05/23/2011 6:34PM

Fasig-Tipton sale off to solid start

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Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's May 2-year-old auction opening session got off to a quick start Monday at the Timonium fairgrounds in Maryland, where horses with fast times at the under-tack preview brought some of the opening session's highest prices.

The auction was expanded from one day to two this year to accommodate a larger catalog of 600 horses, up from 405 in 2010. Monday's session sold 161 horses for $7,466,600 (including private sales), resulting in an average price of $46,376 and a $25,000 median. Last year's single-day auction sold 273 juveniles for a combined $13,099,500, resulting in a $47,984 average and a $27,000 median.

The 2011 buy-back rate stood at 26 percent, or 58 horses unsold, after the final hammer fell on Monday. That was up from an unusually low 12.5 percent last year for the one-day sale.

Trainer Bob Baffert went to $390,000 for sale-topping Hip No. 5, a Malibu Moon half-sister to champion turf horse Paradise Creek. The bay filly, currently named Eden's Moon, is out of North of Eden, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Forbidden Apple and Wild Event and to Paradise River, the dam of English champion David Junior. She was one of four sale horses timed in 21.6 seconds for a quarter-mile work at the May 18 under-tack preview, the fastest time for the distance.

Bridlewood Farm, agent, consigned the filly.

The Malibu Moon filly was one of 19 juveniles who brought six figures at Monday's opener, and one of three who sold for $250,000 or more. The others were Hip No. 252, a $280,000 Street Sense-Polish Nana filly that Mathis Stables purchased from Eisaman Equine, agent, and Hip No. 206, a $250,000 Harlan's Holiday-Motivated Sreva colt that EQB Inc., agent, bought from the McKathan Brothers agency.

The Street Sense filly had worked an eighth-mile in 10.2 seconds, the second-fastest time for the distance at the under-tack preview. The Harlan's Holiday colt covered the same distance in 10.6 seconds during the preview.

The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May juvenile auction was to continue through Tuesday, with the final session starting at 10 a.m. at the Timonium sale pavilion.