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Fasig-Tipton’s New Look
by Dick Healy

Though summer visitors to Saratoga Springs, N. Y. find excitement and unparalleled thoroughbred racing at the famous Race Course on Union Avenue, attending the annual yearlings sales at the Fasig-Tipton Company’s Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion, where high-stakes horse auctioning happens, is equally exciting.

The many updates at Fasig-Tipton that will greet visitors this season include major renovation to the Pavilion, with new inside seating arrangements to accommodate 700 of horse racing’s most celebrated owners, trainers and bloodstock agents. Often mingled among the hundreds that attend the sales are any number of print, TV and movie personalities, many of which personally own thoroughbred race horses.

As one veteran Fasig-Tipton attendee remarked, “These special sales nights are a happening. Few other Saratoga scenes can match it.”

What the sales present, especially during the two nights of the Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sales (this year, Monday and Tuesday, Aug 2-3), is an opportunity to get up close and see the spirited yearlings being paraded along the expanded equine ring. And to see and listen to the rapid-fire voices of Fasig-Tipton auctioneers as they entice buyers to increase bids on a particular offering.

Over the years the sales grounds and facilities have been steadily improved; however, since the Kentucky headquartered Fasig-Tipton was purchased two years ago by Synergy Investments Ltd., the overall changes are remarkable. Visitors will be treated to newly inlaid patio walks, impressive stone bordered entranceways, modern bathrooms and easy access to the restaurant and bar service areas.

Buyers are at the sales grounds daily prior to the actual auctions. Lunch and dinner, offered by the renowned Schenectady based Glen Sanders Mansion, is served right on the property. A nearby snack bar serves hotdogs, hamburgers, coffee, soda and assorted desserts. The general public is welcome and there is no charge to enter the sales grounds.

“Everything here is pretty much accessible to the public,” says Fasig-Tipton facility manager, Bill Meissner, “however the pavilion seating is set aside for owners, buyers, sellers and approved associates and friends.”

Saratoga’s premier builder Bonacio Construction Inc., whose firm also built several downtown high-rise condominiums and other projects, renovated the Fasig-Tipton site. Idea Source of Louisville, KY did the design.

If you miss the Aug 2-3 sales auction, there will be the New York Bred Preferred Yearlings Sale Saturday and Sunday, Aug 7-8, at the same place. There is ample parking in parking lots adjacent to the sales grounds for a modest fee.

Aside from the Yearlings, the evening sales are ablaze with the latest ladies’ and men’s fashions, as the mix of visitors attracts an international group including English, Irish, and Arabian attendees. Evening sales generally begin around 7:30 p. m.

More by Dick Healy




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