Yearling season in Saratoga

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The perfect combination of the right horses and the right group of deep-pocketed buyers, together at the same time on the small patch of land at the corner of East Avenue and Madison Avenue in Saratoga Springs can and often does produce magical outcomes.

All signs say that was the case Saturday and Sunday as the auction world’s biggest players went though their inspections on those grounds in advance of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings that starts today at 6:30 p.m. inside the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion. The two-day auction is the pinnacle of sales week, which included the Whitney Day Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing, plenty of parties and fundraisers

The fun continues with the sale itself. The Saratoga sale is after all often loosely called a “party with horses,” but it’s a lot more serious than it looks to many of the locals, tourists and even racetrackers who turn out and mingle with the game’s elite. The Saratoga sale is the place to sell a Saratoga yearling, which isn’t really a specific thing or definition but rather a horse that helps the sale continue its reputation as the place to buy the best racing prospects.

“We’re so unscientific in what we do. It’s really hard to say,” Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning Jr. said Sunday afternoon when asked what makes a Saratoga yearling. “You’ve got to have sire power, or enough sire power, but you have to have a physical individual. We’re not looking for the perfect horse because I don’t think the perfect horse exists. We’re looking for well conformed athletic horses, it’s what we look for with all our select sales. 

To read the rest of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga preview, download Monday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special