08/30/2009 11:00PM

Purge colt tops Fasig-Tipton Texas sale

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A colt by Purge brought an $87,000 bid to top the Fasig-Tipton Texas summer yearling sale at Lone Star Park on Monday. The Midwest Thoroughbreds operation of Richard and Karen Papiese purchased the Louisiana-bred from agent Inside Move Inc.

"He just stood out to us," said Alvin Sider, who trains for Midwest Thoroughbreds. "You couldn't ask for a better individual."

Sider said the colt would be sent to a farm in Folsom, La. He is a half-brother to Down the Road, who was one of the top sellers at the Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale in 2007, when he brought $130,000 from Midwest Thoroughbreds.

Fasig-Tipton reported that 185 horses sold Monday for $1,889,400, for an average of $10,213. Last year, the same auction was held over two days, and 281 horses sold for $3,369,700, or an average of $11,992. The average this year dropped 14.8 percent, while the buy-back rate was 42 percent.

"I think there was plenty of money for the good ones, and then the middle ones are now finding the hard place," said Tim Boyce, director of Fasig-Tipton Texas. "Whereas the middle usually got by, they're finding a hard time to fit into the market.

"We had a pretty good crowd today," he added. "My parking lots were full. I had a lot of positive feedback from consignors."

The median was up 10 percent, Boyce said, from $4,500 to $5,000.

Boyce seemed satisfied with the results Monday given an economy that has taken a hard hit on the auction market since the corresponding sale a year ago at Lone Star.

"Our sale last year occurred prior to the big meltdown," he said, "so realistically, I guess coming into it we were aware we were in that position."

The sale topper is out of the Saint Ballado mare Ballagren, who is a half-sister to five-time stakes winner Plaid.