08/11/2003 11:00PM

N.Y.-bred sale drops 16%

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The average price at Fasig-Tipton's two-day New York-bred yearling sale, which concluded on Monday evening in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., plummeted 16 percent from last year's figures.

This year's average price for the two days was $41,567, down from $49,495 in 2002. The median price fell from $35,000 to $32,000. The buy-back rate rose from 33 percent to 37 percent.

At the two sessions combined, 127 horses sold for a total of $5,279,000, down 1 percent from last year when 108 horses fell under the hammer for $5,345,500.

Fasig-Tipton officials said the sale might have grown too fast for the market. The auction was expanded to two days last year when 40 horses were added to the catalog over the previous year. This year, another 40 horses were consigned to the sale.

"It might have been too many horses for the market to swallow," said Walt Robertson, the president of Fasig-Tipton. "We probably need to be a little harder on our selection process next year. We took some horses that there wasn't a market for today."

A Distorted Humor colt, consigned by Lakland North, agent, topped the second session. The colt, who is out of the Apalachee mare Dave's Kate, was bought for $170,000 by Mike Downing, agent.

Becky Thomas, who co-owns Lakland North with Lewis Lakin, said she thought the price was very good for the bay colt, who is named Kate's Humor.

"You can thank Funny Cide for that," said Thomas, referring to this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, who is a son of Distorted Humor. "That's a lot of money for that family."