The eyes of New York's thoroughbred racing and breeding industry will be on the Saratoga Fall Mixed and Horses of Racing Age Sale, at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Springs sales grounds, Monday. Unlike the better known August yearling sales, this sale offers a broad spectrum of horses: 110 weanlings, 103 in-foal mares and 59 horses of racing age and/or broodmare prospects.
What this sale does have in common with its August counterparts, particularly the New York Bred Preferred Sale, is that it is a one-stop-shop market for owners and trainers eager to participate in the lucrative New York-bred incentives program. New York-breds are eligible to run in hundreds of well-funded races restricted to horses foaled in New York. Owners electing to race their New York-breds in open company receive up to 20 percent in purse incentives when their their horses hit the board.
"The New York-bred program has breathed life into every aspect of Thoroughbred activity in New York. The New York Racing Association has certainly seen many benefits from this in the racing program at Saratoga and at downstate meets. All across the sales spectrum, the appetite for NY-breds shows in the Saratoga yearling market and in the level of entries for the October 7 sale," says Terence Collier, Fasig-Tipton's director of marketing.
Following August's record-breaking New York Bred Preferred Sale, Fasig-Tipton re-opened nominations to the Mixed Sale because of breeders interested in selling their bloodstock while the market is strong.
"There has been significantly-increased interest in the Fall Mixed Sale. There have been a number of additional entries of weanlings. Because of limitations of stalls at the facility in Saratoga, we had to screen later entries, but the success of the yearling sale for New York-breds has unquestionably sparked interest in the Mixed Sale," Collier explains.
Limited supply and renewed demand is driving the vigorous market for New York-breds. When the racing industry started receiving payments in late 2011 from the video lottery terminal racino at Aqueduct Race Track, confidence in the future of New York racing spiked. The number of foals born in New York in 2013 increased 36 percent over the number born in 2012.
Strong first-crop sires Pioneer of the Nile, Dunkirk, Kodiak Cowboy and Einstein(BRZ), established sires Rockport Harbor, Majestic Warrior and Artie Schiller, and New York-based stalwarts Bluegrass Cat, Freud, Posse and Frost Giant are all represented in the weanling division of the Mixed Sale. Mares in foal to new sires Brilliant Speed, Hansen and Boys at Toscanova, and to young sires Paddy O'Prado, Tizway and ArchArchArch will be offered. For buyers wishing quicker gratification, horses of racing age fit the bill. Racing age fillies and colts by first-flight sires Medaglia d'Oro, Street Cry, Bernardini and Elusive Quality will be sold. The fillies in this blue-blooded group are also considered broodmare prospects.
In a letter on the New York Breeders' Fund website, executive director Tracy Egan details the chain of awards for winning an open-company race with a New York-bred:
"King Kreesa's victory in the Grade III Poker Stakes at Belmont Park on the 4th of July (2013) earned him $90,000 in purse money. The breeders of King Kreesa will collect a breeder award of 30% of the first-place money ($27,000) from the NYS Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. Owners Gerald and Susan Kresa will be paid a 20% open-company owner award of $18,000, and the people who stood King Kreesa's stallion, King Kugat, will be paid a 10% ($9,000) stallion award by the Fund. That's a total of $54,000 in award money that will be paid to the connections of King Kreesa for winning just one race."
(King Cugat's stud fee for 2008, the year of King Kreesa's conception, was $3,500. King Kreesa has earned $537,370 to date.)
All the horses entered in the sale are stabled on the sales grounds and are available for inspection. The sale is open to the public and starts at 11 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion on East Avenue, down from the race course in Saratoga Springs. The horses may be viewed prior to the sale and as they prepare to enter the sale in the back walking ring. The sale is also live streamed.