Based on the first session results Monday at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale, the market for 2-year-olds in training in Maryland is stable.
The 140 horses sold grossed $4,451,100 and averaged $31,794. Those figures represented increases of 2.1%, 3.4%, and 5.6%, respectively from a year ago. The median of $20,000 was the same. The buy-back rate was 30.7% this year compared to 31.6% in 2001.
"It was pretty much a mirror of last year," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson. "I can't say that we were expecting any more than last year. That's the just the way the 2-year-old market has been all year. It's been even, a little less, or a little better at all the sales I've watched. You always like to beat last year pretty good, but even is okay."
The top price of $280,000 was brought by an End Sweep colt that worked a quarter-mile in :22 prior to the auction. Consigned by Mr. and Mrs. Walter (Buz) Burke's Valley View Farm of Florida, as agent, the colt was purchased by Roger Dreyer, an attorney from Sacremento, Calif. Northern California trainer Greg Gilchrist signed the sale ticket. The immediate underbidder was New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, who was acting on the behalf of Ernie Paragallo's Paraneck Stable.
"He stood out," said Gilchrist of the colt. "He worked well, and he is by a horse that is going to be a very good sire and is a good sire now. He's not a great big horse; he's not a very small horse; he's just so well made. Nobody knows if he is going to go on or what he is going to do. But you give yourself a very good chance when you buy a horse like that. We'll probably take him home and send him right to the racetrack. We'll let us tell him what he wants to do."
Breyer, according to Gilchrist, was "in the (horse) business nine or 10 years ago, but got out because of his law practice. Now he's got a little more time, so he sent me back here to buy a horse in that range."
The $280,000 price was near the limit of Gilchrist's budget.
"We were getting pretty weak; I'm glad he (Chace) stopped when he did," the trainer said.
The colt's dam, Line's Busy, is a winning 9-year-old daughter of Phone Trick. She is a half-sister to stakes winners Miss Audimar (by Mr. Leader) and Charge My Account (by Majestic Prince). Miss Audimar produced added-money winners Gaily Eagle (by Mujtahid) and Bandari (by Alhaarth).
The second and final session of the sale, which is being conducted in Timonium, is scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m. (EDT).