02/03/2004 1:00AM

$500,000 colts at Ocala


The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company kicked off the select 2-year-old season with a spate of expensive juveniles topping the bill at its one-day auction at Calder Race Course on Tuesday.

As of 6 p.m., a pair of $500,000 colts by Horse Chestnut and Siphon were the day's top lots. Michael Tabor's agent, Demi O'Byrne, signed for both.

The first, Hip No. 138, is a Horse Chestnut colt out of Baby Rabbit, sold by Don R. Graham and Ocala Oaks. The colt was one of three to post the fastest eighth-mile time of 10.20 seconds at the Jan. 26 preview. His dam is a stakes winner by No Sale George.

The second $500,000 colt, Hip No. 147, is a Siphon colt out of Carsona. That colt, offered by Cleveland Wheeler on behalf of Straightaway Farm, is out of a Grade 1-placed mare by Carson City.

Hip No. 20, a $425,000 Sir Cat colt, got the sale off to a good start on a bid from trainer Todd Pletcher, who represented California-based owners Bob and Beverly Lewis in the purchase. The colt is out of the Red Ryder mare Limestone Landing, making him a half-brother to stakes winner and Grade 2-placed It'sallinthechase. He boosted expectations for his price at Sunday's final under-tack preview for the sale, topping the day's work tab with a quarter-mile in 21.20 seconds. Tony and Robin Hendrix's Equine Legacy Farm agency consigned the colt. Pletcher also bought a $400,000 Chief Seattle-Don't Ring Me filly sold by Crupi's New Castle Farm, agent.

The sale's early going was marred by the numerous buybacks often seen at select juvenile sales. But those lessened as the session wore on, and horses that combined an attractive pedigree and speed were capable of bringing six-figure prices.

Lael Stables paid $325,000 for a Siphon-Master Print colt, a half-brother to stakes winner and $205,000 earner Skip the Print. The colt was consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight. That colt had the fastest quarter-mile time of 21.60 at the Jan. 26 under-tack preview. Klaravich Stable also paid $325,000, for a Forest Wildcat-Cloisonne colt offered by Ricky Leppala, agent.

Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's agent, John Ferguson, went to $310,000 for a Notebook-Deputy's Mistress filly sold by Ocala Stud Farms. And minutes before Pletcher bid $425,000 for the Sir Cat-Limestone Landing colt, Puglisi Stables' agent, Steve Klesaris, went to $305,000 for Hip No. 16, a Meadowlake-Launching Shot colt consigned by Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree agency.

That colt, a half-brother to Tainted Angel - winner of the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap - posted a fast time at the Feb. 1 under-tack show. The Meadowlake colt was one of five horses with Sunday's fastest time of 10.20 for an eighth-mile work.