Record Sale At Fasig-Tipton
On Sunday, the 2nd of November 2008, the Fasig-Tipton November Thoroughbred sale got underway. Everyone expected there to be a number of spectacular horses on the list of horses for sale, but no-one could have imagined that a record breaking price of $14 million would end the one-day sale off in style. In the economic slump that has affected sales figures dramatically over the past year, the sale of Better Than Honour, shone a light on the gloomy sales industry.
Southern Equine, owned by Michael Moreno, and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, owned by Jon Sikura, were partners in a few horses for a very long time. The two parties decided that they wanted to rather concentrate on what they are more interested in, namely Moreno in racing and Sikura in breeding, and came to the decision to disperse their joint holdings. When it came to Better Than Honour, Moreno owned seventy percent of her, and was not planning on losing her to anyone. She was the last horse for the day, and Moreno kept on bidding until he won the war and secured her for a record $14 million. After the sale, Moreno was happy to have been able to hold onto Better Than Honour, which he considers to be the best broodmare in the world. Sikura also bid on her up to the point of $10 million and had this to say: “The hardest thing was probably getting to the point of decision to put the mare into the ring. Of course, it’s emotional, but at the same time it’s very satisfying that you’re a part of history. I feel good about it. Mike has been a very good partner and put up his money every time I wanted to buy a mare or do something. It was a leap of faith, and he never once wavered or said, ‘Are you sure you want to buy this mare?’ or ‘this is too much money.’ He’s been rewarded by owning a fantastic champion broodmare, and hopefully, she’ll produce another champion horse for him.”
Better Than Honour is a beautiful mare out of Blush With Pride and sired by Deputy Minister, who is a former Horse of the Winner award winner. In 2007, she was named the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year and has produced breathtaking champions such as Jazil (sired by Seeking the Gold), Casino Drive (sired by Mineshaft) and Rags to Riches (sired by A.P. Indy). Moreno has indicated that Better Than Honour will be paired up with A.P. Indy in the future and hopes that together they can again produce an unforgettable grade 1 winner.
Other top horses also fetched deserving prices, such as the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, Stardom Bound. She was bought by Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables for $5.7 million, on recommendation of trainer Rich Dutrow, who commented: “I love her,” he said. “We were at the Breeders’ Cup, and as soon as she won I said, ‘Mike, we’ve got to get this one. We’ve got to have her.’ When I met her, she seemed so sweet and laid back. She’s our kind of horse. I can’t wait to train her.”
In total, the Fasig-Tipton sale saw ninety-one horses bought for a total of $70,279,000 with the average price being $772,297. It was a successful day for both sellers and auctioneers and it is proof that if there are a number of special horses on sale, buyers are willing to reach a little deeper into their pockets.