02/07/2014 6:03PM

Fasig-Tipton winter mixed: Sale offers variety

Photos by Z
Pool Land topped last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale at $900,000.

A year after the dispersal of Eugene Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm helped drive the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale to big gains, the sales company will follow up with an expanded catalog in 2014.

The Kentucky winter sale will serve as the final major auction of the mixed sale season, beginning Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern at Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks in Lexington. A second session will follow Monday at 10 a.m.

The two-day format will mark a return to normal for the Kentucky winter mixed sale, which regularly featured two sessions through 2008, after which the sale was reduced to a single day.

“We’re expecting a very good horse sale,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr. “We’ve got a very good catalog, the market’s good, there’s lots of interest, and we’re very enthusiastic and optimistic.”

This year’s sale features a 588-horse catalog, 74 percent larger than the 2013 auction, when 337 horses were cataloged. It is the largest catalog since 2007, when 641 horses were offered over two days.

Browning said he was pleasantly surprised with the level of interest from sellers and noted that the sale had originally been scheduled for a single day. He credited the spike in entries to increased confidence in the marketplace from participants at the end of a prolific season and to the strong performance of last year’s sale.

Consignor Archie St. George of St George Sales said the expanded sale format should make the auction an attractive destination for potential buyers. He also said there is enough growth in the catalog to offer variety, but not so much that the expansion could saturate the market.

“There are enough horses that, in my opinion, it would be a positive,” St. George said. “A larger number is going to draw people in, obviously, but [the catalog is] not too big. I would think it’s a good number. Anytime you get more horses, it draws more attention.”

The Kentucky winter mixed sale will round out a breeding stock season that began in October that has held up its end as the Thoroughbred market recovered over the past few years to reach pre-crash figures.

In particular, middle-market horses have experienced a significant increase in buyer interest during the current mixed season, with median sale figures consistently outperforming those from previous sales, often by considerable margins.

The Keeneland November breeding stock sale, North America’s highest-volume mixed sale, finished with a record-tying median price. Meanwhile, Keeneland’s January sale of horses of all ages and mixed sales at Barretts, Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co., and Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic division saw improvements of 19 percent or greater in the same category over the winter.

That bodes well for Fasig’s Kentucky winter mixed sale, which primarily trades blue-collar stock. While outliers in the sale likely will be few, the migration of buyers from the upper-tier markets to lower levels over the past year suggests that the buying power will be strong enough to support the larger catalog.

“Based on January and November, there’s no reason to believe it won’t be a good sale,” St. George said. “It looks like a solid catalog. I would imagine any nice short yearling will sell well, and if you have a nice young mare with a good pedigree, she’s going to bring good money.”

Last year’s Kentucky winter mixed sale posted large increases in major measures, largely credited to the dispersal of Sovereign Award-winning owner and breeder Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm. The dispersal was handled by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

The 2013 sale moved 245 horses for revenue of $13,781,700, up 199 percent from the previous year. Keeping with the theme of soaring gains, the average sale price rose 230 percent to $56,252, while the median price increased 150 percent to $15,000.

Not surprisingly, the top of the market was dominated by Melnyk dispersal horses. Eight of the 10 highest-priced offerings came from the dispersal, including sale-topper Pool Land, a Grade 1-winning Silver Deputy mare who sold in foal to Smart Strike to Live Oak Plantation for $900,000.

The highest-priced yearling of the sale was an Arch colt who sold to John and Martha Jane Mulholland for $140,000. Consigned by Three Chimneys Sales, agent, the colt is out of the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning Langfuhr mare Amazing Speed.

Keeping last year’s Melnyk dispersal in mind, Browning was careful to temper market expectations for the Kentucky winter mixed sale, noting that even with significantly reduced final numbers, the sale still could be considered a success. Instead, he emphasized the catalog’s variety to provide buyers with whatever they might be seeking.

“There won’t be a replication of the statistical results with the Winding Oaks horses included,” Browning said. “It was an unusual set of circumstances last year and a wonderful consignment that was offered by Winding Oaks. You can’t replace that.

“What we do have is a very, very solid catalog,” he added. “There are lots of interesting horses – whether you’re looking for yearlings, whether you’re looking for a mare in foal, a racing or broodmare prospect, or a filly coming off the racetrack. We’ve got something for everybody, and the sale should have broad appeal.”

Feb. 9, 3 p.m. Eastern; Feb. 10, 10 a.m. Eastern
Where: Newtown Paddocks, 2400 Newtown Pike, Lexington, Ky. 40511
Phone: (859) 255-1555
Email: info@fasigtipton.com
Catalog: 588 horses, up 74 percent from 337 last year
Recent history: Fueled by the dispersal of Eugene Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm, the 2013 sale posted positive results while selling 245 horses for $13,781,700 (up 199 percent), an average price of $56,252 (up 230 percent), and a median of $15,000 (up 150 percent). Live Oak Plantation bought Grade 1 winner Pool Land, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, for $900,000 to top the sale.
Internet: Live streaming at www.fasigtipton.com

Results, 2004-2013

Year              No. sold         No. offered     Total                     Average                      Median

2013                245                  277            $13,781,700               $56,252             $15,000

2012                270                  346              4,601,800                 17,044                6,000

2011                183                  237              2,821,500                 15,418                5,700

2010                192                  270              3,052,600                 15,899                5,000

2009                206                  244              2,392,900                 11,616                5,000

2008                318                  421              6,452,400                 20,291                7,000

2007                371                  496              6,332,300                 17,068                7,000

2006                444                  630              7,772,700                 17,506                5,000

2005                377                  473              6,966,700                 18,479                6,200

2004                394                  475              4,713,100                 11,962                5,000