Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Sale Posts Record Median Price

The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred yearling sale ended its two-night run Monday in Saratoga Springs with a healthy increase in its median price that pushed the figure to its highest level ever. But there were declines in gross revenue and average price from last year's sale records.

"We met our expectations, but we didn't exceed them," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "It's a similar marketplace to what we had last year. There has been no significant change in the marketplace for New York-breds.

"If they suddenly announced they were going to put in 88,000 slot machines in Aqueduct and going to start giving away $100,000 (in maiden race purses) for New York-breds, the average would go up. But absent that, the New York-bred racing program is still good; it's very healthy; and they have full cards over there (at Saratoga) for them (New York-breds). It's a good, legitimate market."

The 105 yearlings sold this year grossed $4,975,500, down 11.1% from the $5,596,500 total for 112 horses last year. The average declined 5.2%, from $49,969 last year to $47,386 this year. The median advanced 11.1%, from the former sale record of $40,500 to $45,000. And the buy-back rate grew from 38.5% to 42.6%

The statistics for the final session were 50 horses sold for a gross of $2,491,500, an average of $49,830, and a median of $50,000. Last year, 59 horses sold for a gross of $3,134,500, an average of $53,127, and a median of $45,000.

A filly from the first crop of Wheelaway topped the last session, bringing $160,000. David Lambert, a Kentucky-based veterinarian who specializes in equine heart analysis, signed the sale ticket for Harvey S. Clarke. Lambert declined to talk about the transaction.

The filly is out of the winning 13-year-old Gate Dancer mare Karusha and is a half-sister to two winners. Other members of the family include Sallysay, a champion imported filly in Panama, and added-money winner Make It Known. Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck of Summerfield consigned the filly, which was bred by Mina Equivest.

A City Zip colt sold for the final night's second-highest price of $142,000 to Florida bloodstock agent and racing adviser Barry Berkelhammer, who was acting on the behalf Purple Haze Stables, which is owned by Wanda Polisseni of Rochester, N.Y. Polisseni has been involved in the Thoroughbred business for about a year, according to Berkelhammer.

"I just thought he was a real athlete," said Berkehammer of the chestnut colt. "He had a tremendous walk on him. He was my pick of the sale; he really was. I didn't think we would be able to get him. I thought there was a shot he would be about that price, but there was also the potential for him to just blow through the roof."

The colt is out of the winning 11-year-old Stop the Music mare Scherzando, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Hedgeabout. Bred by Eaton and Thorne and consigned by Thorndale Farm, agent, the colt is a half-brother to two winners.

A Carson City--Careful Approach ridgling, which sold on the first night, was the sale topper at $165,000. Michael Marceda purchased him from Summerfield, agent.