08/10/2008 11:00PM

Buybacks, prices both high at sale

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fasig-Tipton's New York-bred preferred yearling auction ended Sunday night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with a gain in overall average and median prices. But buybacks also were up from last year's figure, rising from 41 percent to 47 percent for the two-night sale.

A $165,000 Chapel Royal colt led Sunday's second of two sessions. James J. Barry was the buyer from Paramount Sales, agent. The colt is out of the El Gran Senor mare Devoted and is a half-brother to the stakes-placed filly Clarksburg Queen.

At Saturday's opener, the auction rang up a 19 percent increase in average and a 41 percent jump in median, but buybacks soared to 53 percent. After Sunday night's session, the auction had sold 100 yearlings for $5,439,000, down 7 percent from last year's total for 113 yearlings. But the two-day average price remained in the plus column at $54,390, up 5 percent from last year. So did median price, which finished at $45,000, up 18 percent from last year's number.

Buybacks also climbed significantly but improved over the opening-night figure.

The sale-topper, sold on Saturday night, was a $250,000 Exchange Rate-Star One One colt that West Point Thoroughbreds bought from McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds. The colt is a half-brother to stakes winner North Beach Condo.

The next auction to take place at Fasig-Tipton's Humphrey S. Finney pavilion in Saratoga was scheduled for Tuesday.

All horses tested negative for steroids

The buyers of 30 yearlings at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga select yearling sale requested steroid tests for those horses, and all the results were negative, Fasig-Tipton's chief operating officer Boyd Browning said Monday.

Fasig-Tipton started offering buyers testing for exogenous anabolic steroids, which the companies ban, at the company's July yearling sale in Kentucky. Buyers requested testing for about 7 percent of the July horses sold, but the figure jumped to 25 percent at the Saratoga select sale, where 122 horses sold.

Keeneland also will offer the testing at its upcoming September yearling auction in Kentucky.

"We're pleased that there were no positive tests," Browning said, "and I think it's interesting that there were a fairly high number of horses tested at the Saratoga select sale. I think that shows there's interest among buyers for that testing opportunity with the more expensive horses. Fortunately, it looks like consignors are all following the rules that have been enacted."

Redoute's Choice filly offered at Tattersalls

A filly by the highly successful Australian stallion Redoute's Choice will be in the catalog at the Tattersalls October yearling auction this year, making her the first yearling by that sire to sell in the Northern Hemisphere.

A January foal, the filly is out of Australian Group 2 winner Catnipped, a Rory's Jester mare. She is a half- or three-quarter sister to four winners, including stakes-placed Fangio. Watership Down Stud will consign the filly on behalf of breeder Carl Holt.

Redoute's Choice stands at Arrowfield Stud in Australia. The filly is from the first group of mares covered by Redoute's Choice in Australia on Northern Hemisphere time.

Redoute's Choice, a Danehill horse, was an Australian champion and has so far sired two champions - two-time champion Miss Finland and Fashions Afield - from eight crops.

The Tattersalls October yearling sale's first book, including the Redoute's Choice yearling, will sell Oct. 7-9. The auction's second book will sell Oct. 13-15; book three will sell Oct. 16-17; and the fourth and final book will sell Oct. 31. All auctions will take place at Tattersalls in Newmarket, England.