01/13/2005 12:00AM

Led by Andrea Gail, six more horses sell for six figures

Prospective buyers inspect the stock before bidding begins at the Keeneland January sale.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland January all-ages sale's returns dipped on Wednesday, but at Thursday's fourth session, upper-market horses were still commanding occasional six-figure prices.

As of 5 p.m. Eastern, Keeneland was reporting a session-leading price of $290,000 for Andrea Gail, an 8-year-old Storm Bird mare bought by Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock Agency. Andrea Gail, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Elaborate, is the dam of California Sprint Handicap winner Areyoutalkintome, by Smokester. She was cataloged in foal to Roar. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned Andrea Gail to the auction.

Earlier in the session, the fourth of six days, the Valid Expectations broodmare Lost Expectations brought a $200,000 bid from Stonerside Stables. Gainesway, agent, sold the mare, a Grade 2 winner offered in foal to Sunday Break.

Five other lots brought $100,000 or more on Thursday.

At Wednesday's session, $500,000 Misty Sixes brought the day's highest price on a final bid from Gulf Coast Farm. Sold as a broodmare prospect, Misty Sixes is a 7-year-old Summer Squall mare out of the Gone West graded winner Double Sixes.

The Wednesday session sold 241 lots for $6,699,300 in gross receipts, down 7 percent from last year's equivalent session, when 249 lots brought $7,171,400. The 2005 average slipped slightly, from $28,801 last year to $27,798. But median rose, from $11,000 last year to $12,000 in 2005.

Overall, through the first three sessions, the 2005 auction was running ahead of its 2004 edition. The current auction had sold 750 horses for $44,844,900, up from $42,545,600 for 740 horses last year. Average was up, from $57,494 to $59,793, and median held level at $25,000.

The sale will continue through Saturday.

Breeder, radio host Baumohl dies

Thoroughbred owner and breeder and Kentucky radio personality Arthur Baumohl died Wednesday at age 78 in Lexington.

A New York City native, Baumohl moved to Lexington in 1954 and became immersed in the Thoroughbred world. He worked in the editorial departments of the Thoroughbred Record and The Blood-Horse, where he was an assistant to the magazine's famed editor, Joe Estes. He also was advertising director for the Daily Racing Form's Lexington office in 1961 and '62. In 1962, he founded Colin Advertising with Ercel Ellis.

Baumohl bred more than 15 stakes winners in partnership, but was at least as well known as host of the daily WLAP radio program Post Time from 1954 to 1972.

Baumohl's nephew, Hopewell Farm owner Rick Trontz, credited Baumohl for giving him his start in the business. Trontz, who grew up in California, developed a love for racing from Baumohl in Kentucky.

"He taught me how to read past performances. He taught me how to read pedigrees," Trontz said. "And when I was in college he got me a job as a groom at the racetrack."

Baumohl is survived by his wife, Jane; son Chris Baumohl; daughter Susan Lanthorn; sister Gladys Trontz; three grandsons, a niece, and two nephews. Visitation was scheduled for Friday at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington; the burial was to be private.

Online trading venture fails

EquineCommerce.com, which had sought to establish an online stock market-style equine trading service, has folded, the operation's co-founder, Barry Weisbord, confirmed Wednesday.

The members-only service started in October 2003 with investors and board members including Lane's End, Taylor Made, Eaton Sales, and Coolmore's Ashford Stud.

"I still believe in the concept, and I believe the concept has somewhat of a future in the horse business," Weisbord said.

"Maybe we were a little premature, or maybe we didn't execute it as well as we should have. But I'm sure at some point that there will be horse business conducted online."

* The Racing Post has reported that Fourstars Allstar, New York-bred winner of the 1991 Irish 2000 Guineas and a full brother to Grade 2-winning millionaire Fourstardave, has been sold privately and will relocate from Beeches Stud in Co. Waterford, Ireland, to Astley Grange Stud in Leicestershire, England.

* Argosy, an Irish stakes-winning half-brother to Seattle Slew and Lomond, has died in South Africa, the Thoroughbred Times reports. The Affirmed horse was 24 and had sired South African Grade 1 winners Vistula and Lindberg.