Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the runaway leading owners in North America, purchased stakes-placed Secret Union for $150,000 to top the Oct. 7 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed and horses of racing age sale.
Consigned as Hip 223 by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin as agent, the 3-year-old Dixie Union filly has one victory in six starts and a third-place finish in a stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack while racing for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation. Bred in Kentucky by the Robert Greenbaum Revocable Trust, the filly is out of stakes-placed Barney's Mistress and is a half sister to Canadian stakes winner Deputiformer.
Secret Union was purchased by Boulder High Equine for $130,000 from the Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consignment to the 2010 Keeneland November sale and then pinhooked by Dromoland Farm, agent, to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale, where she was purchased by trainer Mark Johnston for $375,000.
The one-day auction at the Humphrey S. Finney sale pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., saw 179 horses gross $3,363,600 for an average price of $18,791 and a median of $11,000. During the same sale a year ago, 119 head sold for $1,933,600; the average price was $16,249 and the median price $12,000.
Like the sale-topper, the second- and third-highest prices of the day and only offerings to bring final bids of six figures were also horses campaigned by Darley.
Carolyn R. Vogel went to $115,000 to acquire Valid, a Medaglia d'Oro colt who is a half brother to grade I winner Malibu Prayer. Consigned by McLaughlin as Hip 254, the 3-year-old colt is out of the stakes-winning Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer.
Bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans, Valid was purchased by John Ferguson for $500,000 from Lane's End, agent for the dispersal of the Evans estate, at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. Trained by McLaughlin, Valid has been victorious in one of seven starts.
The sale's third-highest price of $100,000 was paid by trainer Gary Contessa for Regulus, a 4-year-old gelded son of Distorted Humor produced from multiple grade I-winning millionaire Stellar Jayne. The Darley homebred consigned by trainer Eoin Harty as Hip 247 has won four of his nine starts, with one second, and earnings of $122,300.