08/07/2013 12:08AM

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale: select yearling auction ends with solid financials

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Barbara Livingston
This colt by Indian Charlie was purchased for a session-high $750,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale on Tuesday.

Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select yearling sale ended Tuesday night with fewer crowd-pleasing fireworks, but also on solid financial ground overall.

The two-night auction sold 108 yearlings, one more than in 2012, for $31,870,000. That figure was down less than one percent from last year. Average dipped one percent, from $299,065 to $295,093, but the median improved 11 percent, rising from $225,000 to $250,000.

Buybacks, a concern last year at 34 percent, improved dramatically in 2013 at just 21 percent, a sign of stronger consignor satisfaction with the market.

One night after the first session produced across the board gains and two million-dollar fillies – including the overall sale topper, a $1,225,000 Dynaformer half-sister to Optimizer – the second session was more muted. Tuesday night’s session sold 58 yearlings for a combined $16,200,000, down 12 percent from last year’s exuberant closer, which sold 55 yearlings. This year’s session average also lost ground, falling 17 percent from last year’s lofty $334,727 to $279,310.

Less aggressive spending at the top of the market this year took a toll on the average. Last year’s closing session sold eight horses for $600,000 or more, including one for $1,575,000 and another for $900,000. By comparison, Tuesday’s session this year sold five for $600,000 or more with no million-dollar lots and a peak of $750,000.

The session’s median struck a more positive note, ending level with last year’s session figure at $250,000.

Tuesday’s session topper was a $750,000 Indian Charlie colt out of the Storm Cat mare Queenie Cat. Stonestreet Stables’ Barbara Banke bought the colt in partnership with George Bolton. Hill ’n’ Dale Sales, agent, sold the Feb. 5 colt, whose second dam is the prolific producer Strawberry Reason. That mare, a Grade 3 winner by Strawberry Road, is the dam of champion Vindication, Grade 3 winner Scipion, and Grade 3-placed stakes winner In Step, among other stakes performers.

The night’s most expensive filly was a March 21 daughter of War Front and the Woodman winner Lerici. Steven Young, agent, signed the $650,000 ticket for the dark bay filly, representing Texas-based Ramona Bass. The filly is from the family of Travers runner-up Grasshopper and Grade 3 winner Turf War. The Gainesway agency was the consignor.

As at Monday’s opener, Tuesday’s session was dominated by domestic buyers. Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, who bought one horse through agent John Ferguson on Monday, made no purchases Tuesday. His brother, Shadwell owner Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, bought one on Tuesday: a $525,000 Distorted Humor-Life Well Lived colt from the family of Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed. The Taylor Made Sales agency sold the March 4 colt.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale cumulative results:

Year Sold Total Average Median Buyback
2013 108 $31,870,000 (-0.4%) $295,093 (-1%) $250,000 (+11%) 21%
2012 107 $32,000,000 $299,065 $225,000 34%