The Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale, held August 26 on the grounds of Lone Star Park near Dallas, continued its trend with a smaller catalogue but posted significant gains in average and median and a much lower buy-back rate compared to last year.
All told, 97 yearlings from 116 offered were sold for a gross of $1,255,100, an increase of 9.1 percent from last year’s gross receipts of $1,150,000 when 113 sold from an offering of 155 head. While those figures pale in comparison to just five years ago, when the auction boasted nearly 450 head over a two-day format, this year’s average of $12,939 represents a jump of 27.1 percent from last year’s $10,177 and marked the highest average since the 2007 auction. The median took a similar jump of 33.3 percent from $6,000 to $8,000, and the buy-back rate improved to 16.4 percent from 27.1 percent.
“We were pleased, and many consignors told me they were happy with the buy-back rate being so low,” said Tim Boyce, director of sales for Fasig-Tipton Texas. “I can’t remember the last time we had a buy-back rate that low, so that was encouraging. When you add in the average and median both being up about 30 percent, and the gross being up with a smaller catalogue, it all adds up to a solid sale.”
The number of entries in the sale has steadily declined since 2008, as the Texas breeding and racing program has struggled and new yearling auctions have sprung up in Oklahoma and Louisiana. One benefit of the reduction in entries has been the ability to hold the auction in the evening, rather than its traditional mid-morning start. Last year’s auction was the first to be held with a 5 p.m. start time, and that format was repeated this year with a cocktail party preceding the auction.
“Our Texas-bred average was around $11,000, which is pretty strong especially considering we had more of them this year, and the Louisiana-bred average was strong at around $16,000,” added Boyce. “I think we ran we ran out of good horses before we ran out of money.”
A pair of fillies sold for $65,000 apiece to top the sale, with both going to leading Texas owner Tom Durant from the consignment of Lane’s End Texas, agent.
A Texas-bred from the first crop of grade I winner Discreetly Mine was first through the ring. The March foal is the first out of the Mineshaft daughter Sign Up, a half sister to group I winner Certify and grade I winner Cry and Catch Me.
“She’s very sound,” said Danny Shifflett, farm manager at Lane’s End Texas, which topped the consignor list with 27 sold for $358,100. “She’s a good honest filly with a good body and by a young sire that has a lot of opportunity in the future.”
Joining her as the sale-topper, consigned by Lane’s End Texas for La Bahia Stud Inc., was a Kentucky-bred filly by Birdstone out of Golden Sheba, an unraced Coronado’s Quest mare. Golden Sheba is half sister to grade I winner Congaree, and her first starter is the 3-year-old Wedding Toast, who captured a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight contest at Saratoga Race Course on July 29 in her second career start.
“She did that very impressively,” Shifflett said about Wedding Toast, a Darley Stable homebred by Street Sense. “She’s a graded stakes potential filly.”
Durant, who led all buyers with four purchases for $169,000, said the two fillies, along with two colts he bought at the sale, will be pointed to the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity next summer at Lone Star Park, where he is the track’s all-time leading owner.
“They both looked like racehorses and to me they were the two best horses in the sale,” said Durant. “I was happy to be able to get them at that price. Had it been any other sale, they might have been more expensive horses.”
Another prominent owner, Maggi Moss, purchased the third-highest seller, an Arkansas-bred filly by Eddington out of a stakes-placed Boston Harbor mare. The top selling colt, also an Arkansas-bred, was a son of Old Fashioned out of a stakes-winning and multiple stakes producing mare who sold for $50,000 to Terry Gabriel. Inside Move Inc., agent, consigned both.
For hip-by-hip results, go to www.fasigtipton.com.