Gross, Median Increase During First Session of Midlantic Sale

The middle market was strong Monday during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, with the median price increasing 10.0% over last year's comparable figure. The number sold and gross revenue rose 14.3% and 10.2%, respectively, while the average price suffered a minor setback of 3.6%.

"The sale was fine, and tomorrow promises to be good. Will it be better? I hope so. I'm hearing that we have a lot of live horses," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson.

Fasig-Tipton reported that 160 juveniles were sold for a gross of $4,905,200, an average of $30,658, and a median of $22,000. Last year, according to the sale company, 140 horses were sold for a gross of $4,451,100, an average of $31,794, and a median of $20,000. The buy-back rate fell from 30.7% last year to 29.8% this year.

An Unbridled's Song filly brought the top price of $260,000, selling to New York-based trainer Rick Dutrow. New York bloodstock agent Brian Morgan was the immediate underbidder.

"I like the way that she moves; she's so smooth and effortless," Dutrow said.

A sturdy gray, the filly was produced from the 11-year-old stakes-placed Dixieland Band mare Rockaroller. She was consigned to the auction by Randy Hartley and Dean De Renzo, who purchased her for $65,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale. Their partner in the deal was Orlando, Fla., cardiologist Enrique Calle.

The filly was a $145,000 buy-back when Hartley and De Renzo consigned her to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Calder sale of 2-year-olds in training this past February. Entered in the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction, she turned in one of the fastest quarter-mile works, covering the distance in :21 4/5.

"I'll split her up between some people," said Dutrow when asked who would race the filly. "I'll have her sold by the end of the day tomorrow."

The sale ends Tuesday, with the final session beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).