Numbers Hold Steady at Fasig Winter Mixed Sale

LEXINGTON, KY.–The overall numbers held steady at the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale after a strong second session at Newtown Paddocks Tuesday that concluded with the very last horse to go through the ring, Girl Talk (Medaglia d’Oro), topping the sale at $310,000.

Overall, 364 horses sold for a gross of $10,436,800, compared to 2017 when 351 horses summoned $9,501,800. The average was up 5.69% from $27,071 last term to $28,613 and median also increased slightly, from $9,000 to $10,500. With 107 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 22.7%, down from 25.5% a year ago. A total of 24 horses brought six figures this year, compared to 23 in the 2017 renewal, which was topped by the $700,000 mare Cinnamon Spice (Candy Ride {Arg}).

“It’s the same old story,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr. said. “There was significant demand for the quality offerings–there was really spirited bidding. The way the catalogue fell, I thought we had a stronger group of horses going into today. It is always kind of nice to end with a bang with the sales-topper being the last horse through the ring, but she deserved it, being by Medaglia d’Oro out of a legitimate family and a stakes performer.”

Browning continued, “There weren’t really any surprises. Most of us would have predicted the same trends continuing. There was really no reason for any changes in the marketplace. You can really sell a good horse right now. There is a lot of demand. The one thing that continues to be encouraging is the number of bidders on both the foals and the mares, especially on the horses that sold well. There is some depth in the marketplace for quality offerings. It is not fun for horses that miss the mark.”

Tuesday’s session saw 183 horses sell for $6,302,600, compared to the corresponding 2017 session when 187 horses brought $4,799,500. The median increased 62.5%, from $8,000 to $13,000, and average rose 34.2%, from $25,666 to $34,440. Forty-two horses failed to meet their reserves for a buy-back rate of 18.7%, compared to the 2017 figure of 19.7%.

The concluding session, and the sale, was topped by the 5-year-old racing or broodmare prospect Girl Talk, who summoned $310,000 from Codee Guffey of Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds. The mare was consigned by Denali Stud’s Conrad Bandoroff, who was running his family’s consignment solo for the first time. Bandoroff agreed with Browning’s comments from Monday that the market was still the same.

“As Boyd said yesterday, it is kind of the status quo,” Bandoroff said. “If you have one of these offerings with a good race record, a little bit of pedigree and a quality physical, you don’t have a problem selling those horses.”

Bandoroff continued, “It is towards the bottom of the market where it is sticky, where, if a mare has some age or some gaps in her produce record, she is harder to move. It’s kind of been that way, so it is no surprise. You kind of know going to the ring if you are going to be feeling lonely or have company.”

Michael Hernon of Gainesway, which consigned the second highest-priced offering of the day, the 4-year-old mare Tricky One (Unbridled’s Song), felt the value fell in the mare market.

“Fillies like [Tricky One] are bringing a real premium,” Hernon said. “Mares in foal are of real value in my opinion. It’s almost like people have forgotten mares are having these foals. Everyone wants to buy the weanling that’s good and there is a real divergence then, but that is the market we are operating in and we have to adjust our reserves accordingly. We sold every horse we brought here, some very well and some at a lower level. You just have to be realistic about what you have. The name of the game is to sell the horses.”

The highest-priced yearling of both the day and the sale was a Tiznow colt, who was purchased for $260,000 by Glen Brock, buying on behalf of pinhooking partnership. Ron Blake, whose Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consigned the colt, echoed the sentiments of most consignors about the continued demand for quality in the market.

“It is the same as it’s been,” Blake said. “All the good horses, everybody gets on them and you get a result like this. If you have what they don’t like is when it gets problematic.”

Medaglia Mare is ‘Talk’ of the Town at Fasig

Fasig-Tipton saved the best for last during its Winter Mixed Sale as the very last horse through the ring during Tuesday’s final session, the 5-year-old racing or broodmare prospect Girl Talk (Medaglia d’Oro), topped the sale, when bringing a final bid of $310,000 from Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds’ Codee Guffey. A late addition to the sale, Hip 574 was consigned by Denali Stud for owners Ramona Bass and Cheyenne Stables.

“We really liked the filly,” said Guffey, who added that he came to Fasig specifically to buy Girl Talk. “I think our plan right now is to let Dallas Stewart try to continue racing her this year and then we will retire her to our farm. We don’t have many mares, but this definitely stepped up our quality, so we are excited.”

Guffey added, “They have given her dam every chance in the world. She has a lot of upcoming offspring that we are excited about, so that page could really improve. I think there is only one way to go with that filly.”

Guffey is the managing partner for Carrie and Joe Smith’s Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds. The Smiths purchased the old Classic Star property in Versailles, in 2013. They currently have eight pregnant mares on the farm and one horse in training with Stewart.

“We obviously would have liked to have gotten her a little cheaper, but the good ones seem to cost a little more money,” Guffey said. “We are just glad to have her. We are trying to add quality to our broodmare band.”

Daughters of Medaglia d’Oro are in high demand due to the exploits of Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra, two-time champion Songbird, and MGISWs Elate, Plum Pretty and New Money Honey. Guffey said Girl Talk’s sire was certainly a factor in the purchase.

“We don’t have any mares by him, so that was a big selling feature for sure,” Guffey confirmed.

Campaigned by Bass and Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables, the $390,000 KEESEP yearling’s record currently stands at 7-2-2-1 with earnings of $117,545 while under the care of Kiaran McLaughlin. The bay finished second in the Ladies H. at Aqueduct when last seen Jan. 21.

“We tossed around a few [stallion] ideas, Curlin, maybe Gun Runner,” Guffey said. “But, the plan right now is to race her this year and try to add to her race record. Obviously, that will help in the long run. We will probably take her home and give her a couple of days. This was a lot to take in for her. We will give her four or five days and then she will go down to the Dallas Stewart at the Fair Grounds.”

Bred by G. Watts Humphrey, Jr., and Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust, Girl Talk is out of MGSW One Caroline (Unbridled’s Song), who is also the dam of GSP Improv (Distorted Humor). One Caroline, a daughter of SW Powder (Broad Brush), has a 2-year-old filly by Bernardini and a yearling colt by Candy Ride (Arg).

“I kind of had her in that range being a Medaglia d’Oro out of an Unbridled’s Song mare,” said Conrad Bandoroff.

“She was a hell of a racemare,” Bandoroff continued. “We were kind of thinking in that ballpark. She was a pretty filly who showed herself pretty well the entire time she was here. We were lucky to have the opportunity to represent her for Mr. Dobson and Ramona Bass. You can run her a few more times or send her to the shed. There are a lot of options. When you have those mares who give you that flexibility, they should give you a premium.”

As for why Girl Talk was such a late addition to the catalogue, Bandoroff said, “She had her second in a stakes at Aqueduct at the end of January and the owners felt this was a great time to capitalize on her and cash in. With her pedigree and her physical, picking up that black-type allowed her to get to that level today. A lot of the fillies on the grounds here that made the money were the stakes performers with the quality physicals.”

Sumaya Strikes For Tricky One

Oussama Aboughazale’s Sumaya US has been on a buying spree at the Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale for the last two years and made headlines later in Tuesday’s session when going to $275,000 for the 4-year-old filly Tricky One (Unbridled’s Song), who sold as a broodmare prospect.

“I’ve had two or three people come up to me and say they thought she was one of the prettiest mares in this sale,” said Sumaya US farm manager Jody Alexander, who signed the ticket on the attractive bay. “She had a nice walk to her. Mr. Aboughazale was here Saturday and saw this mare prior to leaving and he liked her. He’s got a pretty keen eye.”

Tricky One will be bred to Sumaya’s MGSW and MGISP Protonico (Giant’s Causeway), who was moved to Darby Dan Farm for this season after having previously stood at Taylor Made.

“We moved Protonico to Darby Dan, so we are focusing now on the Protonico mares,” Alexander explained. “We don’t mind spending a little money to get some nice mares to Protonico. He thinks very highly of the stallion. He said he was very courageous and had a lot of heart. We are trying to get good mares to him so people can see the runners he produces.”

Bred and campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Hip 498 is out of SW and GSP Simplify (Pulpit) and is a half-sister to SW Simple Surprise (Cowboy Cal). Trained by Steve Asmussen, Tricky One won two of her nine starts and earned $73,683.

“She was really a top filly,” said Michael Hernon of Gainesway, which consigned the filly. “A lot of people liked her. The mare is back in foal to American Pharaoh. [Tricky One] had a lot of ability. She won her debut impressively. She just looked the part and that price far exceeded our expectations. She was here to sell and had a low reserve on her of $40,000 just to get her off the mark. She had a strong following. My feeling was she would probably bring $150,000. This was a very strong premium. But it is indicative of this market for the quality young broodmares.”

Unbridled’s Song died in July of 2013, but his remaining progeny have been performing well both on the track and in the sales ring. He is the sire of champion Arrogate and newly crowned champion older mare Forever Unbridled, as well as her Grade I-winning sister Unbridled Forever. He has also proven to be a top broodmare sire with 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Tourist (Tiznow) as a prime example.

“No question he is the leading broodmare sire,” Hernon said. “She gets her size and scope from him. He has had significant success as broodmare sire and this filly has a good family behind her and is by him with that physique. We are very appreciative of both [the buyer and seller], especially the buyer, and wish them the very best.”

Brock Wins Out On Tiznow Colt

Glen Brock came out on top of a spirited round of bidding to secure a Tiznow colt for $260,000 on behalf of a pinhooking partnership Tuesday.

“I bought this horse for a group of pinhookers who would like to remain anonymous,” Brock said. “He is going to go to Ocala on Brook Ledge [Horse Transportation].”

Brock, who is Vice President of Sales for Brook Ledge, continued, “I loved him from the minute I saw him walk in the ring. He was a little more expensive than we expected, but we were sure willing.”

Hip 419 is out of the Tapit mare See Rock City, who also produced stakes-placed runners One More (Holy Bull) and Big Red Rocket (Summer Bird).

“He’s a beautiful colt, great walk, very easy to handle,” said Ron Blake, of Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services, which consigned the colt. “He looks like he could be any kind. They are going to breed the mare back to Tiznow. She has already had two stakes horses. We are very happy with him and very happy with what he sold for.”

The bay was bred by Fredericka Caldwell and Mitchel Skolnick, who were also represented by a City Zip colt (hip 342) that RNA’d for $140,000.

“He is owned by the Caldwells in partnership with one of their clients,” Blake said. “The Caldwells are mainly in the Standardbred business. They have won the Hambeltonian Oaks four times. They own two Thoroughbred mares and they would just as soon not fool with the yearlings later in the year if they don’t have to. They would rather bring them here, hope they stand out and get the money and they are happy to move on. We had two in here to sell for them and we had one RNA, the City Zip, but we love the horse, so we will sell him later in the year. We think he will do very well. There are only about 40 City Zip yearlings left.”

De Meric & Klaravich Get Into More ‘Mischief’

Two-year-old consignor Nick de Meric broke and trained the recently retired Practical Joke, a multiple Grade I-winning son of Into Mischief, for Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. The Ocala-based horseman called in to Fasig-Tipton February to secure another colt by that top Spendthrift sire on behalf of Klaravich for $220,000 Tuesday.

Bred by Mark Toothaker, David Meche, Tonya Jergens and Perry Judice, Hip 368 is the third foal out of Princess Kate (Orientate). The bay hails from the family of Grade I winner Free Drop Billy (Union Rags) and English Highweight and Group 1 winner Hawkbill (Kitten’s Joy).

“Lovely horse,” said consignor Stuart Morris. “I really appreciate Mark Toothaker and his partners giving me the opportunity to sell him for them. I’ve been watching the horse since early November and he has really evolved and progressed very well physically. He handled everything out here fantastically and is a really top quality colt. He has a 2-year-old half-brother by Goldencents that is training very forwardly down in Florida right now. I feel very fortunate to have a colt that nice and be trusted by those folks. I am very happy with the result.”

Into Mischief was the leading sire of 3-year-olds in North America last year by earnings and winners with his top earner being Practical Joke. His other top performers in 2017 include graded stakes winners Miss Sunset, Engage and One Liner.

The half-brother to four-time Eclipse winner Beholder is off to a good start this year with impressive GII Holy Bull S. winner Audible and third-place finisher Tiz Mischief.

Moana Proves Popular at Fasig

The 4-year-old mare Moana (Uncle Mo) was expected to be popular at the February sale and she did not disappoint, hammering for $200,000 to Roderick Wachman. Coolmore was the underbidder.

“She’s a very good-looking filly,” Wachman said after signing the ticket out back. “She’s by possibly the best sire in the country. She will be bred and resold, I imagine. We will decide who to go to.”

As for the price, he said, “I was hoping to get her a little more reasonably than that, but that is the market. I think these quality individuals by proper stallions with a race record are bringing an absolute premium. I am hoping the market will remain strong for some time to come. I know the stock market is looking a little shaky, but I wouldn’t worry about that. I think it will be a very strong November this year and September.”

A $150,000 KEESEP yearling, Moana was purchased by Eclipse Thoroughbreds and Bridlewood Farm for $300,000 the following year at OBS April. Trained by Todd Pletcher, she retires with a record of 7-1-1-2 and earnings of $91,850. The dark bay finished third in the GII Mother Goose S. last term and made her final start at Tampa in December.

Moana is out of the MSP Dixietwostepper (More Than Ready), who sold to Newtown Anner Stud for $35,000 carrying a foal by Orb at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Hip 319 hails from the family of GISW Cotton Blossom and GSW Vicarage.

“I had hoped that she might bring in that range,” consignor Meg Levy of Bluewater Sales said. “You never know what is going to happen. It seemed the broodmare prospects were selling quite well yesterday. This morning when I saw that Midnight Lute sell for $200,000, I thought we might be there. Her reserve was reasonable. She was on the market. Eclipse and Bridlewood offered her fairly for sale and that is what she brought. I am really happy with her home. She is going to Claiborne and I think she will have a really good shot there. She is a very classy filly.”