10/26/2016 10:22PM

Fasig-Tipton yearling sale ends with declines in gross, average

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The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale, the last major stop on the North American yearling sale calendar, concluded Wednesday with a relatively stable marketplace and an improved buyback rate.

A total of 777 horses were sold during the sale’s three days for gross receipts of $25,691,500. The gross marked a 13 percent decline from the 2015 sale, where 854 horses sold for $29,369,300 over four sessions.

The cumulative average price was $33,065, and the median was $14,500, declines of 4 percent and 3 percent from $34,390 and $15,000 in 2015.

“I think overall, from start to finish, we had a solid and consistent marketplace, which I think is what you’re hoping for in October,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said. “It’s not going to typically be a sale where there’s gigantic fireworks, but certainly there was a really strong market for quality individuals, and that was throughout the three days. If you led a nice horse through there, there was competition throughout the sale. Probably more encouraging was I think a strengthening, to an extent, of the middle market and the lower end of the market.

“We’re all still struggling,” Browning added. “I wish there were more buyers in participation at those lower levels, but certainly it had a better feel this year. It seemed like there was an increase in the number of buyers and probably a little bit more international buyers on the lower end this year than we had last year.”

The cumulative buyback rate was 25 percent, compared with 31 percent last year. Browning credits some of the improvement to the “last chance” nature of this sale.

“I think the reality is at this time of the year, you’re either looking at selling your horse or going on and making a significant investment to carry it forward,” Browning said.

Two colts bookended the auction with the co-top price, as a Curlin colt sold in Monday’s opening session and a Bernardini colt offered Wednesday each brought $350,000. A total of six yearlings sold for $300,000 or more, compared with just two to do so in four sessions last year.

The Bernardini colt was purchased by Stonestreet Stables, which expects to campaign him in a partnership that was still being negotiated as of sale time.  

"He's a beautiful horse,” said Stonestreet bloodstock adviser John Moynihan, who signed the ticket. “I saw him the other day, and he was just a really good-looking horse. We've had a lot of luck with Bernardini, so we thought we'd take a swing.”

The colt is out of the winning Smart Strike mare Desert Gazelle, whose only starter is a winner. His third dam is Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status, the dam of 2009 Belmont Stakes runner-up Dunkirk.

Brookdale Sales consigned the colt as agent for breeder Godolphin, which is winnowing down its massive bloodstock holdings worldwide.

The Curlin colt sold Monday was snatched up by Joe Minor’s JSM Equine, which intends to pinhook him as a 2-year-old. The colt made the most of his second trip through an auction ring after finishing as a $275,000 buyback at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected sale in August.

The colt is out of the Pleasant Colony mare Party Chatter, whose 10 starters are all winners, including Grade 3-placed stakes winner Rock Candy and stakes-placed Status Pending. Party Chatter is a full sister to foreign champion Colonial U.S., Grade 3 winner Silver Fox, and stakes winner Pleasant feeling and is a half-sister to stakes winner Tappat.

The third dam is the outstanding Patelin, whose descendants include champion Pleasant Strike and Grade 1 winners A Phenomenon, Seattle Meteor, Marsh Side, and Declassify.

The late-April foal was consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales as agent.

"He was just a really nice horse,” Tom VanMeter said. “He was a nice horse in Saratoga, but he had a few little issues that we had to take care of. We took care of them, and we're really happy that he sold well. He went to a really good home.

"[The price] certainly exceeded what we thought,” VanMeter added. “You're always hopeful with the right people on him and working him up that he would sell well, and he did. 

– additional reporting by Joe Nevills

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