The first session of the Saratoga Sale was packed with sire power, with leading sires Tapit and Uncle Mo accounting for several of the session’s top prices. However, it was Pioneerof the Nile, sire of Triple Crown winning Saratoga Sale grad American Pharoah, and consistent sire Ghostzapper, who accounted for the session’s top priced colt and filly.
The session’s top price belonged to Hip 111, a colt by Pioneerof the Nile which brought $950,000 when purchased by Stonestreet and M. V. Magnier from the consignment of Gainesway, agent. The session-topping colt is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Ocean Knight (Curlin), also owned by Stonestreet.
Hip 61, a filly by Ghostzapper, led the way for the fillies when purchased for $800,000 by Tom Haughey’s PTK Racing from the consignment of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales, agent. Out of Grade 2 winner Ivanavinalot, the top-priced filly is a half sister to undefeated champion Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro), herself a graduate the 2014 edition of the Saratoga Sale.
“She was great-looking and well-bred, and she’s a half to Songbird,” Haughey said of his purchased. “My daughter and my trainer and I all looked at her and we all loved her.”
At the end of the first session, 11 yearlings had sold for $500,000 or more, including Hip 27, a colt by leading sire Tapit which sold for $750,000. That colt, purchased by China Horse Club from the consignment of Top Line Sales, agent, is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Corfu (Malibu Moon).
Michael Wallace, who signed the ticket for Hip 27 on behalf of the buyer, wasn’t fazed by the price. “Colts like that deserve to make that sort of money,” said Wallace. “It’s very hard to breed a product like that and get everything so right. If you can achieve those goals, you deserve to be well-paid.”
Among those yearlings bringing half a million or more were two successful pinhooks of expensive weanlings. Hip 27, above, was a $390,000 purchase nine months ago. Hip 46, an Uncle Mo colt purchased for $650,000 by China Horse Club from the consignment of Dromoland Farm, agent, cost $370,000 last November.
Overall, 73 horses changed hands for a total of $21,215,000. The session average was $290,616 and the median was $240,000. The buyback rate was 29.8 percent.