Upswing for New York-bred yearlings at Saratoga

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale of New York-bred yearlings ended its two sessions with a powerful upswing on Sunday evening.

Turnover of $8.63 million for 138 lots that changed hands saw the average increase 15% to $62,551.  The median soared 43% to $50,000.

A strong closing session included 20 horses that sold for $100,000 or more.  A striking grey Tapit colt that topped the sale late in the second session brought $330,000 from Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm.  He is from G3 winning Cozzene mare Derrianne.

“He’s just beautiful, he’s very much an athlete,” said Pope.  “He’s a perfect size for a Tapit, has a little more size than some of them have, and his attitude was very good.”

Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning said the company was very pleased with the momentum from last year.  “It’s truly remarkable and indicative of the significant impact racino slots have had on the marketplace,” he said.

“Reality is, if you’re a breeder of a horse or owner of a yearling that’s a New York-bred, it has a higher value in your mind as well as it would to a potential buyer,” Browning added.  “Many are willing and prepared to go to the next step because they’re racing for significant purses and breeders awards.”

Since the New York casino opened last October, purses at the three tracks operated by the New York Racing Association have been bumped up nearly 40%.

Despite those increases, optimism about the New York racing industry has been tempered by uncertainty over whether the state’s politicians will seek to claw back a significant share of the revenue that racetracks and breeding programs receive from the casino.