07/18/2001 11:00PM

Meadowlake colt brings $500,000


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A $500,000 Meadowlake colt bought by The Thoroughbred Corp. topped the second and final session at Fasig-Tipton's July selected yearling sale Thursday as the top of the yearling market remained strong.

Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency sold the chestnut Meadowlake colt, the first foal out of the unplaced Storm Cat mare Tom's Annie.

Also on Thursday, a $400,000 Saint Ballado-Goulash (Mari's Book) colt bought by Peter Karches continued his sire's run of major sales prices. The colt followed a heady $4 million sale-topping price for another Saint Ballado colt at Keeneland's July yearling sale Monday. Taylor Made Sales Agency sold both colts.

Selling at Fasig-Tipton got off to a solid start at the opening session Wednesday, with a sale-topping $625,000 Dehere colt out of the stakes-producing Afleet mare Afleet's Gold. A half-brother to Canadian stakes-winner Excess Thrilling, he went to Irish bloodstock agent Paul Collins, who also bought a $500,000 Wild Rush colt out of the Woodman mare Mary Sloan. Collins represented English-based businessman Bobby Killoran.

Those prices helped push the first day's average price to $97,402, a 34 percent increase over last year's $72,561. Overall, the first day sold 122 yearlings for $11,883,000, down 4 percent; that decline was primarily a function of the company's decision to offer nearly 100 fewer horses this year than last year. This year, 122 horses sold, compared with 171 last year.

Despite such strong selling, Monday's buy-back rate stepped up to 37 percent, up from 34 percent in 2001. But consignors who had something to offer buyers' stringent requirements for athletic horses with acceptable pedigrees were rewarded.

Consignor Noel Murphy of Castle Park Farm, which sold a Devil's Bag-Miss Cross (Far North) colt for $150,000 on behalf of breeder Richard Kaster, said, "There are good, solid horses here. This year, there seems to be a horse for every level of buyer."

On Thursday, prices came down somewhat, but the top of the market remained strong. Thursday's top filly was a $300,000 Gulch yearling out of Group 1-placed stakes winner Knoosh (Storm Bird). Darby Dan Bloodstock bought the filly, who was sold by Bluewater Sales agency.