10/02/2008 11:00PM

CandyLand Farm leads the way at F-T sale

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The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale is the major marketing avenue for Maryland-bred and -sired yearlings. A total of 189 Maryland-bred yearlings were cataloged for this year's sale, held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, and 158 walked through the ring. The results paralleled the national trend, with a dramatic downturn.

A total of 92 Maryland-bred yearlings were sold, for an average of $13,483, down 36 percent from last year's Maryland-bred average of $21,226. The buyback rate for statebred yearlings was 42 percent, significantly higher than the sale's overall mark of nearly 36 percent. But there were highlights at this year's sale, with a Maryland-bred session topper and two bringing six figures.

The top-priced Maryland-bred in the three-day sale sold on the first day, when a colt by Silver Deputy out of Run for Joy was purchased by Scanlon Training Center for $155,000.

Bred and owned by Herb and Ellen Moelis's CandyLand Farm in Middletown, Del., the colt was foaled at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, Md., and raised at the Moelises's Delaware farm.

The Silver Deputy colt, a May foal, had been accepted to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, but was held out to allow him to mature. He is the third foal out of multiple stakes winner Run for Joy, a daughter of Geiger Counter from the family of Cozzene.

CandyLand also was the consignor of the top-priced yearling of the sale, a $320,000 Holy Bull colt bred by a partnership between the Moelises and friends Jim Ferguson and Mike Lipper in the name of Classic Thoroughbred XVIII. Out of the stakes-placed Citidancer mare Disco Darlin', the Holy Bull colt was foaled in Pennsylvania at Upland Spring Farm in Unionville and also raised in Delaware. He was purchased by Ed Stevenson. Disco Darlin', the dam of a 2003 Maryland-bred daughter of Not for Love who was sold as a yearling by CandyLand for $40,000 and later sold as a 2-year-old for $160,000, has a weanling Maryland-bred filly by Jump Start for the same breeders and is back in foal to Two Punch.

"Where the mares foal really has a lot to do with who they are going to be bred to and what time of year they are due to foal," Herb Moelis said.

The CandyLand mares foaling in Maryland are boarded at the Pons family's Country Life Farm.

"They are a marvelous group of people," Moelis said of the staff at Country Life.

CandyLand was the leading consignor with gross sales, selling 19 yearlings for a total of $823,700. And the two yearlings who didn't sell in the ring were sold after the sale.

"The sale was a really tough sale," said Moelis, who noted that after the results of the first day and the news from Washington that evening that the bailout didn't pass, consignors were "expecting a bloodbath." But the CandyLand team placed "realistic reserves, knowing we'd get hit a bit," added Moelis, who was satisfied with the results overall.

Moelis credits longtime farm manager Mike Palmer for the success.

"He's an excellent horseman who cares about the horses and treats them well," Moelis said. "He has the horses looking the part."

The second-highest price on the second day of sale was for Hickory Ridge Farm's Maryland-bred Songandaprayer colt, with Dapple Bloodstock securing him for $110,000. Another May foal, the colt was consigned with Sally Thomas. Out of the Storm Bird mare Beach Bunny, the dark bay colt is a half-brother to three winners.

The top price of the Maryland-sired yearlings was a Not for Love colt consigned by Green Willow Farms. Bred in Pennsylvania, the dark bay colt was purchased by Vision Sales 2008 LLC for $100,000. He is a half-brother to stakes winner Tactical Move and stakes-placed Exemplary, out of the Silver Buck mare Silver Nova.

Not for Love led all sires by gross sales, with 14 selling for $456,000. Other Maryland sires with gross sales of more than $50,000 were Domestic Dispute (19 sold, $178,300), Lion Hearted (13 sold, $177,400), Two Punch (five sold, $104,000), Louis Quatorze (four sold, $54,300), and Rock Slide (five sold, $51,600). The top first-year sires were Dance With Ravens (14 sold, $102,300), Oratory (11 sold, $90,500), and Gators N Bears (eight sold, $69,700).