Following the prevailing trend in sales, both the 2-year-old in training sales at the Ocala Breeders Sale on March 13-14 and the Fasig-Tipton sale at Gulfstream Park on March 28 sent a few consignors home delighted but left the majority shaking their heads.
The 2-year-olds with top pedigrees and excellent conformation are bringing huge prices, but below that top group it's becoming increasingly harder to sell any horse for the price the consignor feels the horse should bring.
"The whole market is narrowing," said former bloodstock agent Russell Jones, whose Walnut Green was one of the nations top bloodstock agencies before he sold it.
"The middle section is being squeezed," said Jones. "The top end has always been good, and the bottom end has always been bad, but now the middle is having trouble."
Total sales at both sales were done, and average sales were also down at OBS, but average sales were up at Fasig-Tipton.
At OBS, 301 horses were sold in 2017 and 261 were sold in 2018, but with 102 not sold in 2018, the RNAs were down from 113 ot sold in 2017.
At the Fasig-Tipton sale, 166 horses were catalogued, but only 91 went through the sales ring, of which 61 were sold and 30 were not sold.
The get of Union Rags, in most cases, and Pa-breds, in some cases, sold better than average.
AT THE OBS sale, most of the Pa-breds were out before the sale, and of the four that went through the ring, two did not reach their reserve and were not sold, a filly by Flashback out of a Valid Expectations mare was bought by Omega Farm, Agent, for $100,000, and a colt by Dominus out of Lil Cora Tee, by Lil E. Tee was bought by Bobby Dodd, agent, for $400,000.
A colt by Union Rags out of a Stormy Atlantic mare was bought by Harris Training for $375,000, and another Union Rags out of a Distorted Humor mare was bought by Parrish Farms for $120,000.
A Md-bred by El Padrino out of a Domestic Dispute mare was bought by Crane Thoroughbreds for $60,000. and a Va-bred by Flatter out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare was bought by Rice Horse Stable for $250,000.
At the Fasig-Tipton sale, three Pa-breds went through the ring, with none of the three reaching the average sale price.
A colt by Noble Misssion out of Mahkama, by Bernardini was bought by Caves Farm for $120,000, a colt by Shackleford out of a Candy Ride (Arg) mare was bought by Dale Romans, agent, for $250,000, and a colt by Dialed In out of Her Lady Grace was bought by Deuce Greathouse, agent, for $175,000.
A colt by Union Rags out of Majestic Jewel was bought by Steven W. Young, agent, for $430,000 at Fasig-Tipton, another colt out of Frolic's Appeal was bought by Donald Lanne, agent, for $750,00, but a third colt out of Internal Affair was not sold.
A filly from the final crop of Scat Daddy out of the Royal Academy mare Accusation consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, and bred by Hunter Valley Farm was the sales topper at the OBS Sale.
She was purchased for $875,000 by Phoenix’s American manager Tom Ludt, and she will be sent to race in Europe.
At Fasig-Tipton, two colts and one filly were sold for $1 million or more.
A Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Mi Vida, by Distorted Humor started big things off early, selling as hip number 9 for $1.2 million.
Bred by the Don Alberto Corporation and consigned Niall Brennan Stables, agent, she was bought by Stonestreet Stables, LLC.
A colt by the late Scat Daddy out of Risky Rachel, by Limehouse, consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds LLC, was bought by trainer Todd Pletcher for M.V. Magnier for $1 million.
A colt by Into Mischief out of the winning Lawyer Ron mare Assets of War, consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent, was bought by Larry Best's OXO Equine for $1.2-million.