Drama as filly gets entangled in rope during Midlantic Sale
Sale concluded with gross and average declines and slight median increase
Topped by an Into Mischief filly who sold for $210,000, Tuesday's session of the Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale was interrupted when the rear leg of one filly became entangled in the white rope that surrounds the sale ring and separates the horses on offer from the pavilion seating area.
After a break of some 15-20 minutes while Fasig-Tipton personnel replaced the downed rope, the filly, who appeared to be unscathed by the incident, returned to the ring and was eventually led away unsold on a final bid of $1,500.
The two-day sale concluded on Tuesday with an upturn in median and declines in gross and average.
From 500 lots catalogued in the regular and supplementary catalogues, Fasig-Tipton reported 338 yearlings grossed $7,318,700, down seven per cent from the $7,855,100 aggregate paid for 312 a year ago.
The average price fell 14 per cent from $25,177 to $21,653.
The median improved slightly from $14,000 to $15,000. The 94 yearlings that went unsold represented a 22 per cent RNA rate, compared with the 29 per cent buy-back figure for 2017 when 128 of 440 offered were RNA'd.
The number of yearlings sold for six figures dropped from 15 a year ago to ten this year.
The sale-topper (hip 399), bred in Maryland by Classic Thoroughbreds XII and consigned by CandyLand as agent, was purchased by the Wycoff family's Three Diamonds Farm.
The bay filly is the first foal out of the unraced Hard Spun mare Spin The Bottle, a half-sister to Grade 3-placed Nathan's HQ. The filly's third dam, Ms Cuvee Napa, produced multiple Grade 3 winner Tasha's Miracle and is granddam of six stakes winners, including Mother Goose Stakes winner Off the Tracks, Japanese Group 2 winner Esmeraldina, and Grade 2 winner and sire Concord Point.
Kirk Wycoff explained that while Three Diamonds purchased more than 15 yearlings at the recent Keeneland September Yearling Sale, they were consistently outbid in their pursuit of an Into Mischief filly.
"This is as lovely of a filly as there was at Keeneland," said Wycoff, who had departed the Midlantic Sale by the time the filly went through the ring and had Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning handle the winning bid on his behalf.
"Being by Into Mischief and out of a Hard Spun mare, she is stout and has a lot of bone and is a good walker. We're just looking for fillies that fit with racing in New York and on Saturday afternoons. We think we accomplished that today. Let's just hope she does that on the track."
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Wycoff said that while Three Diamonds' racing programme focuses on horses sired by Kentucky stallions and with deeper pedigrees than those usually found in a regional market ("We have to pick and choose"), he was pleased with the yearlings on offer at Timonium sired by regional and young, unproven stallions.
"I think this was a great sale for Maryland-breds and the Maryland programme," said Wycoff, whose operation purchased three yearlings for a total $263,000.
Second-highest price Tuesday and third overall for the sale was the $160,000 paid by South Carolina pinhooker Cary Frommer for a Cairo Prince filly (183) from the consignment of Andrew Motion's Old Chapel Farm. Bred in Kentucky by Mr and Mrs Harvey A Clarke, the filly is out of a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 winner Feline Story and to the dam of Grade 3 winner Arella Rockstar.
The filly was purchased by Motion for his nascent pinhooking venture as a short yearling for $110,000 at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. Sent to New York for The Saratoga Sale, Fasig-Tipton's selected yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, she was eventually withdrawn and pointed toward the Midlantic Sale.
"I saw her in Saratoga and she wasn't quite developed like she is now," Frommer said of the filly whose sire is leading freshman sire in North America this year.
"She was a lovely filly then but was just real immature, and they like a mature horse at that sale. She has really blossomed and I thought she had improved 100 per cent and would be a nice buy. If she looked like this back then she would have sold very well."
Frommer said she will own the filly in partnership with Wendy Hendriks, whose son, Ricky, is an accomplished steeplechase rider and trainer.
"This is her [Hendriks'] first time going on in this level for a pinhook," Frommer said. "She loved the horse and is real excited. She saw the horse about the same time I did and asked if I bought the filly whether she could own a piece."
The Cairo Prince filly was one of five yearlings purchased by Frommer for a total $315,000.
The overall sale's second-highest price of $200,000 was paid early during the Monday session when JJ Crupi, agent for Albert Frassetto, went to that level to acquire an Uncle Mo colt (12) from Northview Stallion Station.
Joseph Besecker was sale's leading buyer by gross, with 31 yearlings bought for $609,200, while Marshall Silverman topped the consignors' list with 38 sold for $931,500.
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