Recording-setting Saratoga Sale ‘Exceeds Expectations’

Hip 186, 2017 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale
Hip 186 c. Orb sold for $1,000,000 // Fasig-Tipton Photo

The Saratoga Sale concluded its two-night run on Tuesday with gains across the board and an historical high in median, bolstered by a deep buying bench with purchasers from North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Dubai.

“We had had high expectations coming into the sale and we exceeded those expectations,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “I’ve been doing this a long time. I honestly can’t recall ever seeing a closer relationship at an upper end horse sale [between] the average and the median that we’ve seen over the last two nights. Horses were exceeding reserves by two, three, four times in many instances.”

Whereas established sire Curlin was responsible for the first session’s top colt and filly, first and second crop sires accounted four of the top six prices on the night, with spots set aside a full brother to Grade 1 winning Saratoga Sale graduate Avenge (War Front) and a filly from the final crop of the much-missed Scat Daddy.

A million-dollar son of freshman sire Orb (Hip 186) topped the session when purchased by Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock from the consignment of Gainesway (video). The popular chestnut yearling is the first foal out of graded stakes winner Flashy American (Flashy Bull), who sold with Hip 186 in utero at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale for $395,000. The colt was later offered at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton November Sale as a selected weanling, where he fetched $310,000.

Coming in a close second was a War Front colt (Hip 226), which fetched $995,000 as the penultimate offering of the session (video). The colt is a full brother to last term’s Rodeo Drive S. (G1) winner Avenge, a $650,000 purchase at the 2013 Saratoga Sale, and a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Lira. He was purchased by Godolphin from the consignment of Gainesway.

The top-priced filly of the session (and sale), was an $825,000 filly (Hip 198) by first-crop yearling sire Strong Mandate, who won the Hopeful S. (G1) here at Saratoga by nearly 10 lengths as a two-year-old. Live Oak Plantation purchased the filly from the consignment of Baccari Bloodstock, agent (video).

An $800,000 filly by the late Scat Daddy (Hip 132) and $750,000 yearlings by freshman sire Animal Kingdom (Hip 129, colt) and Orb (Hip 181, filly) rounded out the session’s top offerings.

“When we tell somebody we want a horse, they trust us,” continued Browning. “The foundation of any auction company is its integrity, its work ethic, its willingness to go the extra mile. I think we saw some of the rewards of that this week.”

Over the course of the two nights, 156 yearlings changed hands for a total of $52,995,000 a 16% increase over last year’s renewal, which saw 156 yearlings sell for $45,570,000. The sale produced an average of $339,712, up 16% from $292,115 in 2016, and good for second highest average in the history of The Saratoga Sale. The $300,000 median was the highest ever at this sale, eclipsing last year’s median of $237,500 by 26%. The RNA rate was 19.6% down 2.9% from 2016.

Full results are available at


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