Hopes high for expanded Fasig-Tipton yearling sale
by Linda Dougherty
A high volume of entries has prompted Fasig-Tipton to expand its Midlantic Eastern Fall yearling sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium from one to two days.
The sale is set for Monday and Tuesday, October 2 and 3, and features a catalogue with 495 entries and an 18-horse supplemental catalogue, for a total of 513 yearlings.
Monday’s session will begin at 4 p.m. and offer Hips 1-150. The Tuesday session will begin at 10 a.m. and offer Hips 151-513.
Expectations are high for the annual Timonium sale, as yearling sales across the country have seen across-the-board increases this year.
Through September 25, yearling-only auctions and mixed sales have sold 4,890 head, for gross receipts of $425.9 million, according to data compiled by BloodHorse MarketWatch. The gross represents a 10.2 percent gain over the $386.5 million paid for 5,586 head through the comparable period in 2016.
Keeneland is coming off a hugely successful September yearling sale, with the average price of $120,487 and $57,000 median both records, representing gains of 23.2 percent and 42.5 percent, respectively, over 2016 levels. Its gross of $307,845,400 was 12.8 percent higher than 2016.
Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select August sale also had double-digit gains in all categories: Gross of $45.5 million was 16.3 percent higher than 2016; average price of $339,712 was up 16.3 percent, and the median price of $300,000 was 26.3 percent higher.
“Everybody is excited about this sale,” said Midlantic Director of Sales Paget Bennett. “We have good support from mid-Atlantic breeders, with yearlings that are eligible for major state-bred programs, as well as those from New York, Kentucky and other states, with a lot of sire power.”
Bennett said that consignors have gained confidence bringing their horses to this sale as opposed to traveling to Kentucky.
“This sale is good for consignors as well as for people who shop here,” she said, pointing out that multiple Grade 1 winner Stellar Wind, a Virginia-bred, passed through the Timonium sales ring and graces the cover of this year’s catalogue.
Fasig-Tipton is hoping to build on a successful 2016 Timonium yearling sale, in which 268 horses were sold for a grand total of $6,436,600, up 23 percent from 2015’s $5.2 million. The average price of $24,017 was up nearly 26 percent from 2015’s $19,083.
“The markets are still polarized between horses that really stand out and others,” said consignor Bill Reightler, who is based in Maryland. “We see that polarization more here at Timonium than at a sale like Keeneland.”
But Reightler said that, with more than 100 additional yearlings catalogued than last year, there should be an increased amount of buyers.
“We’re very optimistic,” said Reightler, who has consigned 30 head.
Among Reightler’s offerings are a West Virginia-bred Maclean’s Music filly (Hip 77), whom he describes as a “big, very nice individual.” The filly, bred by Susan H. Wantz, is out of the Fastness (IRE) mare Rowdy Woman, whose two foals to race are multiple winners.
Maclean’s Music, a son of Distorted Humor, is the sire of Preakness Stakes (Gr. 1) winner Cloud Computing from his first crop.
Also from Reightler’s consignment is Hip 380, a filly from the first crop of Maryland sire Super Ninety Nine, a son of Pulpit. The filly, bred by Kenneth Lowe, Jr., is out of the Louis Quatorze mare Helen Louise, and she’s a half-sister to recent winner Hell Afire. Her second dam is graded stakes winner Silent Turn ($527,649).
Pennsylvania consignor Marshall Silverman has a strong 44-horse contingent, featuring such sires as Goldencents, Will Take Charge, Stay Thirsty, Congrats, Blame, Strong Mandate, and Union Rags.
“I hope buyers have been waiting for this sale, because there’s a whole lot of nice horses here,” said Silverman. “The market for yearlings has been really strong this year.”
Silverman is offering Hip 449, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Tiznow bred by Blackstone Farm, from the family of Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute, as well as a Maryland-bred colt by Shanghai Bobby (Hip 437), a half-brother to graded stakes winner Everyday Heroes, from the family of Ghostzapper. The colt was bred by Marathon Farms.
Over at the WynOaks Farm consignment, owners Chip and Barbara Wheeler are offering nine yearlings by their stallion Weigelia. Weigelia’s average earnings index of 1.41 is well above his mares’ comparable index of 1.03; his runners have average earnings of nearly $75,000 while his average yearling sales price is less than $10,000 (according to Equineline).
Of special interest should be Hip 410, a bay filly out of Katarica Disco, and a full sister to multiple stakes winner Fat Kat ($423,068); stakes-placed Disco Rose ($397,010); 12-time winner Pink Princess ($418,828) and recent maiden special weight winner Smooth B ($57,280).