A Quiet American colt sold for $200,000 Saturday night to top the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The gross revenue and average price enjoyed increases of 6.4% and 12.5%, respectively, from a year ago. But the median price suffered a 15.0% setback."Basically, everything was good, and it looked pretty strong at the top," said Fasig-Tipton president Walt Robertson. "It was pretty close to what we were expecting."The 52 horses sold grossed $2,642,500 and averaged $50,817. The median was $34,000. Last year, 55 horses sold for a gross of $2,484,000, an average of $45,164, and a median of $40,000. The buy-back rate was virtually the same -- 38.9% last year compared to 38.8% this year."With only 52 horses sold, two horses can easily enough move a median by $6,000," said Robertson, when asked about the decline in the middle market indicator.Five yearlings brought individual prices of $100,000 or more.Stuart and Anita Subotnick's Anstu Stables purchased the session-topping Quiet American colt. The bay yearling is out of the 10-year-old winning Java Gold mare Gold 'n Sugar, who finished second in the 2000 editions of the Montauk Handicap at Aqueduct and the Grecian Flight Stakes at Meadowlands. Other family members include Irish champion Sir Harry Lewis, who captured the 1987 Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I)."I like Quiet American, and we had a filly out of Quiet American, Irving's Baby, who was a (grade III) stakes winner for us," Stuart Subotnick said. "We also liked his (the colt's) conformation. It (the price) was a little bit higher than we thought it would go, but he looked like a very nice animal. We came here specifically for this horse. My farm manager, Jim Moloney, was the one who really looked at the horse and saw the horse before the sale. He thought we should pursue him."Paramount Sales consigned the colt as agent for Howard Kaskel's Sugar Maple Farm in New York. Sugar Maple bred the session topper in partnership with Robert C. Baker."He's a big, strapping, strong horse," said Paramount's Pat Costello. "I knew he would do well, but I was a little surprised that the price was that high. That was a very good price for him. We're delighted."Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable bought the session's second-highest-priced yearling, a $180,000 Not For Love -- Impulse Shopper colt. Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud consigned the colt as agent.The auction's second and final session is scheduled for Sunday. Selling begins at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Prospective buyers, consignors, and Fasig-Tipton officials were cautiously optimistic prior to the Saratoga select yearling sale's starte even though the stock market and the Thoroughbred marketplace in general have lost momentum lately.