Fasig-Tipton October ends on a solid note

The Bernardini colt who topped the final session at Fasig-Tipton

PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS Fasig-Tipton October ends on a solid note
By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 2:50PM 27 OCT 2016

DARLEY stallion Bernardini had a big day at the Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale's closing session on Wednesday, with his sons bringing two of the three highest prices of the day as the three-day auction ended on a solid note.

During a week in which consignors and buyers couldn't have asked for better weather for a fall sale – with bountiful sunshine, crisp mornings, and afternoon temperatures in the low 70's – the final numbers were on par with last year.

Fasig-Tipton reported 777 yearlings sold for total receipts of $25,691,500, compared with $29,369,300 for 854 head in 2015. Average fell four per cent to $33,065 and the median price was down slightly to $14,500 from $15,000. The 260 horses that did not sell represented an RNA rate of 25 per cent, compared with 31 per cent in 2015.

"I think overall we had a solid and consistent marketplace, which is what you're hoping for in October," said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr. "All in all I thought it was a very solid three days. This sale has matured, and provides a real viable alternative for consignors and for buyers who love to come to shop here because consignors are realistic in setting reserves. It is a real good, solid, realistic marketplace. Certainly there was a really strong market for quality individuals."

Browning said one positive was greater trade in the middle and lower ends of the market, with more international buyers at the lower price ranges. He said there was identifiable, increased action from buyers representing Russian interests than what has been present at previous October sales.

Stonestreet Stables buy session topper

Topping the day was a Bernardini colt out of the stakes-winning Smart Strike mare Desert Gazelle purchased by Stonestreet Stables for $350,000, the co-highest price of the sale along with a Curlin colt sold during the Monday's opening session.

Bred in Kentucky by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, the colt was consigned by Brookdale Sales as hip 1034. The colt's third dam is Secret Status, a daughter of A.P. Indy who won two Grade 1 stakes, including the Kentucky Oaks, and produced Belmont Stakes and Florida Derby runner-up Dunkirk.

John Moynihan, who represented Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke in the transaction, said the buyer could end up racing the colt in partnership.

"He's a beautiful horse," Monyihan said. "I saw him the other day and he was just a really good-looking horse. He's just a really gorgeous horse. He's a little light on the female side, but he's so good on the physical, we thought we'd take the chance. We've had a lot of luck with Bernardini, so we thought we'd take a swing."

Brookdale's Joe Seitz had high praise for the colt.

"I thought this colt was a perfect specimen – a perfect individual. He was extremely athletic, had a great walk, [and] never got tired after all the activity, almost a week being out here," the consignor said. "He's the kind of horse I'm hoping and expecting we'll see on Breeders' Cup weekend either a year or two from now. I'm grateful that he's going to Stonestreet because he'll be in good hands and given every chance in the world to succeed."

Seitz said Brookdale's relationship with Godolphin dates back more than 20 years, when some of the Sheikh's horses were boarded at the Seitz family farm near Versailles, Kentucky.

"They've been great clients and friends for many years," Seitz said.

Bernardini filly sells for $280,000

The other high-priced Bernardini was a filly purchased by W D North Thoroughbreds from Bridie Harrison, agent for Peter Blum Thoroughbreds, for $280,000, which ranked third on the day.

Named Dancing, the filly consigned as hip 1013 was produced from the unraced Kingmambo mare Dancing Alone, the dam of Grade 3 winner Dancing Solo. She is from the family of Grade 1 winners Voodoo Dancer and Pool Play.

The filly was bought back for $370,000 from this year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.

Buyer Willy North, who said the filly will be pointed toward a 2017 juvenile sale in Florida, liked the filly's pedigree and the way she handled herself at the sale.

"She looks like she will be precocious," North said. "Her conformation was spectacular. I could not fault the filly anywhere. I think it was a great buy to pinhook."

Tapit and Union Rags stock snapped up

The day's second-highest-priced transaction was the private purchase of a Tapit colt that initially went through the ring unsold for $300,000 but was later reported sold to de Meric Sales for that price.

Consigned by South Point Sales as hip 942, the colt was bought back for $500,000 from the Saratoga August sale. He was produced from the Grade 3-winning Cherokee Run mare Cherokee Queen, the winner of 11 races who earned $628,312.

Late in the session, Midwest Thoroughbreds went to $285,000 to acquire a Union Rags colt from the Darby Dan consignment. Bred by AJ Suited, the colt, hip 1214, is a half-brother to stakes winner Uncle Lino and produced from Haysee, a sister to Grade 1 winner Lady Joanne and half-sister to four graded winners, including three-time Grade 1 winner Shackleford, the Preakness Stakes winner and first-crop sire.

Jim Schenk, Midwest Thoroughbreds' racing manager, said the colt was "well-balanced and very athletic."

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