an increase of 22 percent compared with last year’s opening session, when 258 horses sold for a combined $7,358,000. The average sale price finished at $34,056, up 19 percent from $28,519, while the median increased 3 percent, from $16,500 to $17,000.

Keeping consistent with the popular analysis of the marketplace, bidding was competitive for the horses that passed muster from multiple parties. Monday’s session finished with 21 horses bringing six figures, up from 12 last year. Five horses sold for $200,000 or more, the same as last year’s leadoff session.

“We finished up the day on a pretty good day of trading,” said Bayne Welker Jr., Fasig-Tipton’s vice president of sales. “I think what we’re seeing is certainly indicative of what the marketplace has been as a whole in the open marketplace this year, so I think everybody’s adjusted their sights and realized where we are in the marketplace.”

Also holding true was the discriminating eye of the buying bench, with a significant increase in the buyback rate. The figure finished at 29 percent on Monday, up from 20 percent after the first day of the 2013 sale.

“I think the market has become a little more selective this year,” Welker said. “You certainly don’t see the same kind of clearance in the middle-market horses, and especially in the bottom horses. We’re fortunate enough that we have a very strong base of Koreans who are buying in this sale and some South Americans that are helping move some horses in that $10,000 to $30,000 range, and we haven’t quite seen that this year in the open marketplace.”

Topping the session was a son of Super Saver who sold to Brookdale Farm, as agent for Oussama Aboughazale’s International Equities Holding Inc., for $370,000. He was consigned by the McLean family of Crestwood Farm, as agent.

The session-topper is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Petionville mare Crocodile Tuff, and he is from the family of multiple Grade 1-placed Palacio de Amor, as well as stakes winners Snake Proof, Shareefa, Hatian Vacation, and Ex Pirate. He was co-bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and Crestwood Farm.

“He’s a great-looking horse,” said Freddy Seitz of Brookdale Farm. “Super Saver’s as hot as they get. The new owner is a huge fan of Super Saver, so he had to have him. I think he’s a beautiful horse and I hope he pans out.”

Seitz said that the session-topper would be sent to Brookdale Farm to continue his development until he is eventually sent to the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher. Aboughazale, a Chilean-based fruit company owner, races in the U.S. under the nom-de-course Sumaya Us Stables.

“All the stars kind of came together,” said Pope McLean Jr. of Crestwood Farm. “We initially had him in the [Keeneland] September sale, and he banged his leg the day we were going to ship him, so we had to scratch him. Obviously, it didn’t hold him back.”

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale continues through Wednesday, Oct. 22, beginning each day at 10 a.m. Eastern.