The scene Saturday night for the opening of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale was not quite the same as it was for the sale of selected yearlings Monday and Tuesday.
People could actually manage to turn around in a full circle without causing someone else to spill a drink or have to apologize for unintentionally throwing an elbow. The crowd of onlookers was significantly smaller, but the bidding action was just as busy.
Fasig-Tipton reported sales on 92 of the 144 yearlings offered for $6,934,000, an increase o f 7.9 percent from last year's total of $6,427,500 for the opening session. The session's average price was $75,370, up 11.4 percent, and the median of 60,000 was up 8.3 percent.
Unlike the opening select sale, the buyback rate of 36.1 percent was an increase from 28.6 percent last year.
The most expensive yearling sold during the session was Hip. 310, a filly by Tizway out of Free as Tristan, by Crafty Friend, who sold for $250,000 to Hubert Guy, agent.
Consigned by Marshall W. Silverman, agent, the filly is half sister to multiple New York-bred stakes winner Amberjack.
"When I saw her she stood out; I thought she was a really, really nice filly," Guy said. "I kept looking at all the good fillies and she was definitely one of the best three or four. The pedigree, the way she handled herself, they were beautiful. The walk, that she had a lot of easiness about her, everything was easy for her.
"A lot of class as well tonight. For instance, before the sale she was lying down in her stall with all the commotion, so you can see the filly had a very strong mentality, which is really important, everything was really impressive about her."
Guy said he had to reach a bit for the filly, who will head south for breaking and training.
"I knew she was going to be expensive," he said. "I didn't want to spend that much money, like $180,000 or $200,000, but when I saw the market tonight my reasoning was, 'why end up paying a lot of money for an average horse, may as well buy something you really like,' and I really loved that filly. She's going to Ocala. I might pinhook her. I might race her. I am going to take some partners with me [and] we'll see where she will be."
The second most expensive yearling Saturday night was Hip 302, an Ice Box colt purchased by trainer Nick Zito, agent, for $230,000. Consigned by Fort Christopher's Thoroughbreds, agent, the filly is out of Fear This, by Ghostzapper.
Three other yearlings sold for $200,000 or more on the night.
The third most expensive was Hip 226, Winter Quarter Farm's Tale of the Cat colt purchased by Blue Bison Stable for $225,000. Next was Hip 247, Taylor Made Sales Agency's Medaglia d'Oro filly that went for $210,000 to Mike McMahon and Jamie Hill, agents for Edition Farm. Hip 343, a colt by Giant's Causeway consigned by Indian Creek, agent, sold for $200,000 to Patricia Schuler.
The sale concludes with the second session that gets underway at 7 p.m. tonight.