05/15/2003 11:00PM

Canada breeding: Wild Again filly tops sale, buy-backs down

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Highlighted by a decline in the number of buy-backs, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's 2-year-olds in training sale on Thursday held steady business compared with last year's auction.

Of the 70 juveniles cataloged, just 25 were listed as sold (24 were withdrawn) for gross sales of $628,000, up from last year's $594,700 for 23 juveniles sold.

The average slipped just under 3 percent, to $25,120 from $25,857 last year, but perhaps more significantly, the number of horses who did not reach their reserves dropped from 39 to 21 (for similar-sized catalogs).

Topping the sale was a Wild Rush filly out of the stakes-winning mare Attraction Fatale, consigned by Cameron Training Centre, agent, and sold to Jurgen and Monique Schemmer's Arosa Farms for $100,000.

The filly was bred by Dr. John Brown's Spring Farm, which attempted to sell the filly last summer at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale but took her back for $26,000.

"I said all along that she was worth $100,000," said Brown, a past president of the horse society who is currently on the sales committee. "I didn't reserve her for that, but she's worth every penny."

A half-sister to stakes-placed Saratoga Prince, the Wild Rush filly had her first career workout at the sale's gallop show and breezed one furlong in a speedy 11.20 seconds.

"She's talented," said Brown. "I don't usually like being in the racing business, but if there was one I would have liked to race, she's the one. She has common sense and brains to burn."

While the horse society's sale has been a source of high-quality runners in recent years - stakes winners Brattothecore, Boldest of All, and Frankiefourfingers, plus the talented allowance runner Kissed by a Prince emerged from the 2002 auction - it was in danger of being canceled for 2003.

"It came very close to not going," said Brown. "We just didn't have enough entries. But we got some late and we went ahead."

Brown said a major problem with the sale is the lack of stall space at Woodbine. The track is currently rebuilding the two barns that burned in a fire last summer and has only recently completed construction of a new barn on the west end of the property.

"It wasn't a terrible sale, but there's still that big thing of stall space hanging over its head," he said. "If had been a disaster, we'd be writing it off for next year."

Listed as the second-highest price at the sale was Seattle Lottery, a filly from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Lucky Roberto out of the winning mare Asleep in Seattle.

Originally a $2,500 weanling purchase by Gerry Belanger at the Keeneland November breeding sale, the filly was consigned by Richard Hogan, agent, and attracted a bid of $70,000 from Surgit Hans.

Consigned by Huntington Stud Farm, San Diego Blowout, an $11,000 yearling purchase in Kentucky last October, sold for $62,000 to Jets Racing Stable. The gray colt is from the second crop of Grade 3 winner Confide and a half-brother to stakes-placed Pearl Gift.