The upper echelons of international Thoroughbred horse racing convened this week at the annual summer rite of the Saratoga Select Sale held by Fasig-Tipton Co. at its handsomely renovated Pavilion and grounds in Saratoga Springs, NY.
One hundred and sixty-four Thoroughbred yearlings were offered over two nights to the trainers and owners whose names are often coupled with Kentucky Derby, Breeders' Cup and Belmont Stakes. Bob Baffert. Steve Assmussen. Bill Mott. Todd Pletcher.
An A.P. Indy colt out of the champion sprint mare Maryfield, purchased by Todd Pletcher as agent for Besilu Stables (FL), was the sales topper at $1.2 million. On the other end, the Elkstone Group, LLC (PA) picked up a Discreet Cat filly with a very nice pedigree page for $40,000. I'm putting both in my Equibase Virtual Stable and we'll have a reckoning in a couple of years.
For a celebrity fix, chef, restaurateur and food entrepreneur Bobby Flay stepped up to the plate and purchased a pair of fillies, by A.P. Indy and Awesome Again, for $815,000.
Perhaps the entry creating the most buzz at the sale was the half brother to winner of the Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational, 3 year old phenom Lookin At Lucky. The colt by Afleet Alex, out of Private Feeling, dam of Lucky, was purchased by Sheik Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferguson, for $750,000.Overall, Ferguson paid out in excess of $5.9 million to capture fourteen prospects for the Sheik's stable.
Of the 164 yearlings offered, 118 met or exceeded their reserve prices and were sold for a gross of $32,515,000 for the sale. The average price was $275,551, which was down almost $53,000 from the 2009 average. A full accounting of the sale including results, pedigrees and buyers is at fasigtipton.com.