The 2011 Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select yearling sale will continue on two familiar paths on Monday and Tuesday – highly selective buyers and conservative spending at the top of the market.
Even though Wall Street jitters and European debt problems might put some buyers on hold, the Saratoga select auction does have the potential to buck downward trends.
Soon after Sheikh Mohammed’s associates bought Fasig-Tipton in 2009, the Dubai ruler appeared in person for the first time in at least 20 years at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion. He weighed in with $13.1 million for 6 of the sale’s 8 most expensive horses.
The Sheikh Mohammed spend softened to $6.40 million last year, nevertheless, Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning is optimistic ahead of the 2011 Sale. “We’ve got some horses that are going to work at the high levels,” Browning said. “And the prospect that Aqueduct’s new casino will add big money has put some buzz back in New York.
“The general mood is better than it was in 2010,” he said. “It can almost be attributed exclusively to the purse increases. And we’re seeing some indications of some new people being interested.”
Fasig-Tipton has catalogued just 160 lots this year with some mouth-watering pedigrees.
Darley sire Bernardini has the largest group of yearlings with 15 and among them is a three-quarter-brother to Australian shuttler Street Boss.
Darley sire Medaglia d’Oro has a half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who shuttles to Eliza Park this spring. There’s also a half-brother to USA import Honor in War who beat Takeover Target in the G2 Villiers Hcp. He stands at Ilala Stud.
Recently retired A.P. Indy has a half-sister to Afleet Alex and, importantly, Galileo has a colt out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Egyptian Queen.
New sires with their first yearlings include names like Curlin, Big Brown, Midnight Lute, Raven’s Pass and Street Boss.