08/16/2009 12:00AM

Prices plunge for New York-breds

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A $115,000 Roman Ruler filly was the top seller Saturday night at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale's opening session in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at a session marred by severe declines and a 54 percent buy-back rate. The session-topping filly, out of Sovereigneoftheseas, by Boston Harbor, was the one of three six-figure horses at the session.

Anthony Tufaro purchased the session-topping bay filly from Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck's Summerfield agency.

Saturday's first of two sessions at the auction sold 48 yearlings, just one fewer than last year's 47, but saw a 42 percent drop in gross. The $35,927 average price was down by 43 percent from last year, and the median fell 47 percent, from $52,000 in 2008 to $27,500 this season.

Buy-backs were high, with 57 of the 105 yearlings on offer failing to reach their sellers' reserve prices. Last year's opening-session buy-back rate was 52 percent.

The night's other yearlings to sell for $100,000 or more included Hip No. 404, a $107,000 Johannesburg filly out of Christina's Melody, by Unbridled's Song. The Tom Gallo III sales agency sold the gray or roan filly to Three Colleens Stable. The final six-figure horse was Hip No. 412, a $100,000 El Corredor colt out of Dancing Prism, by Sovereign Dancer, that Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud agency agency sold to agent Buzz Chace. The colt was the night's highest-priced male and is a half-brother to stakes-placed Vicki'sprideandjoy.

The New York-bred sale followed a buoyant select yearling sale on Aug. 10-11, which posted dramatic gains. But the results of the New York-bred sale were more in keeping with widespread predictions for the Thoroughbred yearling market in 2009 amidst a general recession and a slowdown in the Thoroughbred marketplace that began last year and accelerated in the fall of 2008.