08/13/2007 11:00PM

Gross, average decline at Saratoga sale


The connections of recently retired 2003 Kentucky Derby hero Funny Cide were among the prominent buyers Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga open yearling auction in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Barclay Tagg, who trained Funny Cide and now has the Distorted Humor gelding as a stable pony, picked up the sale's session-topper. That was Hip No. 746, a $50,000 Lion Hearted colt out of the unraced Clever Trick mare Flying Nightengale. Tagg signed the ticket on behalf of David Mahan. The colt is currently named I Got Things to Do and is a half-brother to Finger Lakes stakes-winner Fly To Me.

Saratoga Glen Farm, agent, sold the colt. Mahan bought another yearling from the Saratoga Glen agency, a $30,000 Double Honor-Mine Amint colt. That price was the second-highest price of the auction. Also selling for $30,000 was a Yonaguska-Sweet Elyse colt that the Rhapsody Farm Bloodstock agency sold to Gainesway Bloodstock.

Funny Cide's ownership group, Sackatoga Stable, bought a $20,000 Roaring Fever-Loping Along colt. Managing partner Jack Knowlton signed the ticket on behalf of the stable. Quiet Woman Farm, agent, was the seller. Following that colt in the ring was another $20,000 sale and top filly, a daughter of Chief Seattle-Love Spiel that Joseph Aquilino, agent, bought from Coronach Farm. One other horse sold for that price: a Regal Classic-Talkabout colt that David McKathan bought from Andy Beadnell, whose consignor was McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds.

The session sold more yearlings this season - 73 as compared with 70 last year - but posted losses across the board. The gross of $523,600 was down 23 percent from last season's $680,500. The average price fell 26 percent to $7,173, and the $4,500 median was down 16 percent. But buy-backs declined, falling from 47 percent in 2006 to 43 percent.