Richter Scale Colt Tops Fasig-Tipton Opening Session

Trainer Laura de Seroux went to $230,000 for a bay colt by Richter Scale in the final hour of Monday's opening session of the two-day Fasig-Tipton fall yearling sale at Newtown Paddocks in Lexington.

Consigned by Ricky Higgs, agent, the yearling is out of the winning Saratoga Six mare Be Six, the dam of three foals of racing age, all winners.

De Seroux signed the ticket for Narvick International.

"He's very powerful, very strong, and has a good mind," de Seroux said of the colt. "He was everything I was looking for. You can be sure he won't be pinhooked. I bought him to race."

According to Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's executive vice president and chief operation officer, a record number of entries were catalogued for the two-day auction--831 in all.

For the day, 255 yearlings were reported as sold for $3,752,400, good for an average of $14,715. The median was $7,000. At last year's first day, 269 yearlings grossed $4,691,800 for an average of $17,442. The median was $9,000. This year's first day totals marked a 20% decrease in gross and a 15% decline in average. One hundred and nine horses were listed as buy-backs Monday compared to last year's 78.

Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson said the decrease in figures is due to the fact that last year there were eight or nine horses that sold for $100,000 on the first day, where as Monday only four horses reached triple digits.

"You never know what horses will jump up there," Robertson said. "Since this is not a select sale, so you don't find out until it happens. We know we have some good horses here for tomorrow. We'll see what tomorrow brings and then take a look back at the end of the two days."

With only one of his offspring catalogued, perennial leading sire Storm Catstill managed to beget the second highest-priced yearling of the session. Baden P. "Buzz" Chace signed a sales slip for $130,000 for the bay colt by the Overbrook Farm stallion on behalf of client New Town Farm.

"I bought him for some new people," said Chace, declining to disclose their identity. "He's a very nice horse with a nice presence about him."

Consigned by Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud, the mid-February-foaled yearling is out of the stakes-winning Seattle Slew mare Princess Mitterand, winner of $155,800 and dam of two additional winners from her three foals to race.

Bandoroff said the Storm Cat colt had torn a muscle in his hind leg as a newborn foal, but has learned to compensate well.

"He was a real nice colt, he had a good body," Bandoroff said. "It's a shame. But somebody's taking a shot with him. I'm tickled to death. Our reserve was $25,000."

Chace and New Town Farm also paired up for the session's third-highest purchase--$120,000 for a gray or roan colt by Notebook out of the unraced Relaunch mare, Steamy Recipe--from the consignment of Glen Hill Farm.

"He's a very nice Notebook horse," Chace said. "They (his undisclosed client) liked him so they asked me to bid. He has good bone and a good body."

Glen Hill Farm manager Hap Proctor said the Notebook colt--bred by Glen Hill's owner Leonard Lavin--was intended for this sale, though many of their other offerings this week were originally set for the Keeneland September yearling sale and were unable to make it due to the string of hurricanes that swept over their Florida operation this season.

"We're happy with what he brought," Proctor said. "It's what we expected and I think it's fair. He was a late foal so this sale worked better for him."

Top Prices for Monday, Oct. 25, 2004

$230,000--380--Bay colt by Richter Scale-Be Six--Ricky Higgs, agent--Laura de Seroux for Narvick International

$130,000--52--Bay colt by Storm Cat-Princess Mitterand--Denali Stud, agent--Baden P. Chace for New Town Farm

$120,000--190--Gray or roan colt by Notebook-Steamy Recipe--Glen Hill Farm, agent--Baden P. Chase for New Town Farm

$115,000--279--Bay filly by Formal Gold-Violet Lady--Gainesway, agent--Fred Pappert

$92,000--98--Chestnut filly by Distorted Humor-Sweetest Gal--
Gainesway, agent--Briggs and Cromartie, agent

$75,000--106--Dark bay or brown filly by Grand Slam-Sam's Diary--Taaffe Farm, agent--Sunrise Stable South, agent

$70,000--209--Bay filly by Elusive Quality--Sunny's Rose--Bluewater Sales LLC, Agent VI--Roger Werneth, agent

$70,000--63--Bay colt by Forestry-Purer Than Pure--Paramount Sales, agent--Jerry Campbell for Equest Thoroughbreds

$70,000--321--Dark Bay or brown filly by Langfuhr-Alljazz--Warrendale Sales, agent--Joseph Brocklebank, agent

$70,000--412--Bay colt by Victory Gallop-Call My Agent--Paramount Sales, agent--Omaha Equine

$60,000--110--Bay colt by Mr. Greeley-Sarath--Property of Majestic Farm, Valkyre Stud, agent--Jerry Campbell for Equest Thoroughbreds