Racing age horses spearhead Fasig-Tipton mixed

Spearheaded by a strong horses of racing age segment, Tuesday’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic winter mixed sale saw gains in average prices even as a smaller catalog led to a decline in the gross.

The sale topper, Radical Right, fetched a winning bid of $260,000 and was one of four horses to bring a top bid of $100,000 or more. The top six sellers all were marketed as horses of racing age.

“I was worried because we didn’t have as many [horses of racing age] as we did in past years, but the ones we had, people wanted,” said Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales director Paget Bennett. “Obviously people saw value there, and they feel they can get their money back.”

Overall, the sale saw 172 horses change hands for a total of $3,233,600. The average was $18,800, with the median $10,000. Fifty-six horses did not sell.

While the sale’s gross was down 17% from a year ago, when it hit just over $3.9 million, that’s because the number of horses sold was down 34%, from 261. The average this year rose 25% versus last year, while the median remained flat. Buybacks rose slightly, from 21% to 24%.

“I was a little concerned earlier in the day,” Bennett said. “But once we got to what people wanted – racehorses – we made a big run at the end.”

The 48 horses of racing age to sell accounted for about half the total sale, and they averaged more than $34,000. No other segment of the sale averaged more than a little over $13,000.

Radical Right, the sale-topper, is a three-year-old First Samurai gelding. His three career wins included a last-out score in a second-level allowance at Laurel Park when trained by Dale Capuano for owner-breeder Richard Shultz. He was consigned at the sale by Northview Stallion Station (David Wade) as agent, and Tom Kagele signed the ticket.

The top horse bred in the Mid-Atlantic to sell was Hip 243, a two-year-old Great Notion Maryland-bred colt named Heldish. A winner once in five starts for trainer Brittany Russell and owner ItsTheJHo LLC, Heldish was consigned by GreenMount Farm as agent and brought a top bid of $160,000 from Michael Maker.

If horses of racing age were the stars, broodmares – even well-bred ones in foal to fancy sires – continued to be a bit of a tough sell. The 58 horses sold as broodmares, broodmare prospects, or racing/broodmare prospects combined for an average sale price of less than $13,000.

In fact, the day’s highest-priced buyback was a broodmare, Hip 151, who failed to meet her reserve after a top bid of $150,000. A six-year-old Munnings mare, she is in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify.

“That was kind of a bummer,” Bennett acknowledged. “But that he was willing to bring it to the market and see if we could get it done was kind of fun. They said they’re gonna keep trying and supporting the sale.”