02/06/2004 1:00AM

Fasig-Tipton sale soars over dull '03

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A blockbuster sale at Timonium in the dead of winter? It had happened in the past, and the numbers sizzled once again at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic winter mixed sale on Monday.

Compared with 2003, which was an off year for this auction, the gross ($1,303,000) soared 175 percent and the average price ($9,871) was up 123 percent. The median ($5,000) increased 67 percent.

Buyers came looking for useful horses, and apparently they were not disappointed. Broodmares made up the cornerstone of the sale, with 63 selling for a total of $721,600, an average of $11,454. Included in this category was the $59,000 sales-topper, Garden Dance, a stakes-placed 5-year-old daughter of El Prado from the consignment of Mr. and Mrs. Rick Abbott's Charlton bloodstock agency. The buyer was M-2 LLC.

Thirteen broodmares sold for $20,000 or more.

Demand was just as strong, if not more so, for horses of racing age. There were 30 prospective runners who sold for a total of $371,200 (an average of $12,373).

Seven horses of racing age topped $20,000, including the 6-year-old Sea Hero mare Sea Femma, sold as a racing or broodmare prospect. Purchased in the name of Frank Stronach (his only listed purchase at the sale), Sea Femma is a stakes-placed daughter of multiple stakes winner Femma (by Full Pocket). She was sold as part of the estate dispersal of Hazel T. Roe, Litz Bloodstock Services, agent.

Yearlings made up the final category - 39 selling for a combined $210,200 (an average of $5,390). Two yearlings exceeded $20,000, with the top seller being an Allen's Prospect colt out of Talk of the Citi, by Citidancer, consigned by Charlton and purchased by Country Life Farm, agent.

Several dispersals helped to bolster the catalog, including a dozen horses of racing age from the estate of John Franks (two sold for $20,000 or more), and the sale's leading consignment, an estate dispersal of Hazel T. Roe.

Along with her husband, Kenneth, Roe bred and raced in the mid-Atlantic region for many years, under the name Hemlock Ridge Stables. Kenneth Roe died in 1991, and Hazel Roe carried on the operation until her death, at age 83, in January 2003.

With Donald P. Litz's Litz Bloodstock Services as agent, the Roe dispersal sold four broodmares and seven horses of racing age for a total of $255,400. Five of the Roe horses, led by Sea Femma, topped $20,000.

The next-leading consignment, by gross, was that of Bill Reightler, agent, consisting of 19 horses sold for $230,300.

The top buyer, by gross, was Pennsylvania-based Pandora Farms LLC, which purchased seven horses for a total of $133,700 (average $19,100). The leading buyer by average, three or more horses purchased, was Denise Dommel, with three purchases totaling $103,000 (average $34,333).

Through the ring, onto Derby trail

Also worth noting: Three leading 2004 Triple Crown prospects are graduates of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales.

Lion Heart, winner of the Hollywood Prevue and Hollywood Futurity, sold for $100,000 at the 2002 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale and was resold for $1.4 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale.

Read the Footnotes, who won the Remsen and Nashua, topped the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale on a $320,000 bid after working the fastest three furlongs (33.20 seconds) ever recorded at a Timonium pre-sale workout.

Frisky Spider, a Maryland-bred colt who is undefeated in three starts, sold for a bargain $10,000 at the 2002 Eastern fall yearling sale.

Read the Footnotes and Frisky Spider are expected to contest the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 14.