Friday, March 3, 2017

Observations from the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale

With the first 2-year-old sale in the books, it was an interesting evening at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday night with three horses selling for $1-million or more and numbers looking better than 2016 nearly all around. Here are some quick observations made about this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale and the stallions represented in it.

Cary Frommer: The last few years, it’s seemed like everything Cary Frommer touches turns to gold and this sale was no exception. Frommer sent five through the ring and two of the three brought over $1-million with one being the sales topper. That filly, by Uncle Mo, was a $50,000 weanling two years ago and when pinhooked as a yearling last year, bought by Frommer at Fasig-Tipton in July for $250,000. Frommer’s other $1-million horse saw a big jump in price from when he was a yearling, selling for $235,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s July Sale in Kentucky and bringing $1.1-million to be the third highest priced horse of this sale. Both tickets were signed by Lawrence Best's OXO Equine and will go to Chad Brown according to Paulick Report.

The sales topping Uncle Mo filly with her dam as a foal
Established Sires: Unlike last year where the top of the leader board was taken over by younger stallions, this year it was pretty much the opposite. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) and Bodemeister (Empire Maker) were the only two sires with the top 11 most expensive horses (horses who sold for $550,000 or more) to have less than five crops of racing age. In fact, the average age of the nine sires in that price range is 14 ½ years of age.

Empire Maker: Empire Maker (Unbridled) sons were popular at this sale last year and this year was no different. His sons Bodemeister and Pioneerof the Nile both had two horses each sell for at least $500,000. Empire Maker’s first crop of weanlings since returning to the U.S. will be hitting the ring in the fall and it will be interesting to see if his sons’ prices at all auction levels translate to how he does.

Bodemeister
Uncle Mo: It’s no surprise that this stallion is so hot right now, he produced a Kentucky Derby winner in his first crop (who sold at this sale two years ago) and has at least two on the trail this year. But what may be surprising is that the 2-year-olds who sold here were conceived on an advertised fee of just $27,500. They averaged over 20 times that fee at this sale with an average of $565,000 with three Uncle Mos bringing $250,000 or more out of the six to go through the ring (one to go through the ring RNAed).

Freshman Sire Love: None of this year’s freshman sires made it to the top of the prices, but they did pretty well for themselves. Kentucky Derby winner Orb’s (Malibu Moon) first crop seems to be getting better looking with age and it paid off with China Horse Club and WinStar Farm paying $500,000 for his colt by multiple stakes winner Spring Awakening (In Excess). Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) also made some nose with Dennis O’Neill buying one of his colts for $485,000 while Paynter (Awesome Again) and Flat Out (Flatter) also broke into the $400,000 club with colts selling for $425,000 and $400,000 respectively.

Orb
Harlan’s Holiday: Harlan’s Holiday’s (Harlan) last crop went through the ring here last year but his presence was still felt through his sons. Into Mischief and Shanghai Bobby combined to have seven horses sold for $2.73-million and an average of $390,000. Into Mischief has made big strides toward establishing himself as one of the top sires in the U.S. in recent years while Shanghai Bobby’s first runners hit the track this year.

Overall Impressions: While the $1.5-million sales topper was less expensive than last year’s $1.8-million topper and there were fewer $1-million horses, there were five more horses sold for $500,000 or more than last year’s 11 at this sale. The number of horses who went through the ring dropped this year but fewer of those horses returned home with their consignors with just 11 horses RNAing compared to last year’s 30. Despite fewer horses going through the ring, the total of $25,115,000 for 74 sold was up 16.3 percent from $21,590,000 for 66 sold last year with both the median and average rising as well.

More buyers also seemed to take horses hope on Wednesday night with tickets signed for 52 different people compared to 49 in 2016. There was no change in horses sold for under $100,000 this year compared to last year at nine. The same goes for the $100,000 to $250,000 range with 26 selling between those prices both years. The biggest changes were seen between the $251,000 to $499,000 range with 23 2-year-olds sold for those prices this year compared to 20 last year and in the $500,000 and above club with 16 2-year-olds joining the club compared to 11 last year.

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