07/18/2001 12:00AM

New shooter pays $625,000 at Fasig-Tipton

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - A $625,000 Dehere colt led a strong opening session Wednesday at the Fasig-Tipton July selected yearling sale.

The Fasig-Tipton session got off to a bullish start with aggressive bidding from some prominent Thoroughbred owners, including bloodstock agent John Ferguson, who regularly represents Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, and Bob and Beverly Lewis. But a new face among the bidders was responsible for buying the Fasig-Tipton first session topper. Paul Collins, an Irish bloodstock agent, raised eyebrows with the $625,000 bid for the Dehere colt, who is a half-brother to Canadian stakes winner Excess Thrilling.

Summerfield, agent, sold the chestnut colt, whose price beat last year's $525,000 sale topper but was well off the 1983 sale record of $1.75 million for Formaz.

Collins, on his first trip to United States auctions, said he purchased the colt for a new client, an English-based businessman named Bobby Killoran. A former jockey who has worked in America and Germany, Collins made his first American bids at Keeneland's July select sale, picking up a $700,000 Gone West colt out of Grade 1 winner Market Booster on Tuesday night.

That colt, Collins said, will go into training with Dermot Weld in Ireland, while the Dehere colt he signed for at Fasig-Tipton will ship to Another Episode Farm near Ocala, Fla., for the time being.

"We buy to race but also to pinhook," Collins said. "We aim to go for the breeze-ups [2-year-old sales] and could send this colt to the select 2-year-old sales in the U.S."

Collins also bought the afternoon's second-highest-priced lot, a $500,000 Wild Rush colt, on behalf of Killoran. Marshall Silverman, agent, consigned that colt, who is a half-brother to stakes winners Dr Margaret and Hanover Street.

Both colts will be broken by Dominic Brennan at Another Episode.

Collins said that Killoran has about 50 horses, including these purchases, and will be sending six horses he recently bought at Tattersalls to New York trainer Leo O'Brien.

Others with notable purchases included Kentucky horseman Tracy Farmer, who bought a $450,000 Pulpit half-brother to stakes winner Sooty Tern, and Ferguson, who bought a $425,000 Siphon colt out of the Carson City mare Fast and Early.