Posted: 10:14 a.m. Monday, July 22, 2013
I'm a little late here, but I've been on vacation. So I'm not going to go hip by hip, since that's been done ad nauseum here, here, here, and here. Plus you can peruse the full results here at Fasig's site and see the summary here at Bloodhorse. What I want to talk about is how the sale felt in person as I stood in the back ring, how yearlings looked during the preview day when I saw them walk, and which new sires look like their progeny have some serious potential.
One of the most important things to look for in a yearling is a "Big Walk". That means everything moves straight forward, no wasted motion, with an athletic/fluid movement. I looked at about 55 yearlings and I saw exactly 3 with big walks. That's disappointing from a sale that perennially has some of the best talent in the year's crop. The three were a Scat Daddy, a Summer Bird, and a (suprise, surprise) a Tapit. But honestly, a significant factor in me only seeing three big walks was probably the heat. Sunday, the preview day, was brutally hot, and every yearling had been shown dozens of times, so I'll give a pass to most of them.
A great thing about the FT sales is that there are basically zero duds. While the Keeneland September Sale boasts some incredibly beautiful specimens, there are colts and fillies with mechanical flaws that are pretty glaring. These ones rarely sell for more than a few thousand dollars (although you always have the ones like Emma's Encore that sell for a few thousand dollars and then go on to be a GSW.) But at FT, you don't see these since every entry is pre-screened to be accepted into the sale. It makes looking at the yearlings both easier and more complicated, if that makes sense. It is easier in terms of being able to immediately look for more minutiae in the conformation and stride, but tougher to sort through all of the yearlings, since discarding the colts and fillies based on glaring deficiencies just doesn't happen. Unfortunately, it also pushes every single one out of my price range since the first bid must be no less than $10,000.
There are a few sires I do want to talk about though:
Overall, it really felt like the sale was strong. The numbers support that: The high was up 23%, the average was up 10%, and the median was up 20%. While the total cataloged (catalouged? catalogued?) was down by 60 colts and fillies, it was definitely a positive movement in the market from last year. But I always have one question about this sale? How in heck do you get yearlings to look like that so quickly? I got it that you have the complete freaks that grow that fast and still grow perfectly. But where do the rest come from? I need to know the secret! (Joking).
I'm looking forward to the rest of the sales season. And I'm pretty sure everyone else is too, which is a great change from a couple years ago.