10/24/2004 11:00PM

NeverTell Farm buys Marquetry


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Richard and Audrey Haisfield's NeverTell Farm has purchased Marquetry, the sire of champion sprinters Artax and Squirtle Squirt. The 17-year-old Conquistador Cielo stallion was to leave Vinery in Lexington for new quarters on Tuesday, although his destination was not made public as of Monday afternoon.

"NeverTell Farm owned a position in the horse and made an offer to purchase him outright, which the syndicate has accepted," Vinery president Bates Newton said Monday.

The Haisfields got involved in the select Thoroughbred market in March at the Barretts 2-year-old sale, where their purchases included Cat Fighter, sold for $1.35 million as part of The Thoroughbred Corp.'s racing-age dispersal at the auction. Their partner in that purchase was Hill 'n' Dale Farms owner John Sikura. Earlier this year, the Haisfields bought Medaglia d'Oro from Edmund Gann, and they also own a majority interest in Doneraile Court. Both stallions stand at Hill 'n' Dale in Lexington.

Marquetry, a multiple Grade 1 winner, is the sire of 18 stakes winners from eight crops to race. He has lifetime progeny earnings of $23,320,635.

Marquetry is out of the stakes-placed Vice Regent mare Regent's Walk and is a half-brother to Group 2 winner Spain Lane.

Tapit, winner of Grade 1 Wood, is retired

Grade 1 winner Tapit has been retired and will stand at Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm in Lexington, the farm has announced.

Tapit, winner of the 2004 Wood Memorial, will be syndicated among Winchell Thoroughbreds, which campaigned the colt, Gainesway, and outside shareholders. The 3-year-old Pulpit colt will stand for $15,000.

Tapit won both his starts at 2, a Delaware Park maiden race and the 2003 Laurel Futurity, by a combined margin of more than 12 lengths. He became a leading contender for the 2004 Kentucky Derby after beating Master David in the Wood, but he finished ninth in the slop behind Smarty Jones at Churchill Downs. Plagued by recent lung problems, he retires with a lifetime record of 6-3-0-0 and $557,300 in earnings.

A $650,000 Keeneland September yearling, Tapit is out of the stakes-winning Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels and was bred by Oldeburg Farms in Kentucky. Michael Dickinson trained the colt.

Notebook colt early leader at Fasig-Tipton

Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's fall yearling sale, a two-day auction at the company's Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, opened Monday with a $120,000 early session-leader. That was a Notebook colt out of the unraced Relaunch mare Steamy Recipe. Newtown Farm purchased the colt from Glen Hill Farm.

The colt is a full brother to Guidebook, a filly who finished second in this year's Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap at Pleasanton. The family also features stakes winners Bearly Cooking, Captain Countdown, and Austin's Blaze.

The afternoon's second-highest price by 5 p.m. was the $75,000 that Sunrise Stables South, agent, paid for a Grand Slam filly out of Sam's Diary, by Private Account. Taaffe Farm, agent, sold the filly. Her dam is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Dancing All Night, and her family includes Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Dancing Spree, Grade 1 winners Furlough, Fantastic Find, and Finder's Fee, and other stakes performers.

The two-day sale has cataloged 830 yearlings and was to resume Tuesday with a continuous session beginning at 10 a.m.

Gatwick, 3-year-old colt, tops Tattersalls

The Tattersalls October horses-in-training auction, the largest auction of its kind, opened Monday in Newmarket, England, with a 3-year-old Ali-Royal colt named Gatwick topping the bill at about $521,640. The price in the local auction currency was 270,000 guineas.

Gatwick, a winner of four races so far, went to Dwayne Woods. The colt is out of the Warpath mare Airport, who also produced the stakes winner Hero's Welcome, by Simply Great. Gatwick will head to Hong Kong. Mick Channon's West Isley Stables consigned the colt.

One other lot brought more than 200,000 guineas, and that was Faasel, a 3-year-old Unfuwain gelding that agent Nicky Richards purchased for 230,000 guineas, or about $444,360. Kevin Prendergast's Friarstown Stables consigned the five-time winner as agent for Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum's Shadwell operation. The gelding is out of the Riverman mare Waqood.

Overall, Monday's first of four sessions sold 204 lots for about $8,517,415. Average price was about $41,752, and median was about $22,218. Those figures were up from last year's equivalent session, which sold 156 lots.