Medaglia d'Oro Sets Gold Standard at Record-Breaking Saratoga Sale

Hip 196 c. Medaglia d'Oro - Coco's Wildcat sells for $1.35M at The Saratoga Sale
Hip 196 | Fasig-Tipton Photo

The Saratoga Sale closed Tuesday night with across-the-board gains, posting the highest gross, co-highest median, and second-highest average in sale history.

Hip 196, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro took the lead midway through the session, selling for $1,350,000 to the partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds, Robert Masiello, Chris Larsen, and Siena Farm from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent (video). The colt is the first foal out of the stakes winning Wildcat Heir mare Coco’s Wildcat, from the immediate family of champion Songbird, who sold for $400,000 at the 2014 edition of this sale.

“I’m pleased to report that the 2018 Saratoga Sale established a new record for gross sales,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “It doesn’t happen without the trust and confidence of the best breeders, best pinhookers, [and] best consignors in the world.”

Hip 204, a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to classic winner Exaggerator was the top filly, purchased for $1,300,000 by Phoenix Thoroughbreds from the consignment of Warrendale Sales, agent (video). The dark bay or brown filly is out of stakes placed winner Dawn Raid, by Vindication, responsible for three winners, including 2016 Preakness S. (G1) winner Exaggerator. That horse was a multiple Grade 1 winner at three and a multiple graded stakes winner at two, and retired with earnings of nearly $3.6 million.

Medaglia d’Oro set the pace during the second session, accounting for all three of the top yearlings sold on Tuesday. The son of El Prado (IRE) sired seven Grade 1 winners in 2017 – a North American record matched only by breed-shaping sires Danzig, Mr. Prospector, and Storm Cat – including Saratoga Sale graduates Songbird and Bolt d’Oro and Breeders’ Cup champions Talismanic and Bar of Gold. At this year’s Saratoga Sale, he was responsible for seven yearlings sold for $5,495,000, with an average and median of $785,000 and $635,000, respectively. Only War Front, with two yearlings sold from two offered, boasted a higher average ($787,500).

In addition to the top colt and filly, Medaglia d’Oro sired Hip 143, a filly out of Veracity from the family of her sire’s multiple Grade 1 winning millionaire Elate, was purchased for $1,000,000 by Lael Stable from the consignment of Indian Creek, agent (video). A colt and filly by first crop sire American Pharoah also sold for seven figures yesterday, bringing the total of million-dollar yearlings at this year’s sale to five, up from two sold at that threshold in 2017.

American Pharoah’s first crop of yearlings continued to be in high demand during the second session, and he led his sire class by gross and average over the course of the sale, with 10 of 12 sold for $5,435,000, averaging $552,500 each. Verrazano also retained his first session advantage over first crop two-year-old sires of 2018, with three offered and sold for $1,050,000, good for an average of $350,000.

The Fasig-Tipton family was missing a member this year, as it was the first Saratoga Sale without the late Bill Graves, whose horsemanship and innovation shaped the growth of the Saratoga Sale since the early 1990’s.  He was actively inspecting and recruiting yearlings for the sale this spring, working tirelessly to put this year’s Saratoga catalogue together up until his passing on May 30.

“[A record-breaking sale] doesn’t happen without a tremendous team,” said Browning. “I think we have the best team in the world at Fasig-Tipton, across the board. It’s a collection of people who truly care about the business, about the company, about the people we sell for, and about it each other. We were obviously missing, in person, a key member of our team. But I think he was with us. He was with us throughout the selection process, helped put the catalogue together. It’s humbling. It’s invigorating. We’re proud of the accomplishment.”

Over the two sessions, 170 yearlings sold for a total of $62,794,000, up 18.5% from $52,995,000 in 2017 and eclipsing the record of $62,412,000 set in 2001. The average was $369,376, an increase of 8.7% over $339,712 last year, and second in sale history only to the 2001 record of $385,259. The median matched last year’s record high of $300,000. The RNA rate was 21%.

Full results are available online.