The winning Dispersal mare Icy Chris brought the top price of $80,000 Saturday during J.T. Minton Auctions' inaugural Saratoga autumn mixed sale in New York. Sold in foal to Carson City, the 7-year-old mare is a half-sister to grade I winner Plenty of Light (by Colony Light) and a full sister to added-money winner Cold Snap. Former trainer Roger Laurin purchased Icy Chris from Nightingale Farm, agent.
"There were a lot of positive feelings; I thought it was a good start," said Jeffrey T. Minton, the sale company's president. "People told us that they were glad we did it and that they hoped we would do it again."
According to Minton Auctions' figures, the 99 horses sold grossed $493,500 and averaged 4,985. The median price was $2,700. The buy-back rate was 38.9%, with 63 of the 162 horses offered failing to find new homes.
The high-priced weanling was a $50,000 Phone Trick colt out of the grade II-placed mare Doblique (by Nodouble). Charles Engle bought the colt, which is a half-brother to grade III winners Doublethebetwice (by Bet Twice) and Gary Gumbo (by Mogambo). The consignor was Harry L. Landry Bloodstock, agent.
The high-priced yearling was a $12,000 son of Open Forum named Hot Rod Tazz. Dean Purdone purchased him from Harris and Allen, agents for Eidsvold Meadow. The colt's dam, Swift Cobra (by Gregorian) was a winner.
Fasig-Tipton formerly conducted a mixed sale in Saratoga Springs, but discontinued it after 1983, according to Minton, a former Fasig-Tipton employee.
"The New York Thoroughbred Breeders came to me and asked me to do this; they wanted a sale in their own backyard," Minton said. "I don't know yet if we made any money, but we did make history. It was like any other sale. People wanted to pay for the better horses, but they didn't want to pay for the lesser ones."
Minton estimated that a crowd of 400-500 turned out at Saratoga Race Course for the auction. The New York Thoroughbred Breeders held its fall dinner meeting in Saratoga Springs the evening before the sale.