07/25/2002 11:00PM

Diamond colt goes for premium price

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"The market tells you what a horse is worth," says longtime Maryland breeder Charles McGinnes. And for McGinnes and his wife, Cynthia, owners of Thornmar farm in Chestertown, Md., the market soared for their colt by first-year Maryland stallion Diamond at this year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Selected Yearling sale on July 17.

Selling with the consignment of Marshall Silverman, Diamond's chestnut son out of the stellar racemare Castilla brought $140,000, far exceeding the McGinneses' expectations.

The colt was something of an enigma. He was the only yearling by Diamond in the July sale and out of a mare who is now 23 years old. But McGinnes describes the colt as "a very good looking horse with a lot of attitude."

And it doesn't take much searching to find quality in his pedigree.

Diamond, who stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, is a stakes-winning son of Mr. Prospector and a full-brother to Grade 1-winning millionaire Educated Risk. Diamond's half-sister is champion Inside Information.

Castilla, a daughter of Bold Reason, was considered by many as the nation's the finest turf mare in the early 1980's. Trained by Charlie Whittingham, Castilla earned $701,050 with victories in such races as the Yellow Ribbon Invitational and Matriarch Stakes.

Castilla made her way to Maryland late in her breeding career after the McGinneses' good friend, Virginia Kraft Payson, who had purchased the mare in 1994, decided to cut back her broodmare band three years later. McGinnes had long admired Castilla and made a deal which resulted in Castilla coming to live at Thornmar.

It was decided to send Castilla to a young, fertile stallion close to home. With Northview about a half-hour away, the McGinneses chose Diamond.

The McGinneses would love to have a daughter of Castilla in their broodmare band and have bred Castilla to Diamond three consecutive years. After producing the colt, the mare failed to get in foal last year. At last check, Castilla is in foal for 2003.

McGinnes listened to Silverman's advice when determining where to sell the Diamond colt. "You have to have a mature horse for a July sale," says McGinnes, "And he must be a good physical horse to sell well."

At last year's sale, Thornmar and Silverman teamed up to sell a Two Punch filly for $230,000.

Silverman strives to find horses that will fit Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's July sale and has been pleased with the results in the seven years he has made the trip. A year ago, Silverman realized the highest price for a horse from his consignment when he sold a Wild Rush colt for $500,000.

Silverman experienced an even greater high this year when Hip No. 586 walked through the ring late in the sale. A gray son of Unbridled's Song out of Arctic Valley, he brought a sales-topping $700,000 and became the highest-priced horse ever sold by Silverman, who is based in New Freedom, Pa., just across the Maryland line.

Silverman had first seen the Unbridled's Song colt last fall at the Keeneland November Sale, when the weanling had failed to reach his reserve at $95,000. Stuart and Ed Turlington, who regularly sell with Silverman, purchased the colt privately after the sale and prepped him at their farm in Kentucky.

The sales-topper is from a family quite familiar to Silverman, who sold the colt's dam, Arctic Valley, as a 2-year-old in 1988 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale at Calder. Arctic Valley, by Arctic Tern, was bred in Maryland by Jerry Hoffberger, in partnership with Bernard and Jean Davidson and Carelaine Farm, and went on to become one of five stakes horses produced by Hoffberger's mare, Seven Valleys, whose runners included Maryland Million winner Coolin It and Maryland-bred stakes winner Fappavalley. Seven Valleys, also bred in Maryland, was a graded stakes-placed runner by Maryland stallion Road at Sea.

The granddam of leading sire Silver Deputy, Seven Valleys had another accomplished grandson, Goldminer's Dream, who was purchased by Silverman as a yearling. After Silverman broke the colt, he sold Goldminer's Dream to a partnership headed by David Hayden. Goldminer's Dream won or placed in 13 stakes and earned $511,261 during his career.