'Quality Sells' at Record-Breaking Saratoga Sale

fasig tipton saratoga curlin colts
Fasig-Tipton Photos

The 99th Saratoga Sale ended Tuesday night on a high note, establishing new sale records in average and median. The band of selected yearlings sold on Monday and Tuesday nights were led by a pair of colts by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin which topped the sale when sold Tuesday for $1,500,000 each.

Hip 153, the first foal out of champion Wapi (CHI) (Scat Daddy), was the first to reach the high mark. Aquis Farm AUS, Let's Go Stable, and Crawford Farm purchased the $1,500,000 colt from the consignment of Denali Stud, agent. Hip 153 was bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation and Three Chimneys Farm, LLC.

An hour later, Hip 174, the first foal out of graded stakes winner America (A.P. Indy), matched that $1,500,000 price tag. A power-packed partnership of West Point, Woodford, Siena, Valdes, Singleton, Sandbrook, and Freeman joined together to purchase the co-sale topper from the consignment of Stone Farm, agent. Hip 174 was bred in Kentucky by B. Flay Thoroughbreds.

"It's really pretty simple," said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. "Quality Sells. We had a remarkable group of quality horses on offer tonight and the buyers responded very favorably. We thank the buyers, the owners, and the breeders who provided us the opportunity to sell a great group of horses."

Curlin was also responsible for the third highest price of the evening and co-third highest price of the sale. Hip 159, a colt out of Yes Liz (Yes It's True), sold for $1,000,000 to Whitehorse and Bridlewood Farm from the consignment of Denali Stud, agent for Stonestreet Bred and Raised.

That price was matched by Monday night's session topper, a colt by three-time leading sire Tapit. West Point Thoroughbreds, L.E.B., agent signed the $1,000,000 ticket for Hip 80, the colt out of graded stakes winner Feathered (Indian Charlie) which was offered by Lane's End, agent. Hip 80 was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Equine.

The sale's top filly – also by Tapit – went through the ring Monday evening. Hip 82, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Annual Report out of Pension (Seeking the Gold), sold for $950,000 to Donato Lanni, agent for Heider Family Stables from the consignment of Gainesway, agent.

The second session's leading filly was Hip 150, a daughter of successful sire Medaglia d'Oro, which sold for $900,000 to Claiborne Farm, agent from the consignment of Indian Creek, agent. That filly is out of a full sister to Cheery, who is the dam of a multiple Grade 1 winning daughter of Medaglia d'Oro in Elate. The well-related filly was bred in Kentucky by Fifth Avenue Bloodstock.

Medaglia d'Oro sired an additional $900,000 filly during the first session, when Hip 49 was purchased at that price by Kerri Radcliffe, agent from the consignment of Eaton Sales, agent. The daughter of stakes winner Light the City (Street Sense) was bred in Kentucky by Breeze Easy, LLC.

"We felt confident this spring as we were (inspecting) the horses," added Browning. "We were confident about the catalogue going into this sale. We think this is the greatest place in the world to sell a nice yearling. It's a special place."

The leading sire by average with three or more sold was Curlin, with 10 of 11 sold for an average of $835,000 off a $150,000 stud fee. The best average return by a freshman sire with three or more sold was posted by American Pharoah, with six of seven sold for an average of $522,500. The leading first-crop sire by average with three or more sold went to Runhappy, whose four offered yearlings sold for an average of $395,000 off a $25,000 stud fee.

Overall, 135 yearlings sold for $55,547,000, good for a sale-record average of $411,459, an 11.4% increase on last year's average, and a 7.1% increase over the previous record of $385,259 established in 2001. The median – also a sale record – was $350,000, up 16.7% from the previous record of $300,000, set in 2017 and matched in 2018. The top price of $1,500,000 represented an 11.1% increase over last year's sale topper ($1,350,000). Forty-four horses sold for $500,000 or more – with 16 unique sires represented, including first-crop sires Frosted, Runhappy, and Upstart – up 18.9% from 37 sold at or above that mark in 2018.

"We're not going to be content," said Browning. We're thrilled with the overall results of 2020. We'll try to make 2020 (even better). We'll really be busting our tails because it's the 100th anniversary (of The Saratoga Sale)."

Full results are available online.