08/11/2008 12:00AM

Prices up at F-T session, but buy-backs soar

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred preferred yearling sale rang up increases in average price and median at its first session Saturday night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., but the gains were marred by the fact that slightly more than half of the horses offered failed to reach their reserve prices.

West Point Thoroughbreds purchased the session topper, a $250,000 Exchange Rate colt out of the stakes-placed Caller I.D. mare Star One One. The colt, sold as Hip No. 274, is a half-brother to stakes winner North Beach Condo. McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned the session topper, who currently is named Cowboy Exchanger.

The first of two sessions sold 47 horses for $2,960,000, slightly less than last year’s total of $3,006,000 for 57 yearlings. The 2008 average of $62,979 was up 19 percent from last year’s figure of $52,737, and the median price fared even better, rising 41 percent, from $37,000 last year to $52,000.

But the buy-back rate gained sharply from last year’s high 43 percent to 53 percent.

The sale was to continue with its second and final session Sunday evening, starting at 7 p.m. at the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion in Saratoga Springs.