08/05/2008 11:00PM

$2M son of Storm Cat tops sale


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Storm Cat remained king of Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga select yearling sale Tuesday night when his son out of the Mr. Prospector mare Get Lucky sold for the sale-topping price of $2 million.

Coolmore Stud struck late in the session to buy the colt, outbidding Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s representative, John Ferguson. Michael Vincent Magnier, the son of Coolmore chief John Magnier, signed the ticket for the dark bay or brown colt offered by Ben Walden’s Gracefield.

Also in the selling partnership were Philip Steinberg and WinStar Farm. WinStar Farm, owned by Ken Troutt and Bill Casner, bid to $1.5 million hoping to retain the colt for themselves, but farm president Doug Cauthen said afterwards that when the bidding soared past that figure, WinStar made a business decision and bowed out, accepting the profits of the sale instead.

Sold as Hip No. 158, the Storm Cat colt was the second by that sire to crack the million-dollar mark at the 2008 Saratoga select sale. A $1.5 million daughter of Storm Cat topped Monday night’s opening session on a final bid from Team Valor International’s Barry Irwin. The Hill ’n’ Dale agency sold that filly.

Tuesday’s sale topper is out of a Grade 3-winning mare and is a half-brother to three stakes winners: Grade 2 winner Daydreaming, Grade 3 winner Accelerator, and stakes winner Harborage. He also is a half-brother to She’s a Winner, the dam of Grade 1-winning millionaire Bluegrass Cat.

Despite the $2 million topper, Tuesday night’s final session ended with declines across the board, reversing gains in average and median registered during Monday night’s session. The Tuesday session sold 62 horses for $17,920,000, down 16 percent on a smaller catalog than last year. The average price fell 10 percent to $289,032, and median dipped 4 percent to $225,000. However, the buy-back rate improved as sellers adjusted to more cautious buyers, and fell from 27 percent last season to 22 percent.

But the cumulative figures showed a resilient overall market that held steady with last year even in the face of a nationwide economic downturn. Cumulatively, the two-night auction sold 122 horses for $36,080,000, down 12 percent from last year’s figure for 142 horses, but average was up 2 percent to $295,738, and the median remained the same at $227,500.