08/08/2002 11:00PM

Fasig-Tipton gives statebreds an extra day

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For the first time since Fasig-Tipton introduced a one-day sale of New York-breds at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1989, the preferred yearling auction, which begins Sunday, will be held over a two-day period.

The Sunday and Monday sessions will begin each evening at 7:30 at the Humphrey S. Finney sales pavilion.

The auction was expanded to two days this year to accommodate the 182 yearlings consigned to the sale. Last year, a record 141 yearlings were offered and the sale concluded late in the evening.

Boyd Browning Jr., Fasig-Tipton's chief operating officer, said the growth of the preferred sale is a reflection of how much the New York-bred program has improved since the first sale.

"Our first statebred preferred sale had 65 to 70 horses and now we have over 180," Browning said. "There has been a dramatic improvement in quality to the New York-bred program the last 10 years."

Browning said the record number of yearlings has brought some new consignors to the sale including Becky Thomas, one of the country's top pinhookers. Thomas, who bought five yearlings for $171,000 at the preferred sale last year, is one of the owners of Lakland North LLC, a breeding farm in Hudson, N.Y., that opened last year.

Lakland has consigned 14 New York-breds to the sale, including yearlings sired by Cape Town, Grand Slam, and Hennessy.

According to Browning, another first-time consignor to the preferred sale is the Kentucky-based Paramount Sales. There are 13 Paramount Sales horses in the catalog, including several by New York freshman sire Tomorrows Cat, who already has two winners from his first crop.

The are several large consignments representing the regulars at the preferred sale, including Thomas J. Gallo, Harry L. Landry, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Jeff Minton, and Sugar Maple Farm.

At the 2001 preferred sale, the 82 yearlings to fall under the hammer brought $3,557,000, compared with $3,420,700 for the same number sold in 2000. Last year's average rose four percent to $43,378 compared with $41,716 in 2000. The buy-back rate for horses that did not meet their reserve was 36 percent, a jump from 34 percent in 2000.

"I think the sale will be very strong," Browning said. "There is tremendous interest in the New York-bred program. The sire power at this sale I think will attract buyers who haven't attended before."

Well Noted retires to stud

Well Noted, a graded stakes winner, has been retired and will stand stud at Monhill Farm LLC in Pine Plains, N.Y. The 7-year-old, who is in the process of being syndicated, will stand the 2003 breeding season for $3,000, live foal.

Well Noted won $448,195 from a lifetime record of 8-7-9 from 39 starts. His most important wins came in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park and the Hawthorne Juvenile Stakes, which he won by nine lengths.

Well Noted is a son of New York-bred champion Notebook, a Grade 2 winner and a sire of more than 30 stakes winners. Well Noted's dam, Night Owl Special, is a stakes-placed daughter by Cathy's Reject.

Two seminars for breeders

New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. has scheduled two seminars in Saratoga Springs this week. On Tuesday, the NYTB will conduct a dinner meeting at Longfellow's Restaurant. Guest speakers include Sen. Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, who will discuss how the NYS Horse Health Assurance Program can benefit farm owners.

Janet Del Castillo, the author of "The Backyard Racehorse," will present a seminar on Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. Del Castillo will provide insights on how to save money when preparing horses for racing careers.

Reservations can be made by calling the NYTB at (518) 587-0777.