Fasig-Tipton's Calder select 2-year-old sale opened Tuesday with a $2.3 million session leader, returning some sizzle and excitement to the select juvenile market.
The sale leader was Hip No. 218, a Distorted Humor colt out of Grade 1 winner Tomisue's Delight, a full sister to 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft. He is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Mr. Sidney. Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables purchased the colt from new consignors Two Beaches, the partnership of Stacy Yagoda and Jill Julian.
Yagoda and Julian, using the name On the Sly, paid $200,000 for the colt last year at the Keeneland September yearling auction.
As of 4:40 p.m. Eastern, 84 horses had sold for a median price of $200,000, up from last year's final number of $150,000. But 81 horses had been withdrawn, and buybacks were running at 39 percent, higher than last year's 35 percent for the entire session.
Other high prices by 4:40 p.m. included $825,000 for Hip No. 190, a Smart Strike half-brother to Erinsouthernman bought by Coolmore Stud agent Demi O'Byrne.
Eddie Woods, agent, consigned the Smart Strike colt. The son of Southern Swing last sold at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga yearling sale, where he brought $200,000 from IEAH Stables.
Another horse brought $800,000 on Tuesday. That was Hip No. 16, an Empire Maker colt bought by Betty Moran's Brushwood Stable. Murray Smith, agent, sold the bay colt. He's the first foal out of two-time Grade 2 winner and major earner Bank Audit, by Wild Rush. The sale was a home run for Smith, who paid $150,000 for the colt at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.
There also was an $800,000 buyback: Hip No. 130, a bay colt by first-crop sire Bernardini and out of the stakes-placed Storm Cat mare Miss Kate. Consigned by agent David Scanlon, the colt is a three-quarter brother to stakes winner Katerbug. The last time the colt went through the ring, he brought $140,000 from trainer Nick Zito, acting as agent, at the Keeneland September sale.
Earlier, Scanlon sold Hip No. 119, a Bernardini-Marozia colt, for $500,000 to trainer Todd Pletcher, agent. That colt is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Andromeda's Hero and had sold for $160,000 at the Keeneland September sale to Robert LaPenta's Whitehorse Stables.
Ten horses had passed the $500,000 mark by 4:40 p.m. They included Hip No. 110, a $750,000 Medaglia d'Oro-Let's Toast colt bought by Darley Stud representative John Ferguson from Steve Venosa's SGV Thoroughbreds agency, and Hip No. 166, a $700,000 Henny Hughes-Refugee colt bought by Fox Hill Farm (Tom McGreevy, agent) from Breaking Point Farm.
Both were profitable resales. The $750,000 Medaglia d'Oro colt had been a $300,000 yearling purchase by Herring Farms. The $700,000 Henny Hughes son was a $170,000 yearling auction graduate.
Before he bought the $825,000 Smart Strike colt, Coolmore agent O'Byrne also signed for a $200,000 Indian Charlie-Bay Barrister colt consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight. His perennial rival, Darley Stud representative Ferguson, bought the $750,000 Medaglia d'Oro colt as well as a $375,000 War Front colt out of Crescent Moon consigned by agent Nick de Meric.
As the afternoon wore on, it became clear that a range of domestic and international buyers were signing tickets - a sign of health in the upper market - even though these buyers were sifting carefully through the catalog and bidding only on their choicest lots. In addition to O'Byrne, Ferguson, and Stonestreet, the list of buyers spending $500,000 or more included Katsuhiko Hirai, agent Buzz Chace for West Point Thoroughbreds, and Maverick Racing.