09/22/2005 12:00AM

Pico Central's race days over


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Pico Central, a North American Grade 1 winner and a leading contender for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, has been retired from racing because of an upper foreleg injury, Robert Clay and Satish Sanan announced Thursday.

The 6-year-old Brazilian-bred, a son of Spend a Buck, will stand at the Sanan family's Padua Stables in Summerfield, Fla., as the property of a syndicate that will include Padua and Clay's Three Chimneys Farm. Padua purchased a 50 percent interest in Pico Central's breeding rights in May.

Pico Central's trainer, Paulo Lobo, "informed us today that Pico Central has inflammation in the left carpal sheath and will not, as a result, make the Breeders' Cup next month," Clay said in a release issued late Thursday.

Lobo termed the problem "a minor injury," but added that "this will prevent him from participating in the Vosburgh, and he would not be 100 percent for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He's been a grand horse to train, but retirement is now the best thing."

will stand for a $10,000 fee during his initial year at stud.

"We would have loved to see him run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but we are thrilled to have him coming to Padua," Sanan said, noting that the horse will be the first Metropolitan Handicap winner since Fappiano to stand in Florida.

The 2004 Metropolitan Handicap was one of three Grade 1 races Pico Central won in the United States after a successful career in his native Brazil, where he also captured the Brazilian Grade 1 Grande Premio Major Suckow in 2002 and the Grade 1 Grande Premio Estado do Rio de Janeiro in 2003. He was named Brazil's champion sprinter in 2003 and its Horse of the Year in 2004.

Trained in the United States by Lobo for Gary Tanaka, Pico Central went on to capture the 2004 Met Mile, Vosburgh Stakes, and Carter Handicap. He also won the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap and finished third in three other graded stakes, two of those in the United States.

Pico Central retires with a 9-0-3 record from 17 starts and $1,283,145 in earnings.

He is a son of the Brazilian mare Sheila Purple, a daughter of Purple Mountain.

Purge to stand at Vinery

Purge, winner of the Jim Dandy and Peter Pan, will retire from racing at the end of 2005 and will stand in 2006 at Dr. Tom Simon's Vinery in Lexington, Ky., Vinery has announced.

A group of breeders, including Vinery, has purchased breeding rights to Purge, a 4-year-old Pulpit colt. Agent Mike Ryan brokered the private deal. The colt continues to race this year for Jack Wolf's Starlight Stables and partners Paul Saylor and Johns Martin.

Purge won last year's Jim Dandy and Peter Pan, both Grade 2 events, and finished second behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner and 3-year-old champion Smarty Jones in the Rebel Stakes. This year, he was third in the Grade 3 Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 28, his most recent start.

To date, Purge has won 5 of 13 starts, with one second and one third, and has a career bankroll of $645,434. Todd Pletcher trains the colt.

Purge is out of the stakes-winning Copelan mare Copelan's Bid Gal and is the mare's first stakes winner.

Sale juggernaut keeps going

A day after posting double-digit gains in average and median, the Keeneland September yearling sale continued its extraordinary run in its 10th of 14 sessions Thursday with a $375,000 Tiznow-Queen's Lady filly the session-leader as of 6:30 p.m. Ben Glass, agent, purchased the filly from the Paramount sales agency. The filly was one of 10 six-figure lots by that time.

On Wednesday, at the ninth session, the session-topper was a $270,000 Wild Wonder colt that John Brocklebank bought from the Taylor Made agency. The colt is a son of the Talinum mare Susie Do. That colt led a session that rang up a 25 percent increase in average price, from $28,779 last year to $36,078 at this season's ninth session. The session's median price gained 17 percent, rising from $23,000 last year to $27,000.

Through Wednesday's ninth session, the September auction had sold 2,353 yearlings for a record $363,219,400, yielding a cumulative average of $154,364 and a $75,000 median. Last year at that stage, the auction had sold 2,274 lots for $305,647,100 for an average of $134,409 and a $65,000 median.

The sale was to continue through Sept. 26, with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m. at the Keeneland sale pavilion in Lexington.