NY-Bred yearling sale concludes strong run in Saratoga with sales-record $775,000 topper

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Fasig-Tipton photo

By Sarah Mace

A trio of outstanding fillies led the second and concluding session Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale Monday, topped by a sales-record youngster: a filly by Malibu Moon who was hammered down for $775,000. While the key indicators for the auction were strong, they gave ground slightly from the record-breaking edition of the sale of 2018.

Of 266 New York-bred yearlings offered over the two sessions, 186 were sold (including 14 private sales) for total receipts of $16,200,000. Last year 172 individuals brought $18,492,000. The 2019 buy-back rate of 30.1% improved slightly over 34.6% a year ago. This year’s average yearling price of $87,097 dipped 19% from last year’s record average of $107,512. The median price was down 21.1% to $60,000 from $76,000 in 2018. Approximately one-third of the yearlings (59) brought six figures this year and 19 youngsters sold for $200,000 and up.

Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said, “It was another strong edition of the New York-bred sale in 2019. Virtually every buyer I ran into today was complaining that they couldn’t get anything bought or that they were having to pay significantly more money than they wanted to for the horses they were bidding on.”

Continued Browning, “The RNA rate showed a pretty significant improvement this year compared to last year which probably led to a decrease in the average price and the median. All in all, we were coming off an unbelievable jump last year compared to 2017.”

He concluded, “The buyer base continues to be very, very good for this sale and continues to improve. I thought it was a very strong marketplace, similar to last year. The New York program has matured and, in my mind, is the finest state-bred program in the country.”

Fasig-Tipton photo

As has been the case in the bloodstock market at large for several years now, there was fierce competition at the very top of the market for the most desirable offerings.

Hip 592, a bay filly by Malibu Moon bred by Oak Bluff Stables, LLC, in partnership with Christophe Clement, set a new sales record when she brought $775,000 from Larry Best’s OXO Equine. Winter Quarter Farm consigned the filly for Oak Bluff Stable LLC. The previous record was set last year when a bay colt by Pioneerof the Nile bred by Jonathan Thorne’s Thorndale Farm in Millbrook and now named Rift Valley was hammered down for $600,000.

The record-setting filly is the second (and most recent reported) foal out of Savvy Sassy, an Ontario-bred six-figure earner by Street Sense. Savvy Sassy last changed hands when purchased by John Donaldson, bloodstock agent for Richard Leahy’s Oak Bluff Stable, for $80,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Her first foal by Bayern named Bourbon Bay brought $205,000 at the New York-bred yearling sale last year and has not yet started. Savvy Sassy is a half-sister to Southdale, a multiple graded stakes winner and S S Pinafore, dam of graded winner Plainsman. The sale filly’s third dam is stakes winner Pinafore Park, who earned over $400,000.

“I’ve never shopped the New York sale before,” Best said after signing the ticket for the filly. “I didn’t even intend to shop today. But I had nothing to do this afternoon, so I came over and looked at some horses and that one caught my eye. It’s a beautiful day. I had other business to do this morning, got done early and felt like I’d come over and look. And here we are.”

He continued, “I love Malibu Moon as a broodmare sire. So I look at it from a breeding standpoint, long-term. If she wins some races, that would be really special, but I don’t see very many Malibu Moon fillies that I just fall in love with. This was one that is very athletic, she has a shot at the track, but after racing, I’ll use her as a broodmare. There is a consistency of quality in the filly.”

Fasig-Tipton photo

Also making a big splash on Monday was Hip 495, a bay filly from the first crop of Outwork foaled on March 21, 2018 who fetched $500,000. Consigned by Denali Stud, Agent IX, the filly went to Anna Seitz Ciannello’s All About the Girls Racing and JCE Racing for Travis Durr.

Bred by WinStar Farm, LLC where Outwork stands, the half-million dollar filly is the third foal out of Light and Variable, an unraced mare by Tiznow, whose first foal, Bye Bye Hong Kong by Street Sense sold for $862,759 at Tattersalls as a juvenile and has gone on to become a stakes winner in England. Light and Variable’s second foal is also a winner. Herself a $490,000 yearling when bought by SF Bloodstock at Keeneland in 2013, Light and Variable is out of a full sister to successful sire Bluegrass Cat and is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Nonna Mela. The third dam is a sister to Girolamo and appearing under the fourth dam are luminaries Imagining, Accelerator and Super Saver.

Fasig-Tipton photo

Tracy Farmer went to $320,000 to take home the third standout filly in the session and fourth top-seller overall. Hip 617, a bay yearling by Twirling Candy, was bred by Kingsport Farms, LLC and consigned on their behalf by Fort Christopher’s Thoroughbreds LLC.  The January 31 filly is out of Soul Search, a multiple graded stakes-placed runner and earner of over $330,000 by A. P. Indy. All seven of her foals of racing age have started and won. The sale filly’s half-sister by War Front filly, Journey Home, is a graded stakes winner.

The 2019 New York-bred sale also introduced the first crop of three young New York sires: Laoban (Sequel Stallions New York), War Dancer (Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions LLC) and the late Effinex.

Five colts and one filly by Laoban changed hands over the two sessions and the undoubted star of the group was Hip 506. Alex and Jo Ann Lieblong obtained the bay February 11 colt with a winning bid of $170,000. Bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, LLC, Hip 506 is out of Malibu Mystique, a winning Maryland-bred by Malibu Moon who has produced four winners from four foals to start. Her Weigelia filly Brenda’s Way is a stakes winner and her Teuflesberg filly Miss Mystique is a stakes performer. The colt sold as a weanling at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga fall mixed sale for $65,000.

Four fillies by War Dancer sold, led by Hip 480 who went to Ken McPeek, Agent, from Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield consignment for $75,000. Bred by Sugar Plum Farm LLC, the February 16 filly is the first foal out of Kimberly Jean, by More than Ready.

Six yearlings from the lone crop of Effinex sold over the two sessions, topped by Hip 494 out of stakes performer Letshootpool who went to Zilla Racing / Oracle Bloodstock, Agent for $60,000

Of the older New York sires with six-figure yearlings, stalwart Freud led the pack with four yearlings bringing prices from $100,000 to $150,000 — the price tag paid by Calumet Farm for Hip 309, a dark bay colt out of Tiffany Twisted bred by SF Bloodstock, LLC.

Big Brown (Hip 500) and Majestic City (Hip 522) each had six-figure yearlings.

Click here for full sales results.

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