Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Auction results prove that the sport is alive and well

Havre De Grace after her final bid (Photo: Melissa Bauer-Herzog)

Monday’s Fasig-Tipton event not only had excitement fill the ring when reigning Horse of the Year Havre De Grace went for $10 million, it also proved that no matter the issues that surround racing, people are still spending money on the sport.

The buyers at Fasig-Tipton spent $60,220,000 to take home 87 horses, including 15 that went for $1 million or more on Monday night. The sale lasted for more than five hours, starting at 5 p.m. and not ending until after 10, but even the final horse, a half-sister to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner George Washington, didn’t stop the bidding until she hit $545,000. She didn’t sell but the final bid topped off a night that saw the cheapest horse sold go for $20,000.

Some of those sold on Monday night were Grade 1 winners or producers, Breeders’ Cup winners, or Eclipse Champions. Others were young horses who haven’t yet had a chance to prove that they are a name to remember but with 134 of the 180 horses cataloged going through the ring and 87 of those horses selling, it is evident that no matter what the prestige of the animal in the ring, buyers are willing to spend their money.

Even though the final auction of the season at Fasig-Tipton’s Lexington grounds is over, Keeneland's 10 day finale is currently in progress. The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale started less than 12 hours after the end of Fasig-Tipton and from the results of the first session, it is obvious that some buyers have moved across town to the other pavilion.

Switch on her way to selling for $4.3 million at Fasig-Tipton's Monday night sale.
Some notable horses are still to come in the next week and the excitement that was felt in the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion Monday night is sure to stay alive until the last horse leaves the ring. In the first day of the sale, five horses sold for over $1 million with last year's Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty topping the session at $4.2 million.

After Keeneland's sale ends on the 16th, buyers will be given a little over a month off before focus turns to breeding season and the next round of sales. If those sales bring the results that have been seen in the ring the first full week of November, fans can be assured that the future of racing is bright.

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