The major players from the Thoroughbred auction world hit town before the weekend, if not sooner, and just in time for the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings. 

The right horses are around, too, or at least the ones everyone feels fit the Saratoga market the best. 

The combination of those two factors – combined with an overall sense of positive energy about the Thoroughbred industry, strong global purse structure and robust American economy – figure to pave the way to a strong two nights of selling at the corner of East Avenue and Madison Avenue. The Saratoga sale starts at 6:30 p.m. today inside the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, with 117 yearlings slated to go through the ring as of Sunday evening after scratches. 

The Saratoga sale features a catalog of 255 yearlings, up 12.3 percent from last year’s catalog of 227. An increase in the amount of stabling, thanks to construction of Barn 10 across George Street from the full sales grounds, and added interest in consignors looking to sell in Saratoga played a role in the bulked up catalog. 

Expectations are high heading into tonight’s session. Activity on the sales grounds was busy all weekend, giving sales company officials and sellers reason for optimism.

“The mood, the market, the feel is very good 30 hours, 28 hours or whatever we are before the start of the sale,” said Boyd Browning Jr., Fasig-Tipton president and chief executive officer. “We came out of our July sale and I talked to folks after and told them I couldn’t wait to get to Saratoga. 

“In July the quality offerings sold pretty well with legitimate competition from a number of bidders as opposed to a thin market. We’ve seen some indication of that again by the level of traffic here. I don’t expect it to be like, where we’re going to have the spectacular old days of $4 and $5 million yearlings but I think we’ll have a very solid horse sale. Folks that bred a good horse will be happily rewarded.”

The small number of horses in the Saratoga sale allows prospective buyers and their representatives to go over them hard, take multiple looks and finish inspections with a pretty good idea how much they’re worth. 

To read the rest of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale preview, download Monday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by EasyFix Stable Solutions.