09/13/2002 12:00AM

Bucking trend, Woodbine yearling sale shows gains

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Powered by the continued growth of the Ontario racing industry, Woodbine's Canadian-bred select and open yearling sales, under the Fasig-Tipton sales company banner, rebounded with slight increases in average price.

The selected session, which saw 151 yearlings gross $6,258,500, was up about 16 percent from last year's selected session average of $35,484 (182 horses sold) to $41,447.

The two open sessions realized an average price of $12,551 for 162 yearlings, up from last year's $9,435 for 184 yearlings.

For the second consecutive year, Gail Wood's Woodlands Farm, as agent, sold the sale's highest price youngster - this year a chestnut son of West by West who was purchased for $165,000 by Jeff Begg, agent.

The strapping colt, the first foal of the stakes-placed Regal Classic mare Never Can Tell, was bred by Dr. Pug and Susan Hart of Virginia and was foaled at Woodlands.

Wood believes the rich racing program at Woodbine had a lot to do with the results of the sale.

"What Woodbine Entertainment has done with the racing here probably had a lot more to do with the success of the sale than the sale itself," said Wood. "The racing here is so strong. It's the envy of almost everyone I talk to internationally."

Wood, who also sold a $110,000 Bold Executive filly for Kingview Farms and a $105,000 filly by Anet, admitted the sale was "erratic" at times.

"It was almost impossible to judge what a horse would sell for," she said. "We would get much more for a horse than what it was worth but also less for some than they were worth. We had had a fine sale but if you had only one horse to sell, it would have been a difficult situation to be in."

Consignor Richard Hogan, who was one of the leading consignors at the select session, was also a buyer and said the catalog was strong.

"I think the sale went very well," said Hogan. "I thought there was plenty of money around for a good horse."

Hogan sold 10 yearlings for $441,000 at the select session and was the agent for Molinaro Stable when he paid $110,000 for a colt from the first crop of Crown Attorney from breeder Janet Motz.

The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society will hold a breeding stock, yearling, and horses of racing age sale on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

Canadian dollars at Keeneland

Robert Krembil's Chiefswood Farm, an upcoming force in Ontario racing, paid $950,000 for a Storm Cat filly on the second day of the Keeneland September yearling sale, Sept. 10.

The bay yearling is a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks winner Blushing K.D. and two other stakes horses.

Sue Leslie, who paid $575,000 for Golden Prospect, a Mr. Prospector filly, at last year's September sale at Keeneland, made another big purchase when she bid $500,000 for an A.P. Indy filly out of the 1998 Eclipse Award-winning grass mare, Fiji.

Eugene Melnyk, who bought 12 horses in the first two days of the sale for $4.34 million, and Frank Stronach, who paid $800,000 for a Seeking the Gold colt, were other prominent Canadian buyers.