Though several indicators were down from last year in Monday night’s first session of the annual Fasig-Tipton yearling sale, the evening did provide some fireworks, most notably when a half-sister to undefeated champion Songbird by 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper brought $800,000, and again towards the end of the night, when a colt sired by Pioneerof The Nile, who also sired American Pharoah, brought the highest price of the session. That one threatened to top the $1 million mark and the number flashed on the board briefly, eliciting cheers from the crowd, but it was either bidder’s remorse or a mistake, and the hammer dropped at $950,000.
Fasig-Tipton has been selling top-quality Thoroughbreds here since 1917. Man o’War was sold here in 1918, and three years ago, so was Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. In recent years, the two-night select sale has also become a local social scene, with people who have neither the inclination nor the money to buy pricey horses donning cocktail attire to see and be seen, and to drink the night away in the bar(n) area behind the sales pavilion.
The seats in that pavilion are reserved for serious buyers, but spectators squeeze in to stand along the walls and watch the bidding…and to observe the art that hangs on the walls on the second floor, which for the month of August is turned into a satellite of the Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, KY.
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