Monday, August 11th, 2014
by Sarah Mace
The marketplace for New York-breds continues to go from strength to strength. On the heels of a record-breaking edition of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale in 2013, this year’s class of yearlings upped the ante, posting a robust increase in both average and median and giving every indication that interest in Empire-breds remains strong among a diverse group of buyers.
The average price for a New York-bred yearling at the conclusion of the sale’s two sessions was $80,108, up 11% percent from $72,480 in 2013. The overall median price of $65,000 rose 18% percent from $55,000 last year.
Taken in its own terms, the second session of the sale came up a little stronger than the first. On Sunday 84 individuals sold for an average price of $85,298 and median of $77,500, compared with the $75,370 average and $60,000 median posted on Saturday.
Over the two sessions 176 individuals sold compared to 196 last year, leading to a minimal decline in total sales from $14,206,000 to $14,099,000. Eight individuals brought $200,000 or more this year compared to 11 last year, and 51 yearlings sold for six figures compared to 43 in 2013.
This year’s sale posted an increase in buyback from 25% to 38%, but Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. observed after the first session that the increase may well be due in part to “consignors having some alternatives for their horses in terms of the ability to race them themselves.” This year’s crop of yearlings is the first class bred squarely in the VLT era – after the Genting facility opened its doors for business at Aqueduct in October 2011, NYRA announced a new enhanced purse structure and the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund raised breeders’ awards by 50%.
At the conclusion of the sale Browning said, “We saw a very similar marketplace to the marketplace we saw last night and, truthfully, similar to the marketplace we saw in the select sale and the July sale as well: significant demand for quality offerings [and] competitive bidding by a diverse group of buyers.”
Browning added, “I think overall we have a healthy marketplace that bodes well for the rest of the yearling sales and for the continuation of growth in the New York-bred market.”
Session two of the sale brought a new sale topper, a blaze-faced chestnut filly by Lookin at Lucky (Hip 436) who was hammered down to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm LLC for $270,000 from the consignment of Rhapsody Farm/Hidden Lake Farm LLC, Agents. The filly was bred by Hidden Lake Farm, where she was foaled, in partnership with Ashford Stud.
The filly’s dam Rose Rhapsody, a placed daughter of Pleasant Colony, has produced eight winners, including Rhumb Line (Mr. Greeley), the dam of multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Zazu by Tapit, graded stakes winner Flashback by the same sire and stakes winner Corinthian’s Jewel.
Pope, who purchased Rhumb Line for $2 million out of the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, told the TDN, “She was a very lovely filly, well balanced with a good mind on her. And of course, I bought Rhumb Line, so I’m trying to take care of the family a little bit.”
Pope added, “I have several New York-breds that I’ve bought out of this sale that are four and five now and we’ve enjoyed being a part of the program.”
The next highest-priced horse overall, also a filly, topped the offerings on Saturday night, a yearling from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner Tizway (Tiznow) who was purchased by Hubert A. Guy, Agent for $250,000 (Hip 310).
Hip 302 (Fasig-Tipton photo)
A pair of yearlings shared the honors as co-top colts, each bringing $230,000. Hip 302, a bay from the first crop of Ice Box sold to Nick Zito, who trained the colt’s sire, in session one from the consignment of Chris Shelli’s Fort Christopher’s Thoroughbreds LLC, Agent. Shelli purchased the colt’s dam Fear This, an unraced daughter of Ghostzapper in foal for $5,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November sale.
(Hip 500) Fasig-Tipton photo
The other top colt was Hip 500, dark bay or brown March colt by Super Saver, whose first-crop juvenile colt I Spent It won the Grade 2 Toyota Saratoga Special at the racetrack earlier in the day. Bred by Eaton & Thorne, Inc., foaled at Thorndale Farm in Millbrook and consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, this colt was also purchased by bloodstock agent Hubert Guy, buyer of Saturday’s topper. The colt is out of That’s Ok, a sister to stakes winner Forever Partners and a half-sister to stakes winner Paul’s Partner. The colt’s third dam is also stakes winner.
Among current or former New York-based sires, a colt by Darley’s Girolamo (Hip 504), who stood at Sequel Stallions in 2012 and 2013, broke into the top ten on Sunday, emerging as the seventh top-seller. Out of Thin Disguise (Yes It’s True), a winning half-sister to champion New York-bred and millionaire Naughty New Yorker, the bay January colt brought $200,000. He was also purchased by Nick Zito. Consigned by Lane’s End, the yearling was bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot & Dr. Joan M. Taylor and foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent.
Of stallions currently standing in New York, three individuals from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Dublin (Keane Stud), who appears to be stamping his foals strongly in appearance, brought six figures (Hips 246, 300 and 508).