A sense of relief pervaded the Fasig-Tipton pavilion on Thursday following the conclusion of the company’s Selected Yearlings Showcase in Kentucky.
Consisting of a melting pot of yearlings that were originally scheduled to head to either the auction house’s July Select, Saratoga or New York-bred auctions, all of which were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, the sale produced a set of solid figures buoyed by a welcome demand for elite stock.
Two seven-figure transactions led the way, headed by a Quality Road filly out of Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Marvellous who sold for $1.5 million to Robbie Medina, acting on behalf of Joseph Allen, during the opening session. On Thursday, top billing belonged to a colt from the third crop of Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, who made $1.25 million to Speedway Stables.
All told, the two-day sale saw 348 yearlings – 66.3% of those offered – sell for a total of $61,765,000 and average of $177,486. The median was $120,000.
As a measure against last year, those three sales combined grossed $90.4 million in 2019 for an average of $172,788.
The session-topping American Pharoah colt attracted the attention of Coolmore and agent Donato Lanni but they had to give best at $1.25 million to agent Marette Farrell, bidding on behalf of K.C. Weiner and Peter Fluor’s Speedway Stables.
Sold by Denali Stud, the colt was bred by Bayne and Christina Welker out of Listed winner Swingit, a daughter of Victory Gallop whose previous offspring include the Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup third Neolithic.
Boosted by the colt’s sale, Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud ended the sale as the leading consignor thanks to 23 sold for a total of $5.303 million.
Heading back to the well
Lanni, working on behalf of the powerful buying group of SF/Starlight/Madaket, the forces behind Saturday’s Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, had better luck in his pursuit of a pair of colts by sire-of-the-moment Into Mischief.
The Spendthrift Farm stallion is in the midst of an outstanding season that peaked last weekend with Authentic’s Classic victory.
Lanni went to $800,000 to secure a colt out of the Distorted Humor mare Blind Copy from Indian Creek and $570,000 for a colt out of the stakes-winning Quiet American mare Twice The Lady from Woodford Thoroughbreds.
With eight bought for a total of $3.29 million, the SF/Starlight/Madaket partnership wound up as the sale’s leading buyers.
Kingman to the fore
There was also an European flavour to the sale in the presence of a Kingman filly who made $500,000 to her part-breeder Mick Ruis.
Ruis bred the youngster in partnership with Christian Black out of the Bahamian Bounty mare Amber Romance, a half-sister to Free Eagle purchased by the pair for 200,000gns at the 2018 Tattersalls December Sale. Plans likely call for Ruis to campaign the filly with his daughter, trainer Shelbe Ruis, at Santa Anita Park in California.
European participation was muted on the buying front, with a smattering of purchases made by several Irish-based breeze-up pinhookers. Meanwhile, conspicuous by their absence were the Maktoum family, who did not make a single purchase.