Saratoga’s summer horse racing season was just dealt a major blow. Thoroughbred auctioneer Fasig-Tipton announced today (April 27) that it had consolidated its July, Saratoga and New York Bred yearling sales into one selected yearling auction—the 2020 Selected Yearlings Showcase—to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, September 9-10, at its Lexington, KY headquarters. The decision was based on the continued disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Twenty-twenty has been a difficult year so far, and we are all being forced to make decisions that we never envisioned having to make,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “We waited as long as possible to come to these determinations, conducting our due diligence to ensure that we make informed decisions that are in the best interests of our buyers and sellers.”
The world-renowned Saratoga Sale, which annually brings in a panoply of top Thoroughbred owners to the Spa City to purchase the top future talent in horse racing, just last year broke records with two yearlings finding hammer-prices of $1.5 million apiece. During last year’s sale, 135 yearlings sold for a staggering $55,547,000.
“Our two Saratoga auctions are tied closely to the [Saratoga Race Course] meet,” said Browning. “We desperately want to see a traditional Saratoga race meet as much as anyone. However, the details for the race meet—including whether spectators will be permitted—are understandably not finalized. We are at a point in time where we must provide our sellers with a definitive schedule so that they can make sales plans for their yearlings.”
Fasig-Tipton did note that its The Saratoga Sale, along with its July and NY Bred Selected Yearling Sale would return to their traditional dates in 2021. The company intends to host the remainder of its 2020 auction calendar as scheduled, including its upcoming Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale on June 29-30 in Timonium, MD.
The auctioneer also said it would be offering a group of selected New York Bred yearlings as part of the Saratoga Fall Mixed Sale, which is still set for October 20 in Saratoga.