10/25/2001 11:00PM

Fasig-Tipton to run Woodbine sales

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lexington-based auction house Fasig-Tipton Company has signed a two-year agreement with Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society to manage the annual yearling auctions at Canada's Woodbine racecourse.

The agreement comes about a week after the former sale manager, Canadian Breeders Sales, ended its contract to rent the Woodbine sale facility. Canadian Breeders Sales had managed the Woodbine auctions for 11 years but now has no plans to conduct sales in the foreseeable future, according to the company's owner, prominent Canadian breeder Michael Byrne.

According to a release issued by Woodbine Entertainment, which operates the racetrack, Fasig-Tipton will conduct a select yearling sale and a two-day open sale in the first week of September in 2002 and 2003.

Woodbine has reduced the fall sale schedule from two months to three weeks, a move that track officials hope will mean a shorter period of displacement of racehorses from sale barns.

"Woodbine Entertainment is first and foremost a racing organization whose success is predicated on field size and quality of racing product," said David Willmot, chairman and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "At the same time, we have a vested interest in ensuring the breeding industry remains viable, and these changes will allow us to come closer to meeting these goals."