Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Observations from a Historic Fasig-Tipton July Sale

The first yearling sale of the year in Kentucky is in the books and it was a history maker. Numbers were up and for the first time since 2006, a seven figure yearling was seen in the Fasig-Tipton July Sale ring.

Medaglia d’Oro was the king of the sale, but more than one young sire made their presence known here as did a few buyers. Read on for some observations made at the sale and some horses and people you should watch out for later in the year.

Medaglia d'Oro
Medaglia d’Oro – Days after New Money Honey gave him another Grade 1 victory to add to his stallion resume, Medaglia d’Oro was back in the headlines as the sire of the first $1-million yearling at the Fasig-Tipton July sale since 2006 and first filly to bring that price since 1982. The filly, out of the stakes placed Malibu Moon mare Hung the Moon, helped create fireworks at the end of the sale when she went through the ring with less than 10 hips left. The filly, consigned by Bluewater Sales, is one of five yearlings by the stallion sold for seven figures in the past four years.

Young Sires – Eighteen year old Medaglia d’Oro had the sale topper but the top 18 (four brought $200,000 to round out the list) highest priced yearlings were mostly sired by younger stallions. Eight of the 13 stallions with yearlings on that top 18 list are 12 years old or younger with three (Cairo Prince, Strong Mandate, Verrazano) having first yearlings and three others (Orb, Maclean’s Music, Shackleford) having only two crops of racing age on the track.

Of the 65 yearlings to sell for six figures (in the ring and during private sales as of the night of July 11), 37 (56.9 percent) are by stallions 10 years of age or younger. Digging even farther, 16 of those 65 (24.6 percent) are by stallions who have first crop yearlings this year.

Verrazano 
Numbers – The $1-million filly helped boost the gross total of the sale above last year’s number and the average and median to $93,645 and $70,000 respectively, as well. But even removing her from the average calculations saw the average rise 2.6 percent (with the filly in, the average rose 8.8 percent) while the number of horses sold dropped from 183 to 172, though 49 less horses went through the ring. The number of horses not sold as of Tuesday night dropped by 38.

Nine horses sold for $250,000 or more, 66 sold for $100,000 or more and 10 returned home to their owners after RNAing for $100,000 or more. One hundred and seven different buyers (including agents who included other names on their tickets) signed for the 172 horses sold in the ring or purchased privately afterward.
                                          
Cairo Prince – Cairo Prince was injured and retired before his full talent was seen on the track but if the July Sale is any indication, buyers believe in the Pioneerof the Nile son’s talent as a sire. Cairo Prince had eight go through the ring with all selling when the hammer dropped or shortly after (he had two private purchases.) Of those eight, six brought $100,000 or more with two landing in the top 18 most expensive horses. His most expensive was a colt out of Turtle Beach, who brought $265,000 and led the session for a while after taking the lead from another Cairo Prince colt out of stakes placed Tesoro de Amor, who sold for $260,000. With these early results, keep an eye on this stallion as we get farther into the sales season this year.

Kenny McPeek – Trainer Kenny McPeek will have a barn full of 2-year-olds next year if he gets to train all the horses he purchased at this sale. McPeek purchased nine yearlings for a total of $1,040,000 and an average of $115,556. His most expensive is an Orb colt out of Aurora Prospect purchased for Fern Circle while his least expensive was a $40,000 I Want Revenge filly out of stakes placed Whiletheiron’shot for Jim Morris. Overall, according to how he signed the tickets, McPeek bought horses for five different clients on Tuesday.

Into Mischief's Hip  277 (sold for $165,000) as a foal
Into Mischief – One of the hottest sires out there right now, it’s not a big surprise Into Mischief was a big deal at this sale but he seemed to pop up everywhere. Of the 10 Into Mischief yearlings to go through the ring, five sold for a total of $955,000 and an average of $191,000 with three others RNAing for $150,000 or more. His most expensive was a $300,000 colt out of Diamond Fancy Free while none of his others to sell brought under $100,000. Overall, it was a good day for Spendthrift and the stallion.

OXO Equine – Larry Best has been buying horses under the OXO Equine name for less than a year but he’s been making a big splash every time he goes to a sale. The new owner bought four 2-year-olds earlier this year for a total of $4.75-million and added a $1-million yearling to that tally when he purchased the Medaglia d’Oro filly talked about earlier. Best doesn’t seem to be taking the quantity approach to buying with just seven horses in his barn according to Blood-Horse but the amount of money he’s willing to spend could make the upcoming yearling sales interesting. Perhaps in good news for consignors, Best isn’t afraid to drop big bucks on fillies as three of his five purchases this year have been fillies with two topping their respective sales. 

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