10/06/2005 12:00AM

Midlantic sale up in most categories


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's Eastern fall yearling sale, expanded this year from two days to three, ended Wednesday evening with gains in gross and average but a decline in median.

Topped by a $375,000 Song-andaprayer colt that Jess Jackson bought, the auction sold a total of 615 yearlings for gross returns of $14,499,600, up dramatically from last year's $10,791,500 aggregate for 493 lots. The 2005 sale's three-day average also gained, rising 7 percent to $23,577. But median fell, slipping by 13 percent to $10,500. The 2005 buyback rate improved, dropping to 22 percent from last year's 23 percent.

The top of the market proved strongest at the sale. Twenty-six yearlings this year brought $100,000 or more, up from just six last year. Foremost among those was Jackson's $375,000 colt by leading freshman sire Songandaprayer. The colt is out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Tobin's Fortune and went through the ring as part of the Paramount Sales Agency's consignment.

In addition to Jackson's sale-topper, the auction also saw a $290,000 Touch Gold-Georgia K. colt that Wensleydale Farm bought from Thornmar, and a $275,000 Forestry-Catatonic colt that Hopewell Farm consigned for Faywood Stables.

Several big sellers at Tattersalls

The Tattersalls auction house in Newmarket, England, got its October yearling sale off to a blazing start this week with a spate of yearlings selling for $1 million or more. By Thursday's third session, the auction's leading price was 1,250,000 guineas, or about $2.3 million, for a Kingmambo colt. Gainsborough Stud Management bought the colt, a son of the Group 2-winning Alzao mare Last Second, from Prince Faisal Salman's Belgrave Bloodstock. Kirtlington Stud consigned the colt on Salman's behalf. The colt is a half-brother to recent Group 3 winner Aussie Rues, to stakes winner Approach, and to Group 1-placed Intrigued.

The Kingmambo colt sold at the third session, on Thursday. By that point, with three of four sessions completed at part one of the two-part auction, a total of 379 lots had sold in the ring for a total of about $84,727,377. Average price stood at about $223,555. Last year, the auction had a different format and had sold 512 lots for about $98,368,273, yielding an average price of about $192,126. Part one of the Tattersalls October yearling sale was to continue through Friday.

Coastal dies in South Africa

Coastal, the Belmont Stakes winner who foiled Spectacular Bid's Triple Crown bid in 1979, died last week in South Africa, the country's industry news outlets reported.

A Majestic Prince stallion, Coastal died in his stall at Summerhill Stud in KwaZulu-Natal at age 29. He had been pensioned there since 2000.

Coastal, the oldest living classic winner at the time of his death, is best known for his Belmont win. Spectacular Bid entered the final leg of the Triple Crown off a 12-race win streak that included a 2 3/4-length score in the Kentucky Derby and a 5 1/2-length victory in the Preakness. Not surprisingly, he was the heavy favorite in the Belmont. Coastal also came into the Belmont off impressive wins, but in less stellar company: He had won the Grade 3 Peter Pan and a pair of allowance races. Sent off at odds of 4-1under jockey Ruben Hernandez, Coastal won the Belmont by 3 1/4 lengths, with Golden Act second and Spectacular Bid third.

By the time he retired at the end of the 1979 racing season, Coastal had won five stakes, including the Belmont and the Grade 1 Monmouth Invitational Handicap, the Grade 2 Dwyer, and the Peter Pan. He retired with a lifetime record of 14-8-1-3 and $493,929 in earnings.

Coastal was less noted as a sire but did get some outstanding runners. His best performers were the filly Little Brianne, an eight-time stakes winner whose best victories came in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita and Santa Maria handicaps in 1991; Grade 1 winner Danger's Hour; Grade 2 winner and 1985 Kentucky Oaks runner-up Foxy Deen; Grade 3 winners Triple Wow, Cherry Jubilee, and Coastal Voyage; and South African Group 2 winner Rusty Pelican.