It was the second highest-priced horse sold in sale history and it came during an auction that set new records for average ($47,259) and median ($29,500).
by Dave Briggs
With one significant purchase, Gino Toscani of Mount Hope, ON led the buyers at the Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale held Monday (Jan. 17) in the paddock at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.
Bidding online via ProxiBid, Toscani spent $390,000 to collar the sale topper, Hip 77 Whichwaytothebeach, a 4-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Swinging Beauty consigned by Bob Boni’s Northwood Bloodstock.
“He seems like a nice horse,” Toscani told the USTA’s Ken Weingartner. “I hope he can come through. He’s just going to be 4. His brother, Captain Barbossa, was good as a 4-year-old and hopefully he’s going to be the same for us and we can get our money back.”
Whichwaytothebeach will be trained by Desiree Jones. It was the second-highest sale-topper since at least 2014. The record was set in 2020 when Lindy The Great sold for $450,000.
Previously trained by Brett Pelling, Whichwaytothebeach earned $546,425 with a record of 12-6-6 in 27 starts and a mark of 1:49.2.
“He’s a legit horse and he was younger than the others. I think that was a big edge,” Boni said.
In all, 90 racehorses, stallion shares and breedings collectively sold for $4,253,300 to produce an average of $47,259 and a median of $29,500. The sale set new records for average and median. This year’s auction also set a record for the fewest offerings sold.
“(The record average is) partly a reflection of the number of horses sold, but, on the other hand, it is a fair representation of what we did offer. I was very happy with that,” said sale manager David Reid. “It’s always exciting to have a live sale, for sure.”
This year’s gross was up 14 per cent from last year’s total of $3,741,400. The average was up 15 per cent from $41,244 in 2021 and the median was up 55 per cent from $19,000 last year.
The record for gross was set in 2018 when 221 horses/stallion shares — 131 more offerings than this year — grossed $6,694,000.
Northwood also sold Hip 83 Belmont Major N to Amanda Kelly of Greenfield Center, NY for $200,000 — “A very strong price. The half-mile track miles he showed earlier really helped him a lot,” Boni said — and Hip 67 Ethan T Hanover for $115,000 to Matthew Medeirra of Big Z Farm.
Reid’s Preferred Equine consigned both the second- and third-highest-priced horses sold — Hip 56 mare Swift Swanda for $240,000 to Josh Green, agent, of Milford, DE and Hip 85 2020 Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa for $210,000 to Robert DiNozzi of Ossining, NY.
“If he’s anything like he’s been all his career, he’ll make money,” DiNozzi told Weingartner. “We’ll race him at Yonkers a little bit, put him in the Borgata Series, but he’s also good on a mile (track) so if he’s racing well, we will put him in everything. He’s raced with the best and either been competitive or beaten them. There is nothing not to like about the horse.”
Preferred Equine sold 51 offerings, grossing $2,479,200 for an average of $48,612.
Northwood Bloodstock had 28 sales, grossing $1,284,600 for an average of $45,879.
Diamond Creek sold eight for a total of $428,000, an average of $53,500.
Reid said he was “very happy with the pre-sale traffic and the at-sale traffic. I was very happy with the attendance. I thought the auctioneers, once again, they are a very talented crew that kept a very good pace to the sale and we continued to offer the online bidding as a convenience to owners that can’t make it and it’s working out very well.
“I think there were 10 horses sold online today with another 14 (online bidders) ending up the underbidder. Obviously, as a result of the pandemic, we’ve offered other services and tools. I think the results played in today.
“The other thing I thought was interesting is that on the streaming through www.tattersallsredmile.com there was a point in time today where we had more than 1,000 viewers watching the live stream. For the industry, I think it’s great to see the energy and the participation level and it kind of goes off 2021’s sale season, which was favorable.”
For historical reference, in 2020, the Winter Mixed Sale sold 128 horses/stallion shares for $5,279,200 to produce an average of $41,244 and a median of $26,500.
In 2019, 150 horses/stallion shares grossed $4,395,300 for an average of $29,302 and a median of $20,000.
In 2018, 221 horses/stallion shares grossed $6,694,000 for an average of $30,290 and a median of $20,000.
In 2017, 233 horses/stallion shares grossed $6,288,400 for an average of $26,989 and a median of $15,000.
In 2016, 258 horses/stallion shares grossed $5,849,400 for an average of $22,672 and a median of $16,500.
In 2015, 269 horses/stallion shares and breedings grossed $5,971,500, for an average of $23,291 and a median of $14,000.
In 2014, the gross of $5,971,500 for 234 horses/stallion shares produced an average of $25,519 and median of $14,000.
In 2013, 206 horses and stallion shares grossed $4,549,600, an average of $22,085.