08/06/2012 11:23PM

Fasig-Tipton: Two seven-figure colts can't rescue first session of select yearling sale

Barbara D. Livingston
A $1.2 million Street Cry colt out of Serenading tops the first session of the Fasig-Tipton sale.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sales figures at the Fasig-Tipton yearling auction on Monday night collapsed despite the sale of two million-dollar-plus colts late in the sale.

The two late sales rescued the figures from even more dismal returns, serving to bolster an extremely soft market that seemed to hit its ceiling any time bidding approached $400,000. Prior to the sale of the two colts, the highest-priced horse to sell had been a Tapit filly that brought a final bid of $500,000.

Average price of the 52 horses sold on Monday night was $261,346, a 20.7 percent decline compared to last year’s average of $326,694 on the first night, when 49 horses sold from a smaller catalog. Median fell from $285,000 to $200,000, a drop of 29.8 percent.

Twenty-six horses did not meet their reserves, for a buyback rate of 33 percent. Last year, buyback rate on the first night was 26 percent. Gross fell 16 percent, from $16,155,000 last year on Monday night to $13,590,000 this year.

Though a strong showing on the second night of the sale could help to restore the figures to their 2011 levels, the declines on Monday night underlined the fragility of the bloodstock market despite a steady if not powerful run-up in yearling prices over the last year. That rebound had made breeders and consignors hopeful that the bloodstock market could begin to regain a portion of the ground it lost in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 recession, when auction prices for all bloodstock declined by roughly half.

Boyd Browning, the president of Fasig-Tipton, said he was “disappointed” by the declines in the sales figures but he cautioned that the market could rebound during the second night of the sale.

“It’s only halfway through the sale,” Browning said. “Last year the first night was stronger than the second night. Hopefully in 2012 the second night will be stronger than the first night.”

John Ferguson, the agent for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, signed the ticket for the sale topper, a $1.2 million colt by Street Cry out of Serenading, an A.P. Indy mare who was a Canadian champion. Serenading is out of Daijin, who is out of Passing Mood, a blue-hen mare whose progeny include With Approval and Touch Gold.

Ferguson signed the tickets on four horses for total spending of $2.025 million. Three of the four horses were by stallions that are owned by Sheikh Mohammed, who attended the sale along with his usual entourage. 

Four years ago, Fasig-Tipton was purchased by a close associate of Shiekh Mohammed, and the Dubai-based partnership that now owns the company poured millions into the renovation of the Saratoga facility while attempting to establish a stronger foothold in the U.S. auction market.

The second-highest-priced horse sold on Monday night, a $1.1 million Empire Maker colt, was purchased by Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton, the partnership that raced Curlin through his two Horse of the Year campaigns. The colt is out of Sluice and is a full brother to Mushka, a multiple graded stakes winning filly.

Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
People that spend a mil on a horse have quite a few mil to play with.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Owner's are tired of paying big buck's for horse's that run 6-7 times and head to the breeding shed. The babies are real babies and stay that way.The day's of horse's running 40 race's are gone.How many of the horse's that ran in the derby are still running a lick.
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
i highly doubt owners are tired of any horse they own that go to breeding shed..
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Hey pal, last I checked, the horses dont start making real money until they hit the breeding shed.
TBred0524 More than 1 year ago
yes, he is in stud with a decent book of mares. There is a foal by him on our farm in PA. So far, my understanding is that his foals have not been overly impressive, but well balanced and proportioned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish you good luck with the one that you have. Keep us posted
Arlene Factor More than 1 year ago
is eskenderea being bred????
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
No sane person should pay over $75,000 for any yearling. With that sum you can buy a house or a condo in most American cities. But,... a fool and his money are soon parted! Yearling Auctions get lots of suckers with more money than brains!
Jon More than 1 year ago
as someone who wants to get in game. what would you do...2yr.old sale, claim ,breed or private purchase?
Brian Russell More than 1 year ago
Private purchase of a horse in training (running) is your safest route. You have gotten to see him run or at least review his PPs and you will be able to run him back and hopefully earn purse money in about 1 month. You also get to do a pre-purchase vet exam.
mrm More than 1 year ago
If you are buying a unraced 2 year old in training the only way to know if you are buying at a fair price is if you buy at auction. If you are buying a "ready made" horse you can expect to pay up for good one i.e. he has already proven something at the races and passes a complete vet exam. In any event do your homework, ask plenty of questions and deal with somebody reputable.
IAN More than 1 year ago
As an owner-trainer, the best way I would suggest is claim in a jurisdiction where you have the best chance of recovering your money thru good purses. Woodbine currently is one of those places. Myself, I do my homework and claim first or second time starters from barns where winning is essential because they need to turn them over persay, so they take chances. Plus, you need to be ontrack to hear the buzz about certain horses and watch them train. I stand near the clockers shed and watch a few work to get a good view of prospective buys
mrm More than 1 year ago
It definitely limits your downside if you kmow what you're doing. In most cases it also limits you upside.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very valid points by all that have opined before me. If you want to just dip your toe in the water, a good way to start up is entering a partnership, such as West Point Thoroughbreds,Midwest or other reputable partnerships. That way you can get experience gradually. Once you are more adept with the generalities of thoroughbred ownership then you can try to get a smaller group of acquaintances (three or four at the most) and buy one or two horses. Eventually, you could be bidding against His Highness, Mr. Tabor, Stonestreet, Mr. Ogden and all others. Ahhh to dream the ALMOST-impossible dream. Good luck to you sir.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Thats why people buying these horses already have enough houses and condos in most american cities. They buy horses for play and fun -- Sport of Kings!
petem More than 1 year ago
Looked like a very depressing night for sellers. We will see what tomorrow brings.