Updated on 09/17/2011 10:58AM

Fasig-Tipton showcases yearlings

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's summer yearling sale, the only summer yearling sale in the state after cancellation of this year's Keeneland July sale, begins Wednesday at Newtown Paddocks in Lexington.

The two-day auction has a catalog of 462 yearlings and will start each morning at 10 Eastern. The catalog features yearlings by a number of first-crop stallions, among them Behrens, Cat Thief, Dixie Union, Fusaichi Pegasus, Golden Missile, High Yield, Lemon Drop Kid, More Than Ready, War Chant, and Yankee Victor. There are also three yearlings in the catalog by the ill-fated Anees, 1999 juvenile champion, who died in April due to complications from a broken pastern; these yearlings are from his first crop of foals.

The catalog also includes lots by firmly establish sires, most notably a single offering by Seattle Slew. That colt is out of stakes-placed Love Quarrel.

Last year, the Fasig-Tipton July yearling auction sold 325 horses for gross receipts of $31,790,000, producing an average price of $97,815 and a median of $70,000. Last year's sale topper was Consistent, a $700,000 son of Unbridled's Song and Arctic Valley purchased by Bob and Beverly Lewis.

Four Star tests European market

Four Star Sales, a consigning agency that made its debut at last year's Keeneland July yearling sale, is expanding to the boutique European sale market. The company plans to send eight yearlings to England's prestigious Houghton sale, the flagship yearling auction at Tattersalls in Newmarket, and four others to the Tattersalls October sale.

"All the partners in Four Star Sales have raced and/or sold horses internationally, and this is a natural area of expansion for us," said managing partner Kerry Cauthen, who is joined in Four Star Sales by Walmac International owner John T. L. Jones, Kentucky-based bloodstock agent Dan Kenny, and Glencrest Farm owner David Greathouse.

"We began looking into it at the request of a couple of our clients, and it grew from there," Cauthen said. "We weren't going to go unless we did it right, with the intention of coming back year after year with quality horses. As a consignor, you're always trying to place your horses where they will have the broadest market appeal."

Four Star's Houghton consignment will feature a half-sister to English and Irish champion Stravinsky and a half-sister to English juvenile champion Celtic Swing, both by Sadler's Wells. There are also lots by Kingmambo, In the Wings, Giant's Causeway, Spinning World, and Seeking the Gold.

The October consignment includes yearlings by Fasliyev, King's Best, Miswaki, and Stravinsky.

To drum up exposure for its Tattersalls debut, Four Star Sales also will sponsor England's Group 2 Richmond Stakes on July 29, opening day of the Goodwood meeting.

Cauthen has enlisted the aid of his brother, Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen, to present the trophy to the race's winner. Steve Cauthen, a former champion jockey in Europe, is now retired from the saddle and owns Dreamfields, a Thoroughbred breeding farm and training center in northern Kentucky. He's also a Four Star client and will offer a Stravinsky colt through the agency at the October sale.

Keeneland catalog smaller

In the absence of its July select sale, Keeneland's first yearling auction of the season will be from Sept. 8-20, and this year the catalog will have 4,294 lots. Whatever horses the 13-day sale might have gained from cancellation of the July sale appears to have been more than offset by losses from mare reproductive loss syndrome. As a result, the 2003 catalog is smaller than last year's September sale, which cataloged 4,367 horses.

According to an announcement Keeneland released Monday, the 2003 September sale includes 2,272 colts, 2,018 fillies, and four geldings.

Keeneland will release a preview catalog, consisting of consignor and sire indexes, this month. The auction house will mail its formal catalogs in mid-August.

Last year, Keeneland's mammoth September market sold 2,934 yearlings for $210,809,000 and an average price of $71,850.

* Mrs. John Magnier's Group 2 winner Van Nistelrooy, 2001's most expensive yearling at $6.4 million, has been retired due to injury and will shuttle immediately to Trelawney Stud in New Zealand, according to Coolmore Stud. A

3-year-old son of Storm Cat and the Halo mare Halory, Van Nistelrooy is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Halory Hunter and Grade 3 winner Brushed Halory.