Holding down the space as the first major yearling sale of the Thoroughbred auction season often brings a unique set of challenges to the Fasig-Tipton July auction, particularly due the timing of the exercise.
With the single-session sale set to take place at its Newtown Pike paddocks beginning at 10 a.m. this Monday, participants in the jump off event of the yearling marketplace expect the increasingly unique total look of the auction to provide the boost needed for momentum to remain on the positive end of the spectrum.
For the second straight season, the Fasig-Tipton July select yearling sale will be immediately followed by a Horses of Racing Age sale, which was added as a companion auction for the first time in 2013.
Part of Fasig’s impetus for adding the Horses of Racing Age exercise was to try and lure trainers and end-users who might not otherwise be willing to peel away at time when the boutique meets at Del Mar and Saratoga are poised to get underway.
The crossover appeal of giving potential buyers more options for their buck brought positive returns a year ago as the yearling sale posted double-digit gains in average and median while Grade I winner Starship Truffles brought the fireworks among the horses of racing age when she went to Castleton Lyons for $1 million.
Adding to the one-stop shopping identity of the July auction is the fact this year’s sale will also feature a 13-horse dispersal of broodmares and weanlings from the elite program of owner Eugene Melnyk.
“I think it’s a major advantage because what you find is you draw in trainers and end-users that maybe typically wouldn’t come to this sale,” said consignor Stuart Morris. “That’s the one thing Fasig fights here is the timing of the sale, two weeks before Saratoga and Del Mar, a lot of the big guys are focused on getting those stables dialed in.
“You have to find the capacity where it is worth it for a trainer to come in from out of state and it has to be a big enough number in the catalog to justify being gone. I think it will be a good year for everybody and positive for the industry going forward.”
There is still a healthy dose of good feelings in the market coming off a juvenile sales season that was generally positive despite spotty returns and high buy-back rates at its boutique auctions.
While yearling-to-juvenile resellers should be active again as they restock their inventory, the on-going reduction in the foal crop numbers is something some believe will contribute to end-users spending money at levels they didn’t previously dip in to.
Where larger foal crops naturally allowed for buyers to be more picky in when and what type of horses they purchased, having a smaller pool overall to chose from has upped the urgency to stock up for the future.
“Before we had a glut and we had more supply and demand and now….I see more of these end-users trying to get product earlier in the pipeline,” said Mark Taylor of leading consignor Taylor Made Sales. “They used to wait and now they say, hey even if I’m looking for horses that can run for a tag they might come in here and buy inexpensive yearlings. So I think that’s what is really what is driving it.
“When there are tons of foals out there, you create different types of pinhooking. And it’s not bad, but if everyone is always trying to resell it to somebody else, the market is not 100 percent true.”
Supply and demand should be in harmony again as 265 yearlings have been cataloged for that sale while the Horses of Racing Age sale had over 130 entries with more still being taken over the weekend.
“It is interesting because with the way the foal crop has shrunk, it’s gotten a little competitive as the market has picked back up,” said Spendthrift Farm general manager Ned Toffey. “There are a lot of savvy people out there that are looking for a good buy any place they can get it. I don’t think there are too many soft spots out there anymore.”