SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY- The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale begins its two-day run at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion Monday evening with the first of 227 -catalogued yearlings scheduled to go through the ring at 6:30 p.m.
A day after racing fans were treated to a pair of dazzling Grade I events at the racetrack across the street, shoppers were out in force at the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds on a picture-perfect Sunday morning in upstate New York.
” There is a lot of activity on the grounds ,” said Fasig-Tipton President and CEO Boyd Browning, Jr.” We’ve certainly watched all the right faces-some of the’ old reliable’ Saratoga supporters are out in force and we’ve also insured some new faces that have been active at some of the earlier marketings this year and are a welcome addition. It feels very positive. There is a good vibe on the sales grounds .”
Kaleem Shah and trainer Simon Callaghan were in the Saratoga winner’s circle after American Gal( Concord Point )’ s dominating victory in the GI Test S. Saturday and the two were busy inducing the rounds at the sales barns Sunday.
” One of the special things about Saratoga is, you go to the races Saturday and you find ponies like Gun Runner perform at the absolute highest level and you watch fillies like American Gal win the Test-she put on a dazzling display ,” Browning told.” It get people enthused. It’s a unique set-up at Saratoga. You can have magic happen on the racetrack and it can have an impact on the sale the following few days .”
In addition to Shah and Callaghan, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and Juddmonte’s Garrett O’Rourke were vying for viewing space at a busy Gainesway consignment, which produced two of the three best priced yearlings at the 2016 Saratoga sale.
” Just looking around here, we’ve got very strong activity ,” said Gainesway’s Michael Hernon.” I think this is probably stronger than usual. Gainesway has a really top group of ponies this year, an extraordinary group. It’s a boutique sale and these are boutique ponies. The expectations for the sale are strong. Saratoga is an upper-level market and when you have the product, you have the players .”
During last year’s Saratoga sale, 156 yearlings selling off $45,570, 000. The average was $292,115 and the median was $237,500. Two yearlings sold for seven figures, with a filly by Medaglia d’Oro bringing top price of $1.45 million when selling to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm.
The coverboy on this year’s Saratoga catalogue is Tapwrit( Tapit ), who sold for $1.2 million in 2015. Two months ago, the gray colt became the Saratoga sale’s fourth GI Belmont S. win in the last six years.
Denali Stud, which consigned the 2016 sale topper, will offer a Speightstown half-brother to Tapwrit during Tuesday’s second session of the two-day auction.
” Obviously, it’s a big deal ,” Denali’s Craig Bandoroff told of offering hip 124.” Tapwrit’s training well. There is a bit of talk over there and it sounds like he’s coming up to the[ Aug. 26 GI] Travers doing well. This colt is totally different-Tapwrit looked like a Tapit. This one is by Speightstown and he looks like Speightstown, but Speightstown is a great sire .”
Bandoroff said he expects to see a continuation of the polarized marketplace during the two-day Saratoga sale, with high demand for the top offerings.
” I think it will be more of the same ,” he told.” If you can clear the bar, you’re probably going to get paid as well as ever. If you don’t clear the bar, you’re not going to clear the bar. We are all hoping to see the market spread out a little more and perhap it will, it’s too soon to say .”
Browning said he is looking for a strong, steady marketplace.
” I think that it will be an energetic marketplace and, though the market has been healthy and positive, it’s not crazy ,” Browning told.” We’re not going to have a crazy marketplace. People are still going to buy horses-they are going to hopefully stretch a little further than they hoped they would have to go-but it’s not going to be silly. I would always prefer to have a solid, sustainable marketplace. And it feels like that’s what we’re going to have here. It feels very positive and we’re looking forward to gettting started Monday night .”
Scat Daddy’s Final Yearlings Set to Sell
Scat Daddy, who passed away in December 2015 at the age of 11, is represented by his final harvest of yearlings in 2017 just as his runners continue to produce excellent results on racetracks around the world. The late Coolmore stallion has 12 offerings catalogued in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.
” I’ve never been one to supposed the’ last crop’ has an impact ,” told Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning, Jr.” What we’re delighted to have is 12 yearlings by a sire as good as Scat Daddy. He was a tremendous loss to the industry. He was so versatile. He ran in Europe, in America, on grass and grime. He was truly one of the most versatile stallions at the top end that we’ve seen in quite some time and he was just hitting his stride. It’s a loss for the marketplace, for the racing the enterprises and plainly for the Coolmore/ Ashford operation. But I really don’t think it changes the dynamic that much because it’s his last harvest. I think there will be competition for him because they are good ponies and he was a really good sire .”
Scat Daddy had a Royal Ascot meeting of historic proportions, with G1 Commonwealth Cup winner Caravaggio and G1 King’ s Stand S. win Lady Aurelia leading his quartet of wins during the week.
” He is having a breakthough year ,” told Michael Hernon of Gainesway, which will offer three of the 12 yearlings by Scat Daddy catalogued at the Saratoga sale.” Scat Daddy can get you a top Grade/ Group 1 filly or colt. Unfortunately, he’s not with us any more, but we’ve got very good product by him here .”
Scat Daddy’s Final Saratoga Yearlings
Pricey War Front Filly Returns to Sales Ring
The royally bred Maryinsky( Ire)( Sadler’s Wells ), dam of champ Peeping Fawn( Danehill) and Group 1 win Thewayyouare( Kingmambo ), was represented twice in the sales ring at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale and SF Bloodstock and Newgate Farm scooped up both offerings. The operations paid $810,000 to procure the unraced mare Unbelievable( Ire)( Fastnet Rock Aus )( hip 333) and $650,000 for Maryinsky’s weanling daughter by War Front( hip 248 ). That filly returns to the sales ring Tuesday as hip 135 in Gerry Dilger’s Dromoland Farm consignment at the Saratoga sale and she is the most expensive pinhooking prospect in the two-day auction.
” She was a very straightforward filly ,” SF Bloodstock’s Tom Ryan told of the weanling’s appeal.” She represents their own families well .”
Asked if the plan was always to reoffer the youngster, Ryan said,” We felt we had options when we bought her. She is a filly that you would have no reservations about racing. She will always have very high residual value. Over the winter, Gerry, month-by-month, was very excited about her. And Fasig-Tipton took a look at her in the early spring and they were actively recruiting her. Physically, she’s done exactly what we hoped she would do. She’s grown into herself and looks like a potential 2-year-old with the family to back her up .”
Of the Maryinsky buying spree, Ryan added,” We watched the first, second and third dam and felt very fortunate to be involved in this family .”
Maryinsky is out of Blush With Pride( Blushing Groom Fr ), dam of blue hen mare Better Than Honour( Deputy Minister ). The already deep family continued its impressive racetrack results when Peeping Fawn’s daughter,’ TDN Rising Star ‘ September( Ire)( Deep Impact Jpn ) powered to victory in the Chesam S. at Royal Ascot in June.
SF Bloodstock is coming off an impressive day at the races Saturday. The operation, in partnership with WinStar Farm and the China Horse Club International, unleashed a pair of arousing maiden winners: National Flag( Speightstown) won at Saratoga and Attribute( Tapit) graduated by 14 1/2 lengths at Ellis Park.
” It was fantastic ,” Ryan told of the results.” National Flag looks like he has some real potential and Attribute won by a pole at Ellis Park for Steve Asmussen. We feel very fortunate to be involved with WinStar Farm and China Horse Club. It’s a great program to be part of .”
Winter Quarter Enjoys Racetrack Success
Don Robinson’s Winter Quarter Farm, known more for the success of its marketings graduates than its athletes, enjoyed a rare success on the racetrack when homebred Cambodia( War Front) captured the GII Yellow Ribbon S. at Del Mar Saturday. While Robinson was enjoying the race in person, his son and farm manager Ferran was manning the operation’s two-horse consignment at the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds in Saratoga.
” He hasn’t missed a race of hers ,” Ferran Robinson said of his father’s journey to Del Mar to see Cambodia’s second graded rating.” He is coming here to Saratoga today, but he may be walking in the stratosphere instead of taking an airplane .”
Winter Quarter is traditionally a commercial breed operation, but neither the 5-year-old Cambodia or her dam Sassifaction( Smart Strike) ever stimulated it to the sales ring.
” We’ve always been backed into racing ,” Robinson explained.” With Cambodia and her dam Sassifaction, they were unfit for sale due to X-ray issues. So Cambodia merely took day. Basically, she was broken and then merely turned out for most of her 2-year-old year. We started her very gently with Geoff Mulcahy at the Thoroughbred Center and she was originally with Ben Colebrook. Everything has just been magical since she’s been with Tom Proctor-he’s such a good horseman for her. She is really hitting her peak. The X-ray flaws are why she is still at her prime as an older mare-she was taken so much care with early on .”
Winter Quarter will offer a pair of New York-bred yearlings at the Saratoga sale. Hip 116, a colt by Super Saver, is a half-brother to Japanese Group 1-placed Rieno Tesoro( Speightstown) and to multiple graded stakes placed Governor Malibu( Malibu Moon ). Hip 185 is a son of Speightstown out of stakes-placed Final Escrow( Bernardini )- the same cross as Saturday’s impressive maiden win National Flag( Speightstown ).
” These two are amazing ,” Robinson said.” There was no question they needed to be in this[ select] marketing even though they are New York-breds. They are great colts .”