10/25/2009 11:00PM

Numbers mixed at Fasig-Tipton opener


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's October yearling sale put up mixed results Monday at its first of three session.

The opening session sold 173 yearlings for total receipts of $1,933,500, resulting in an average price of $11,176 and a $6,000 median. The gross and average fell 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively, but the median climbed 20 percent, from $5,000 to $6,000. Last year's opening day sold 182 horses for $2,173,100 for an average of $11,940 and a median of $5,000. The buy-back rate also improved from 38 percent last season to 34 percent.

Monday's session-topper was an $85,000 Wildcat Heir colt. The M H & B partnership bought the chestnut colt, who sold as Hip No. 152 from Beth Bayer's consignment. A son of Tarahumara, by Black Tie Affair, he is a half-brother to stakes-winners Lizzy's Township and Many Kisses and to $333,024 earner Minnamana.

Earlier this year, Fasig-Tipton had announced it would not hold the Kentucky October yearling sale, but buyers and sellers prevailed upon the company to restore the auction to the 2009 calendar. The auction annually attracts a healthy buying population from South America and Canada, among other markets, and sold two consecutive Kentucky Derby winners in Big Brown (2008 winner, a $60,000 sale grad in 2006) and Mine That Bird (2009 winner, a $9,500 graduate in 2007).

The sale was to run through Oct. 28 at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks in Lexington. Sessions start daily at 10 a.m.