02/24/2006 12:00AM

Forestry colt works fastest of select sale cast

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The year's second 2-year-olds in training sale begins Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Calder Race Course. Fasig-Tipton's selected sale has cataloged 308 horses and 43 of them are Florida-breds. Last year Fasig-Tipton cataloged 355 horses, 47 of them Florida-breds.

Only eight of this year's sales horses are by current Florida sires. The sires are: Exchange Rate (who stands at Padua Stables), Red Bullet (Adena Springs South), Three Wonders (Hartley/DeRenzo Walmac South), Tiger Ridge (Hidden Point Farm), and Trippi (Ocala Stud).

The first of two under-tack shows took place last Sunday, and the fastest work for a furlong - 9.80 seconds - was run by a Florida-bred colt by Forestry. The colt (Hip No. 153) was sold as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton July sales in Lexington, Ky., to Hartley/DeRenzo LLC for $425,000. The fastest work for a quarter-mile - 21.20 seconds - was run by two Florida-breds. The first to get a 21.20 quarter was a filly (Hip No. 274) by Songandaprayer consigned by Murray Smith, agent. The filly is a $100,000 pin-hook out of the Fasig-Tipton July yearling auction. The other 21.20 quarter-mile workout was run by an El Corredor colt (Hip No. 233) consigned by Hoby and Layna Kight and bought out of the OBS August yearling sales for $90,000.

Fasig-Tipton will hold the second round of under-tack shows on Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. Tapes of horses who worked the first under-tack show are available at Calder Race Course.

Two years of sales results for this auction show that in 2004 there were 142 lots sold for an average price of $292,859 and a median of $170,000. Last year, 147 were sold for an average of $341,034 and a median of $200,000.

"I have got to hand it to the Florida consignors," said Terence Collier, Fasig-Tipton's marketing director. "They really stepped up to the plate last year and bought a high-class group of yearlings. Just look at the results of the under-tack shows and you can see what I mean."

Collier thinks the market will be as strong this year as it was last year, and that the usual bidders will be on hand. But he did make an exception.

"Bob Lewis and Mahmoud Fustok will be missed," he said, referring to two major buyers who died this year. "They were high-class gentlemen who supported the sales."

Japanese buyers were once high-end players at this sale, but Collier thinks that they will invest more in the middle segment of the market. But while the Japanese may buy at a lower level than in years past, Collier expects more of them to be active. He cites the strong Japanese economy, the strengthened yen, and growing Asian competition.

Meanwhile, Collier praised the Calder Race Course team for being ready for the sale.

"I did not realize just how devastating the hurricanes were here," he said.

He cited the general damage, signs of which are still omnipresent.

Little Everglades Festival

The Little Everglades Festival will be held next Sunday at the Little Everglades Ranch near Dade City, Fla., about 25 miles northwest of Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar.

The name "little" is a misnomer as the spacious estate includes a 1 1/2-mile turf course, a wildlife refuge, and exhibition and picnic areas. It is also the site of four sanctioned National Steeplechase Association jumping races and two flat races. Total prize money for the day's six races is $95,000, including a $10,000 1 1/4-mile allowance race on the flat for 3 year-olds and older Florida-breds.

For ticket and festival information visit www.littleevergladessteeplechase.com.