Originally posted on the Bloodhorse by Ron Mitchell
Topped by a Flatter colt sold in the waning minutes of the sale, Fasig-Tipton kicked off the yearling auction season on a strong note July 10 at The July Sale in Lexington, with across-the-board gains in gross, average, and median prices.
With plenty of buyers on hand to fuel the market on a hot and humid Tuesday, Fasig-Tipton reported 196 head grossed $19,762,500, up 22.6% over the $16,107,000 paid for 172 horses last year. This year’s average price of $100,829 represented a gain of 7.7% compared to the $93,645 figure a year ago, and the median price rose 7.1% from $70,000 to $75,000. With 349 cataloged, the 86 horses that did not sell represented 30.5% of the total through the ring, compared with 29.5% RNA rate a year ago.
Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr. said the numbers are a positive sign as the yearling season gets underway. The strong start bodes well for the auctions to come, with indications that the same trends seen in recent years will continue.
“Overall I’m very, very pleased with the results today,” Browning said. “You’ve got to be thrilled when your gross is up 23%, your average is up, your median is up, and your RNA rate is the same. I would characterize it as a very positive start to the 2018 yearling auction season. I think it’s going to continue to very strong at the upper end of the marketplace. The cautionary tale is if you have a horse that doesn’t meet most of the criteria, you have to be cognizant and realistic about the horse that you are presenting for sale.”
Consigned by Lane’s End, agent for Kentucky breeder Summer Wind Equine, the sale-topping colt was purchased in the name of Al Rashid Stable for $520,000 and was the next-to-last yearling through the ring.
The bay colt is out of the Curlin mare No Curfew, who descends from a top female family. His second dam, stakes-winning Miswaki mare Misty Hour, also produced grade 2 winner and stakes producer India, and stakes winner Pilfer, the dam of multiple grade 1 winner and sire To Honor and Serve, grade 1 winner Angela Renee, and stakes winner and grade 1-placed Elnaawi .
Summer Wind manager Bobby Spalding credited the late Bill Graves, the Fasig-Tipton senior vice president who coordinated yearling sale selection, for the colt’s presence in the sale.
“I’m going to give Bill Graves a little shoutout here,” Spalding said of the Fasig-Tipton executive who died May 30 after a brief illness. “Bill really liked him and said we need to sell this horse in July. And of course (Summer Wind owner) Jane (Lyon) was nice enough. She’d never done the July sale. This was just the one horse we had in the sale.”
Once on the sale grounds, buyers proved Graves and the Summer Wind team was correct in their assessment.
“He was very, very popular. He was shown over 200 times,” Spalding said. “This horse never got tired here. He was a very clean-vetting horse. He was a very mature, very straightforward horse. I was expecting him to sell in the $400,000 range. I think the (market) is very good for a horse that jumps through all the hoops.”