10/26/2011 4:05PM

Fasig-Tipton sale continues strongly


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Big prices just kept coming Wednesday as the strong Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling market rolled into its final session.

The Lexington, Ky., sale posted big returns at its first two sessions, and, at 3:45 p.m., Wednesday’s sale-leader had pushed the ceiling up again. The session- and sale-leader at that hour was a $270,000 Smart Strike colt out of the Green Desert mare Yaqeen, a stakes-winning half-sister to Grade 1 winner Grand Courturier. Mark Casse, agent, signed for the bay colt, the second foal for his British-bred dam.

The Bluewater Sales agency consigned the colt, one of three to bring $200,000 or more at that point.

The Smart Strike’s colt price bettered Tuesday’s high of $260,000 for an Arch filly out of Royal Sanction, by Royal Academy. Agent Steve Young made that purchase from James Herbener’s consignment. The filly is a half-sister to Gereman stakes-winner Ronja.

Tuesday’s second of three sessions sold 254 yearlings for a combined $6,358,800, as compared to $3,655,800 for 246 yearlings last season. Average price soared from last year’s $14,861 to $25,035, and median skyrocketed from $5,000 in 2010 to $12,000. Buy-backs were 17 percent, down from 23 percent a year ago.

At Monday’s opener, the auction sold fewer horses than last year but raised its gross and average by 50 percent and 59 percent, while median more than doubled.