It was hot and humid, but that didn’t stop the bids or the buyers from coming; arriving in force from both hemispheres. Many came seeking the stallions that were on offer that came with coveted bloodlines from the best families in the American Stud Book. Those same families usually don’t go for sale, so this proved a rare chance to get those legendary genes into new markets.
Monday’s auction went a bit better for the totals over last year with 84 horses bringing in a total of just over $8 million in 2017. The average was $96,226 and the median was $56,000 with 15 not reaching their reserve price.
Yesterday’s (July 9th, 2018) auction came to a total of 100 horses sold for $9,318,000 (15.3% increase from last year). The average fell to $93,180 and the median also fell to $50,000; the horses that didn’t meet reserve price rose to 19 horses (16.0%), suggesting that the market is in favor of the buyers mid-way through the racing age sale season.
The HORA sales topper came in the form of the lovely chestnut HIP 485- My Miss Tapit, who hammered down at $700,000 about halfway through the auction session on Monday. The daughter of Tapit (from the immediate family of champion Ashado) beat out her nearest price competitor by $25,000. She was purchased by Breeze Easy and the report post auction is that she will remain in training with Saratoga as a target for this year.
HIP 556, Okinawa went the way of Nathan McCauley for Abbondanza Racing for $200,000; a price deserving of a filly who set the new course record at Aqueduct for six furlongs back in April when she burned through the trip in 1:07.91 with a two length victory as icing on the cake. She came from the Claiborne Farm consignment and the 4YO grey daughter of The Factor has a record of (6: 2-1-0) that will likely only improve from here.
Alter Moon (HIP 574) is only a 3YO but she’s already made a name for herself by winning the Azalea S. by an open five lengths at Gulfstream Park on June 30th. She won an allowance race at that same track by a staggering 15 lengths, which prompted her entrance into the stakes race arena. She was purchased by Steven W. Young acting as an agent. She brought $675,000, which made her the second most expensive sale on Monday evening.
Revved Up (HIP 504) was another high profile Claiborne consignment that brought waves to the sale. Out of the incredible Phipps family breeding program, his dam is the champion Storm Flag Flying. This female line goes back to the family of Personal Ensign and Personal Flag, both Grade I millionaires in their own right with the former being an undefeated Breeders’ Cup Distaff victor and Hall of Famer. The 5YO Revved Up is multiple graded stakes placed and the striking bay was purchased by Empire Thoroughbreds for $350,000.
HIP 492 was one of the horses that everyone had their eye on, as this 4YO son of Into Mischief may be best remembered for his victory in last year’s Southwest S. (Gr. III) at Oaklawn park, where he beat the 2017 Kentucky Derby runner-up Looking At Lee by almost 12 lengths. He was purchased by Whispering Oaks from the Winstar Racing consignment for $400,000 and it was trainer Steve Asmussen that signed the ticket.
HIP 443 was the individual that I was most looking forward to and the results did not disappoint! Fire Away is a 6YO graded stakes winner by War Front who brought a lovely price of $450,000 from South African connections. The plan is for him to start his stud career immediately upon arriving in the country, so his racing career is presumably over. Joseph Brocklebank, agent for Form Bloodstock signed the ticket for him, and looked quite pleased with the handsome purchase. This half to Gr. I winner Mr. Speaker will get every chance at a great stud career, as his immediate family of champions Personal Ensign and Storm Flag Flying tells only of success.
HIP 412 finishes off my short list as Blazen Betsy brought $325,000 early into the auction. She was purchased by Green Lantern Stables from the ELiTE consignment, and her racing performance may soon make this price tag a bargain. Breaking her maiden at Thistledown by a whopping 13 lengths while never leaving what was described as a “brisk hand ride”, she never finished off the board for her previous connections. As only a 3YO, there is a lot of time for her to improve and show that her price tag (plus her 2: 1-1-0 record) are no fluke.
The July Yearling sale only recently concluded and an article with that summary of results will be posted once the figures are final.