10/21/2014 8:37PM

Fasig-Tipton October: Steady returns in second session

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The second day of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale continued a consistent renewal of the North American yearling market’s final major event, posting the second-highest single-day gross in the auction’s history.

A total of 282 horses were sold on Tuesday for revenues of $10,416,700, marking an increase of four percent over last year’s second-session gross of $10,025,400 from 273 horses sold. At the time, that figure was the new single-day record gross for the Fasig-Tipton October, but it was surpassed the following day when 287 horses sold for $10,524,600. Tuesday's session finished just under that record mark.

The average sale price of $36,939 was a one percent increase over last year’s second-session average of $36,723, while the median remained unchanged at $18,000.

“It was a very solid day of sales today I thought that the overall market continued to be strong,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr. “Probably the most encouraging thing was the diversity of buyers at all levels. You see diversity even at the $10,000 levels, as well as quite a spread of buyers at over $100,000.”

Twenty-two horses brought six figures during Tuesday’s session, down slightly from the 24 to do so during last year’s second session. However, the nine horses to sell for $200,000 or more surpassed the six to pass that threshold in 2013.

The buyback rate finished at 18 percent, up slightly from the middle session of last year’s sale, which finished at 15 percent. However, the clearance rate was significantly improved over Monday’s opening session, when 29 percent of the yearlings offered finished under their reserves.

“The quality of horses may have shifted just a little bit,” Browning said. “Sure, [sellers] may have adjusted some expectations. The office was busy again today with a lot of the horses being bought back yesterday being traded, so there might have been a slight adjustment. I don’t think there was a dramatic shift in the marketplace or in [sellers’] expectations, but you buy a couple back and it probably does influence your aggressiveness in setting your next reserve.”

A Street Cry colt became the new sale topper in the waning offerings of Tuesday’s session, going to Conquest Stables for $400,000.

The gray or roan colt is out of the winning Capote mare Never is a Promise, whose three winners from six foals to race include Grade 1 winner Ever a Friend. Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, he is also from the family of Grade 3 winner Aunt Henny.

“I think he was just a special Street Cry,” said Chris Baccari of consignor Baccari Bloodstock. “It’s hard to find one that big, that looked like he did, just a real Derby horse. I’m glad that he got recognized for that out here at this sale. He’s a really good, athletic horse, especially for as big is he his. He has a lot of range of motion and a really good hind leg. He had some things that don’t come normally with that sire. I think that what made it work for him.”

Baccari purchased the colt privately as a weanling after he finished under his reserve at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale with a final bid of $240,000. He was offered in the first book of this year’s Keeneland September yearling sale, but again finished under his reserve at $270,000.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Baccari said about the price. “You have to have two people that are willing to tango, and that’s what makes it work. For me, it’s about numbers. I sell a lot of horses, so it’s not based on one horse. If he wasn’t going to bring enough, I was prepared to race him myself. That’s what I told everybody.”

After two days of selling, a total of 545 horses have sold for revenues of $19,373,300, outpacing last year’s sale by 11 percent, when 531 horses brought $17,383,400.

The average sale price following the second session was $35,574, up nine percent from $32,723 last year, while the median settled at $18,000, six percent better than last year’s figure of $17,000.

At the top of the market, the hammer fell on 43 six-figure horses through the first two days, improving over the 36 to do so at the same point last year. The 14 horses to bring $200,000 or more was also an increase from the 11 to eclipse that price after day two in 2013.

The third and final session of the Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale will commence Wednesday at 10 a.m. Eastern.

For complete sale results, click here.