11/04/2013 1:00PM

Fasig-Tipton: Sale offers premier stock

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Barbara D. Livingston
Authenticity, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, will be offered at Fasig-Tipton Monday night.

Fasig-Tipton’s one-session November sale, to begin on Monday at 4 p.m. Eastern at the company’s Newtown Paddocks headquarters in Lexington, Ky., arrives on the heels of North American horse racing’s showcase event and heralds what is always a hectic, eventful two weeks in the auction sector.

The November sale habitually brings to market several broodmare prospects fresh off performances in the previous weekend’s Breeders’ Cup races and is held just prior to Keeneland’s lengthy November breeding stock sale. This year’s edition will occur the night before the 10-day Keeneland sale begins and contains a bevy of accomplished racemares heading into their second careers as well as a group of weanlings, several from first-crop sires.

North American sales have enjoyed their best year in recent history as they recover from a deep and painful market correction that affected the entire Thoroughbred industry in 2008-10. This summer and fall’s yearling auctions have posted encouraging results, to say the least, and many within the industry expect that momentum to carry on through the breeding stock sales, as buyers begin to take a long-term view toward the prospect of an even stronger economic climate in the years ahead.

The Jockey Club’s release of foal-crop and mares-bred statistics for 2013 indicated that the decline in North American breeding activity, though still evident, has slowed. This offers added support to the notion that equilibrium of sorts between buyers and sellers is being reached, which should continue to strengthen the market.

The Fasig-Tipton November sale is unique due to its brevity and its concentration of top-class broodmares but still should give an early indication of how the breeding stock sales season will play out (the first sizable mixed sale, held by the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. in mid-October, posted healthy gains in nearly every category, albeit at a lower market level). The general sense among consignors is one of confidence in the North American bloodstock market’s recovery, tempered with a realistic outlook about the larger economy and its nagging problems.

“It was nice to see some new names buying some of those seven-figure horses [at the Keeneland September yearling sale], but I think the most positive thing I could see from it is that it looked to me like the buyers of most of those type of horses were going to stay in North America,” said Guinness McFadden, sales director at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky. “That’s a definite shift from where we’ve been the last few years. The stock markets are at an all-time high, or close to it, but it doesn’t feel to me like the economy is rolling like it should, so I don’t think we’re going to see massive gains. But I expect [the November sales] to be really strong – as strong as we’ve seen in the last five or six years.”

Those sensational results at the recent Keeneland September sale have created a strong tailwind heading into both the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland November auctions, especially for consignors with elite horses to offer. That should help maintain a high level of trade as buyers seek to replenish their stables with both young, well-bred foals and the mares who can produce them, with an eye on next year’s yearling sales.

“We’re excited,” said Meg Levy of Bluewater Sales. “I think the good stuff that’s happened this summer and fall in the yearling sales and hopefully the economy looking a little more positive will take us to the place where mares are more commercial again. You need the factory.”

Three Chimneys will be bringing a strong group of fillies and mares to the Fasig-Tipton November sale. Among other notables, it is consigning Grade 2 winner Authenticity, a 6-year-old Quiet American mare who finished third in Friday's Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and Mizdirection, a 5-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast who on Saturday captured her second consecutive Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Both are offered as racing or broodmare prospects.

A variety of additional stakes-winning broodmares or broodmare prospects are sprinkled throughout Fasig-Tipton’s November catalog, and one Grade 1 winner who should vie for the sale’s top price will be the Bluewater-consigned In Lingerie, a $700,000 earner by classic winner and stamina-influence sire Empire Maker. In Lingerie is offered in foal to two-time European Horse of the Year Frankel, who stood his first season as a stallion this year and attracted a star-studded book of mares from around the world. In Lingerie is cataloged as Hip No. 73. Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno, by Pulpit, will be offered by Bluewater at Fasig-Tipton as Hip No. 195.

Last year’s Fasig-Tipton November auction, paced by a $10 million top price for 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, posted major gains in gross (up 84 percent) and average (up 67 percent) along with a slight dip in median and a higher buyback rate. Havre de Grace, bought by Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm after a protracted bidding process, set a world record for a broodmare prospect.

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale

When: Nov. 4, 4 p.m. Eastern

Where: Newtown Paddocks, 2400 Newtown Pike, Lexington, Ky. 40511

Phone: (859) 255-1555

Catalog: 220 horses, up 24 percent from 178 last year

Recent history: The 2012 sale posted overall positive results while selling 87 horses for $60,220,000, an average price of $692,184, and a median of $190,000. Gross increased 84 percent, average rose by 67 percent, and median was down 5 percent. Whisper Hill Farm bought 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, for
$10 million to top the sale.

Internet: Live streaming at www.fasigtipton.com

SALE RESULTS, 2003-2012                                                    

Year     Offered            Sold       Not sold       Average          Median                     Gross

2012........ 134............. 87............ 47...... $692,184...... $190,000...... $60,220,000

2011........ 109............. 79............ 30........ 414,494........ 200,000......... 32,745,000

2010........ 133............. 89............ 44........ 314,567........ 130,000......... 27,996,500

2009........ 111............. 80............ 31........ 361,313........ 170,000......... 28,905,000

2008........ 150............. 91............ 59........ 772,297........ 250,000......... 70,279,000

2007........ 144.......... 107............ 37........ 486,318........ 180,000......... 52,036,000

2006........ 224.......... 170............ 54........ 377,235........ 175,000......... 64,130,000

2005........ 163.......... 112............ 51........ 287,348........... 86,000......... 32,183,000

2004........ 239.......... 201............ 38........ 102,914........... 27,000......... 20,685,800

2003.......... 83............. 59............ 24.......... 87,458........... 45,000........... 5,160,000