Hip 298, a filly by Uncle Mo, brought a high bid of $150,000. Photo by The Racing Biz.

Hip 298, a filly by Uncle Mo, brought a high bid of $150,000. Photo by The Racing Biz.

by Frank Vespe

The market for Maryland-breds was solid enough at yesterday’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale, but the market as a whole saw disappointing declines.

Overall, the average and gross values of horses sold were off by 12.9 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively versus a year ago.  The average of 274 horses sold was $19,083, down from $21,905 in 2014 when one more horse was sold.  The gross sales were down from a bit over $6 million to $5,228,800.  On the bright side, the buyback rate declined from 27.6 percent to 25.3 percent.

“Very spotty,” said Bob Manfuso of Chanceland Farm in describing the sale.  Chanceland consigned Hip 182, a Maryland-bred, Maryland Million certified Not for Love colt who’s a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner International Star.  Hip 182 fetched a winning bid of $140,000, the fourth-highest price in the sale.


“He’s a mature, nice, Not for Love colt,” Manfuso said, pronouncing himself “delighted” with the winning bid, which was made by agents for former Olympic skier Bode Miller.

The good news for Chanceland and other Maryland breeders, however, was that Maryland-breds were in greater demand than the market as a whole.  Three of the sale’s top five horses to sell were bred in Maryland, topped by Hip 231, a Bodemeister colt from the same family as Hall of Famer Safely Kept, that was bred and consigned by Dark Hollow Farm and bought a winning bid of $190,000.

“We thought it was a lovely horse,” said Dark Hollow’s David Hayden.  “The decision to bring him here was the fact that there were 82 Bodemeisters at Keeneland and two here. I thought we were in a much better position here, pedigree, physical, the whole nine yards, as one of two here. I didn’t want to be the 83rd Bodemeister at Keeneland.”

Peter Angelos bought the colt, which pleased Hayden further.

“It will more than likely stay in Maryland to race,” Hayden said, pointing out the bonuses available both to Angelos as owner of a Maryland-bred and to Dark Hollow as its breeder.  “It could be a fun time, really excited about the horse.”

Overall, 104 Maryland-breds sold, with an average value of $22,819.  That was nearly 20 percent higher than the average of the sale as a whole.

“I can’t complain.  I think we’ve had a pretty solid sale,” said Bill Reightler.  His consignment included nearly 20 Maryland-breds, among them Hip 224, a Quality Road colt who’s a half-brother to two stakes horses who was hammered down to Toby Roth for $72,000.

Among the other mid-Atlantic states, Pennsylvania saw the steepest drop.  While a year ago, 87 PA-bred yearlings sold, this year that number was just 64, a drop of 26 percent.

The sale’s overall topper was Hip 345, a Delaware certified Malibu Moon filly out of the terrific West Virginia-bred racehorse Aspenglow, by Lion Hearted.

“She’s smart, well put together, she has a nice way of going, and she just acts like a racehorse,” said Mike Palmer of Candyland Farm, which consigned the filly.

In fact, Delaware certified horses were among the stars of the sale.  Three of the top seven sellers were Delaware certified.  In addition to Hip 345, Del-certified horses included the Candyland-consigned Hip 298, an Uncle Mo filly who sold for $150,000; and Hip 154, a Jump Start colt Reightler consigned, which sold for $85,000.

WEST VIRGINIA1121.43%$10,045$110,500
NEW JERSEY 5 28.6% $13,600$68,000


Frank Vespe, the founder of The Racing Biz, has owned, bought, sold, claimed, and written about horses, in varying combinations, for a decade.