12/09/2003 12:00AM

December mixed sale sees gains

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Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's two-day December mixed sale registered gains across the board at its closing Monday.

The auction, held in Timonium, Md., sold fewer horses than last year but still posted increases. Together, this year's two sessions sold 360 lots for $2,702,300, up 9 percent from last year's total for 378 horses. The average of $7,506 was 15 percent higher than last year's, and the $3,700 median gained 16 percent. The market's strength encouraged more consignors to sell this year, and the buyback rate fell to 23 percent from last year's 30 percent.

The 2003 sale-topper was a full sister to Grade 2 winner and early Kentucky Derby hopeful Perfect Moon. The Malibu Moon-Perfectly filly brought $150,000 from The Castleton Group, headed by Tony Ryan's Castleton Lyons Farm. The Lexington, Ky., farm recently brought Malibu Moon from Maryland to stand for 2004. Litz Bloodstock Services sold the sale-topping filly for Mr. and Mrs. Hugh O'Donovan.

"The economy is good, and people have confidence in the Thoroughbred industry right now," said Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton's chief operating officer.