The word from Fasig-Tipton executive Boyd Browning is that there won't be many changes when the company conducts its first auction, in July, under its new ownership. And there probably won't be any major ones in the near future.
Fasig-Tipton does a lot of things well. The staff works hard to attract horses, and many buyers seemed pleased with how they conduct their selection process, which stresses conformation and athletic appearance.
Still, it's fun to think about what Fasig-Tipton could do, especially if there is a large infusion of cash.
Following are some ideas:
- 1. Build a 2-year-old in training sale complex in Florida. There are a lot of complaints from consignors about the hardness of the asphalt-covered Calder backstretch and its contribution to soundness problems. The training center could be made available to breaking and training operations and lay-up businesses as well to generate income outside of the sale.
- 2. Reduce sale commission to below Keeneland's 4.5% or make it equal to that figure instead of the usual 5%. Or create a sliding scale that would give a break to people selling lower end horses.
- 3. Go back to publishing the breeders of sale horses, especially weanlings, yearlings, and 2yos, in sale catalogs.
- 4. Improve facilities for the press, especially at Calder. (That one is for me).
- 5. Conduct new owner seminars prior or in conjunction with auctions.
- 6. Upgrade the facilities at Timonium. Hire Michael's as the caterer or build a walkway over or a tunnel over the busy road to the restaurant.
- 7. Ban steroids from the 2yo sales immediately.
- 8. Offer free shipping to the November sale and other incentives to encourage owners who want to sell their top racing fillies and mares. It would be fun to have a portion of the catalog focusing on stallion prospects.
- 9. Have kiosks where buyers can look up information about the horses they are interested in for free - updates, pedigree info not in the catalog, etc.
What would you like to see Fasig-Tipton do?