SARATOGA SPRINGS – With plenty of yearlings available by successful commercial sires such as Tapit, Quality Road, Curlin, Medaglia d’Oro, Into Mischief and Uncle Mo, as well as offerings by three recent Kentucky Derby winners (first-year sires California Chrome and Nyquist and second-year stallion American Pharoah), there was every reason to think The Saratoga Sale of selected yearlings would continue its upward trend of recent years.
Monday night’s opening session improved on a couple of last year’s figures. The average sale price of $373,361 was a 7.0 percent improvement over 2018’s $348,976, and the median of $315,000 was 5.0 percent higher than last year.
After 21 withdrawals, however, only 85 yearlings went through the ring on Monday, 22 fewer than in 2018. Not surprisingly, then, Monday’s gross sales of $22,775,000 represented a decline (21.4 percent) over last year. The buy-back rate was 28.2 percent compared to 22.4 percent for last year’s opening session.
Three-time leading sire Tapit generated much of the excitement on Monday when, about two-thirds of the way through the session, a pair of Tapit yearlings went through the ring –
one right after the other – and sold for the top two prices of the night. Hip no. 80, the session topper at $1,000,000, was a colt out of Feathered, a G3-winning daughter of Indian Charlie. Gainesway, agent, consigned the colt, who was purchased by West Point Thoroughbreds LLC, L.E.B, agent.
Moments later, hip no. 82, a Tapit filly out of Pension, by Seeking the Gold, brought $950k. Eaton Sales, agent, was the consignor, with Donato Lanni, agent, the purchaser on behalf of Heider Family Stables.
Tapit was the leading sire with at least three yearlings sold with three purchased for a gross of $2.4 million and average of $800k. Into Mischief also had a good night, with four of six offerings finding new homes. Their average selling price was $487,500; hip no. 89 went for $750k.
The biggest seller during the first half of Monday’s session was hip no. 49, a Medaglia d’Oro filly out of Light the City, a stakes-winning daughter of Street Sense, who went for $900k. Kevin Radcliffe, agent, signed the ticket for the dark bay or brown filly, who was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.
Frosted had the best night of the first-year sires, with four of six sold for a total of $1,385,000 and average of $346,250. They included yearlings that brought $550k and $500k.