03/27/2015 1:16PM

Swan song for Fasig-Tipton Texas

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The Fasig-Tipton Texas auction of 2-year-olds in training on Tuesday will mark the end of an era. The sale administered by the Kentucky-based auction house will be the final one for the Fasig-Tipton Texas office. Since 1997, Fasig-Tipton Texas has conducted as many as three different auctions each year, all at a sales pavilion at Lone Star Park that was built in partnership by the Dallas-area track, Fasig-Tipton, and owners and breeders with ties to Texas. The sales have been sponsored by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

Fasig-Tipton Texas is moving out of the market at a time when the state’s struggling racing industry had its hopes dashed for purse supplements through historical racing games, like the ones in operation at Oaklawn Park. The Texas Racing Commission had passed rules last August allowing historical racing – an electronic pari-mutuel game that plays like slot machine – but its decision was challenged by bingo and tribal interests. A judge recently ruled in favor of those interests. The commission will not appeal that decision, said the panel’s spokesman, Robert Elrod.

“The final blow for us was the judge’s ruling,” said Tim Boyce, who has been the sales director for Fasig-Tipton Texas since 1997. “I thought we had some really great sales here, when things were going well. Texas has taken a downturn, unfortunately. The racing commission was actively trying to help racing, trying to be proactive. The judge came and cut them off at the knees.”

But the show will go on Tuesday, and Boyce is hoping for a strong sale. There are 117 horses cataloged to the 2-year-olds in training portion of the auction with an addendum of a handful of new hips now being distributed, Boyce said. The sale includes five horses of racing age, and that segment will close out the auction. Fasig-Tipton Texas will begin the sale at noon Central on Tuesday. The under-tack show will start at 11 a.m. Sunday, and prior to it there will be a new-owner seminar put on by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, said Boyce.

“We’ve got some sire power that I’m excited about,” Boyce said. “I’ve seen some nice-looking individuals. I hope to mirror what we did last year.”

Fasig-Tipton Texas sold 80 horses during the corresponding sale a year ago, for gross receipts of $1,818,700. The average was $22,734 and the median was $15,000. There were co-sales toppers, with a Harlan’s Holiday colt and a Munnings filly each bringing $135,000.

This year’s catalog has offspring from the first crops of such stallions as Archarcharch, Big Drama, Dublin, Euroears, Giant Oak, Regal Ransom, Trappe Shot, and Uncle Mo. Consignors represented include Benchmark Training Center, Inside Move Inc., Pike Racing, Jennifer Radosevich Bloodstock, and Twin Oaks Training Center.

Some of the horses to watch at the sale are a Ready’s Image colt from the female family of Grade 3 winner Midnight Hawk who sells as Hip No. 83; a Harlan’s Holiday colt from the female family of champion Althea who goes as Hip No. 111; a Rahy’s Secret filly from the female family of Grade 1 winner Hard Spun that sells as Hip No. 41; a Northern Afleet colt out of Meter Maid, a Grade 3 winner of $557,698, who sells as Hip No. 52; and a Grasshopper filly out of Quick Tip, a multiple Grade 3 winner of $685,969, who sells as Hip No. 71.