First crop sire and Triple Crown champion American Pharoah was responsible for the top two prices at The Saratoga Sale on Monday evening. A graduate of the 2013 Saratoga Sale, American Pharoah’s first crop yearlings were highly anticipated, and they did not disappoint.
The session topper was a $1,200,000 daughter of American Pharoah out of multiple Grade 1 winner Life At Ten (video), who benefited from a major update when her two-year-old half-sister Bohemian Queen (Animal Kingdom) broke her maiden first time out at Woodbine earlier in the day. Sold as Hip 26, the bay filly was the first yearling to reach seven figures and held her lead over the rest of her class throughout the session. Hip 26 was purchased by Larry Best’s OXO Equine from the consignment of Gainesway, agent.
“[It] was a very encouraging start to the sale tonight,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “We thought we had good horses, and buyers responded favorably across the board.”
The top priced colt Hip 62, also by American Pharoah, who sold for $1,000,000 from the consignment of Summerfield Sales, agent for Sunnyfield Farm (video). He was purchased by Bob Baffert, agent for MV Magnier. The colt is a New York-bred out of Party Silks, whose most notable offspring is multiple Grade 2 winning millionaire Upstart, a graduate of the 2012 New York Bred Yearlings sale.
Well-related fillies were in hot demand during the first session, accounting for seven of the top 10 prices on the evening. Fillies from rich family and half-sisters to Grade 1 winners were popular, with three selling for $850,000 or more, including session topping Hip 26; Hip 82, a $950,000 daughter of Into Mischief from the family of Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour purchased by OXO Equine from the consignment of Denali Stud, agent; and Hip 39, a $850,000 Curlin filly out of a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Liam’s Map and graded stakes winning juvenile Not This Time purchased by White Birch Farm from the consignment of Lane’s End, agent.
“We had some spectacular fillies on offer tonight. It may have been kind of filly heavy tonight, and I think we’ve probably got a stronger colt group tomorrow,” Browning noted. “The buyers are demanding quality whether it happens to be colts or fillies and are willing to give significant prices for both colts and fillies.”
Half-siblings to Grade 1 winners also sold well on the night, led by Hip 93, a Candy Ride (ARG) half-sister to champion Classic Empire which sold for $775,000 to John C. Oxley, who campaigned Classic Empire, from the consignment of Bluewater Sales, agent; Hip 27, a War Front half-sister to 2012 Saratoga Sale grad and two-time champion Tepin which sold for $750,000 to Solis/Litt from the consignment of Eaton Sales, agent; and Hip 105, a $750,000 Verrazano half-sister to recent Test S. (G1) winner Separationofpowers purchased by Bridlewood Farm from the consignment of Bluewater Sales, agent.
American Pharoah was the session’s leading first crop sire with six of seven sold for an average of $536,667 ($3,200,000 gross). Verrazano led second crop sires with two of two sold for an average of $450,000 ($900,000 gross).
Overall, 83 yearlings sold for $28,965,000, up 19% from $24,425,000 during the first session in 2017. The $348,976 average was a 7% increase $325,667 at 2017’s opening session, and the $300,000 median tied the sale record set last year. The RNA rate was 22%.
The Saratoga Sale resumes tomorrow at 6:30 PM.
Full results are available online.