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October Sale remains steady as Uncle Mo filly tops penultimate session

Uncle Mo: responsible for the top lot at Fasig-Tipton on Wednesday
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An Uncle Mo filly purchased by e Five Racing for $350,000 topped Wednesday's session of the October Sale, Fasig-Tipton's auction that closes out the yearling sale season.

Numbers for the third day of the auction were down from the corresponding day a year ago, but the cumulative results are in line with 2017 figures.

Fasig-Tipton reported 244 yearlings sold grossed $7,990,900 Wednesday, compared with the $10,804,100 paid for 261 yearlings on the third day in 2017. The $32,750 session average represented a 20.9 per cent decline from the $41,395 session average last year. The median was unchanged at $12,000. The RNA rate was 23.8 per cent as 76 head went unsold, compared with a 19.7 per cent buyback rate last year.

There were 20 yearlings sold for $100,000 or more Wednesday, with seven bringing final bids of $200,000 or more.

Cumulatively, 723 horses have grossed $24,575,900, compared with the $25,698,600 total paid for 728 yearlings at the same juncture a year ago. The cumulative $33,992 average is down from the $35,300 figure last year, and the median of $15,000 is up from the three-day $12,000 median in 2017.

Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said the day's numbers were in line with those of the previous two days.

"I think we're seeing the market is pretty consistent and similar to what it was last year, with solid, fair trade," Browning said. "Most of the horses are getting sold at reasonable levels, so we're fairly pleased overall. It seems like a little bit higher level of activity at the under-$20,000 level from international buyers than last year."

Trainer Wesley Ward, who accompanied agent Ben McElroy in the purchase of a Carpe Diem filly for $230,000, echoed the sentiment of most buyers that the market was strong for the right individual, especially yearlings by first-crop sires.

"It's a strong market, and any time you bring a beautiful individual, especially by a first-year sire and no one knows how good or bad they are, people are taking chances," he said.

The price paid for the session-topper, consigned as Hip 933 by Romans Racing & Sales, agent, is the second-highest of the sale going into the final day and the highest price paid for a filly.

The filly, bred in Kentucky by Blue Devil Racing, was produced from the stakes-placed mare Miss Luann and is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Nomorerichblondes and stakes winner Sharp Kitty.

"It was right on the average," Ryan said of the price. "Uncle Mo yearlings are averaging $330,000. She's an exceptional filly. Really, really good filly. The price was right at the top range for us, but she's by a great, great sire, and she measured up with the really quality fillies I saw in September at Keeneland."

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The price was right at the top range for us, but she's by a great, great sire
E.W. Terms