Michael and Meg Levy were hanging around the outdoor walking ring late Tuesday afternoon, with a careful eye on Hip 290 — a yearling daughter of Medaglia d’Oro. The affable couple, who own and operate Bluewater Sales, were not about to let one of their sales pupils go without their attention. And, as things turned out, there was good reasons.
As things turned out, there were 1 million good reasons.
On Tuesday, the Levy’s sold the bay filly to Lawrence Best’s newly formed Oxo Equine LLC for a cool $1,000,000 to top the one-day, Select Yearling Sale at the company’s headquarters in Lexington and set a new record for the highest priced yearling ever sold at the sale. And, it topped two marvelous days of selling horses in general. On Monday, Fasig-Tipton had a record-setting Horses of Racing Age sale to begin the festivities.
“Strong demand for yearlings with all comparable categories up across the board and a decline in the buy back rate,” said Bayne Welker, Fasig-Tipton’s Vice President for Sales, when contacted tonight. “This is a good way to start the yearling sales season and to cap it all off we finished the evening with a million dollar Medaglia D’Oro filly from Larry Best’s OXO Equine.”
Best was the best headline, for sure. Wearing a nondescript baseball hate and still sporting his sunglasses, Best was surrounded by reporters a few minutes after the sale.
“I try to review as many horses as I can and if one strikes me as special, I consider it carefully,” said Best, in the hall just outside the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. “I found this was the only horse I was interested in. I’m building a portfolio for a ten-year ride and I don’t count chips for a long, long time. I hope to have a return on my investments here, but it’s like business. It takes seven to 10 years to determine whether you’ve done a good job or not.”
Earlier this year, Best’s Oxo Equine purchased two million dollar babies at the Fasig-Tipton 2-Year-Olds In-Training Sale at Gulfstream Park. He now has seven Thoroughbreds in his “portfolio” and has scattered them out, already Some are with Jerry Hollendorfer on the West Coast and some are with Chad Brown on the East Coast. He said he had not determined where the filly by Medaglia D’Oro would go.
But there were other story lines to this year’s July Selected Yearling Sale, too. And, the numbers told a good story. Overall, Fasig-Tipton sold 172 yearlings for a grand, grand total of $16,107,000. That is up nearly $1 million over last year’s total when the sales company sold 183 head for $15,756,500. This year’s average was $93,645 and the median was $70,000. A year ago, the average was $86,101, with a median price of $60,000. At the same time, the number of horses that did not sell — due to the fact that they did not reach their reserved price — fell from 110 to 72.
All told, there were 17 hips that sold for $200,000 or more. There were two that sold for $300,000 or more. And, of course, there was one that sold for $1 million.
Hip 290, the Medaglia d’Oro filly and sales topper is out of the Stakes-winning mare Hung The Moon, who is by Malibu Moon. This is her first foal. But the family is deep and wide, with the second dam (Storm Breaking, by Storm Cat) being a Stakes-placed winner; the third dam (Sigrun, by Crafty Prospector) being a Stakes-winner of over $429,000; and the fourth dam (April Dawn Marie, by Baldski) being a Stakes-winner of over $72,000.