10/07/2005 12:00AM

Best year ever for Midlantic sale

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The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, conducted Oct. 3-5 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds's sales pavilion in Timonium, Md., was an enormous success. Records were smashed in a number of major categories, and Maryland breeders were significant contributors.

This year's catalog was 27 percent larger than in 2004, and the record number sold, 615, represented a 24.7 percent increase over last year. Total sales of $14,499,600, a 34.4 percent increase over a year ago, was more than $3.2 million above the all-time record set in 2000. The sales average of $23,577 was also a record, topping last year by 7.7 percent. The number not sold was 21.6 percent, the lowest since 1997.

The quality of the yearlings offered was evident by the number bringing $100,000 or more. Last year, nine reached that level. This year, 13 reached that level the first day alone, and by the end of the auction, 26 sold for six figures, topped by a Florida-bred colt by leading freshman sire Songandaprayer who sold for $375,000. Of the $100,000-plus yearlings, 10 were bred in Maryland.

Leading the group of Maryland-breds was a colt by Touch Gold out of the Horatius mare Georgia K., bred and sold by Charles and Cynthia McGinnes's Thornmar Farm. The chestnut, named Master Stroke, was purchased by Wensleydale Farm for $290,000, topping the second session of the sale and the second-highest-priced overall.

"He was the star in our consignment," said Charles McGinnes of the colt, a half-brother to stakes winners Aggadan and Love You Madly. The Touch Gold colt had been accepted for the Saratoga select sale, but the McGinneses elected to send him to the Maryland sale, allowing him a little more time to mature. Plus, the growing demand for yearlings at the fall sale has bolstered confidence. "We figured that if a yearling could sell like last year, you could put a good horse in here and get a good price," said McGinnes.

Thornmar offered 18 yearlings at this year's auction, and sold all 18, including two others among the top 26. Its colt by Smart Strike, named Tall Dark Stranger, brought a final bid of $215,000 by Samantha and Mace Siegel's Jay Em Ess Stable. A half-brother to stakes-placed stakes producer Step to the Beat, the colt is out of Allison's Dance (by Storm Bird), from the family of Racing Hall of Fame member Flawlessly and leading sire Halo. The very next horse in the ring was Thornmar's filly Come Fly Away (by El Prado-Almost Paradise, by Allen's Prospect), who sold for $105,000 to leading buyer Buzz Chace, agent. Come Fly Away is a granddaughter of the McGinneses' top producer Muffies Muffin. McGinnes credited the success of the consignment to farm manager Ricky Price, who oversaw the yearlings' preparation.

The top price for a filly, $130,000, was shared by three yearlings.

Also selling for over $100,000 were:

* A colt by Capote out of Let's Toast, by Miswaki. A full brother to stakes winner Kitty Knight, he was bred by Mrs. Richard C. duPont, consigned by Walnut Green (Jones Bros.), agent, and sold for $180,000 to Ann Merryman, agent.

* A colt by Not for Love out of stakes-placed Fairy Song, by Fairy King. Named Luvtoluvyoubaby, he was bred by Skeedattle Associates, consigned by Becky Davis, agent, and purchased by Carol Murray, agent, for $135,000.

* A colt by Cryptoclearance-Lady Tiara, by Vice Regent. The champion of the 2005 Maryland Horse Breeders Association yearling show held in June, the bay colt was bred by Cary W. Jackson, sold in the name of Jackson's Foxharbor farm, with Marshall W. Silverman, agent, and purchased by Clapham Hall Farm for $135,000.

* A filly by Monarchos out of Porizkova, by Polish Navy. A half-sister to stakes winner Lipstick, the filly was bred by Sycamore Hall Farm LLC, and sold to F.H. Abbott Jr., agent, out of the Kensington Sales, agent, consignment, for $115,000.

* A filly from the final crop of Allen's Prospect out of Fabulous Vee (by Somethingfabulous). A three-quarter sister to Vee Vee Star - who is the dam of champion Declan's Moon - the filly, named Robin's Prospect, was sold by Bill Reightler, agent, for breeder Brice Ridgley's Spring Meadow Farm. The buyer, for $105,000, was James S. Carter.