Updated on 09/15/2011 12:47PM

Records fall at stormy Saratoga sale

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Despite a power outage and two severe storms, Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga selected yearling sale put up its best-ever results at its final session Thursday night. Aided by a pair of $3 million colts and three other seven-figure lots, the three-night auction thundered to a conclusion with a record average price of $385,259. The previous record, set last year, was $305,847.

The final session was the strongest ever in the Saratoga auction's 81-year history, selling 54 horses for $24,787,000 and an average price of $459,019.The final session boosted the three-day auction's total income to $62,412,000 for 162 lots sold, up 49 percent from last year, when 137 yearlings sold; median rose 24 percent to $235,000.

The buyback rate was a moderate 19 percent.

The final session's top sellers were a pair of $3 million colts by Kingmambo and Mr. Prospector bought by Demi O'Byrne, agent, and Bob Baffert, agent, respectively.

The Kingmambo colt, a son of the Seattle Slew mare Seattle Way, ignited a long, tense bidding war between the industry's most powerful archrivals: Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Godolphin operation versus the partnership of Michael Tabor and Coolmore principal John Magnier.

Bidding indoors due to the heavy rain and lightning, Demi O'Byrne, representing Tabor and Magnier, ultimately outgunned Godolphin agent John Ferguson. It was the agents' first clash at the sale, as O'Byrne did not bid at all during the sale's first two sessions.

Derry Meeting Farm sold the Kingmambo colt, a half-brother to French group-placed Seattle Bay, on behalf of breeder George Strawbridge. The sale marked the first consignment for Derry Meeting since the death of its founder, Marshall Jenney, earlier this year. His widow Bettina, who has pledged to carry on commercial operations at the Pennsylvania farm, sat several rows behind Ferguson during the bidding.

Later in the auction, hip 215, the sale's only Mr. Prospector colt, inspired another prolonged duel before Bob Baffert, agent, outgunned Nadia Sanan, the daughter of Padua Stables principal Satish Sanan. Baffert, who was not in attendance, bid via telephone through Fasig-Tipton representative Peter Penny. Eaton Sales, agent, sold the colt, who is out of the Storm Bird mare Stone Flower, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Danger's Hour.

The other million-dollar sellers were hip 169, a $1.6 million Saint Ballado--Pulsatilla colt that went to Baffert, agent; hip 194, a Grand Slam--Shining Through colt bought by Eugene Melnyk; and hip 219, a Seattle Slew--Strawberry Reason colt that Padua Stables bought.

The auction's start was delayed slightly by a two-minute power outage that struck just as the first horse entered the ring. The horse, a Deputy Commander colt out of Phoenix Sunshine, stood calmly in the dark arena as the sale company scrambled to switch to power-generators. Those provided light and sound for the remainder of the sale, even as a pair of storms knocked out power to the rest of Saratoga. SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Despite a power outage and two severe storms, Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga selected yearling sale put up its best-ever results at its final session Thursday night. Aided by a pair of $3 million colts and three other seven-figure lots, the three-night auction thundered to a conclusion with a record average price of $385,259. The previous record, set last year, was $305,847.

The final session was the strongest ever in the Saratoga auction's 81-year history, selling 54 horses for $24,787,000 and an average price of $459,019.The final session boosted the three-day auction's total income to $62,412,000 for 162 lots sold, up 49 percent from last year, when 137 yearlings sold; median rose 24 percent to $235,000.

The buyback rate was a moderate 19 percent.

The final session's top sellers were a pair of $3 million colts by Kingmambo and Mr. Prospector bought by Demi O'Byrne, agent, and Bob Baffert, agent, respectively.

The Kingmambo colt, a son of the Seattle Slew mare Seattle Way, ignited a long, tense bidding war between the industry's most powerful archrivals: Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's Godolphin operation versus the partnership of Michael Tabor and Coolmore principal John Magnier.

Bidding indoors due to the heavy rain and lightning, Demi O'Byrne, representing Tabor and Magnier, ultimately outgunned Godolphin agent John Ferguson. It was the agents' first clash at the sale, as O'Byrne did not bid at all during the sale's first two sessions.

Derry Meeting Farm sold the Kingmambo colt, a half-brother to French group-placed Seattle Bay, on behalf of breeder George Strawbridge. The sale marked the first consignment for Derry Meeting since the death of its founder, Marshall Jenney, late last year. His widow Bettina, who has pledged to carry on commercial operations at the Pennsylvania farm, sat several rows behind Ferguson during the bidding.

Later in the auction, hip 215, the sale's only Mr. Prospector colt, inspired another prolonged duel before Bob Baffert, agent, outgunned Nadia Sanan, the daughter of Padua Stables principal Satish Sanan. Baffert, who was not in attendance, bid via telephone through Fasig-Tipton representative Peter Penny. Eaton Sales, agent, sold the colt, who is out of the Storm Bird mare Stone Flower, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Danger's Hour.

The other million-dollar sellers were hip 169, a $1.6 million Saint Ballado--Pulsatilla colt that went to Baffert, agent; hip 194, a Grand Slam--Shining Through colt bought by Eugene Melnyk; and hip 219, a Seattle Slew--Strawberry Reason colt that Padua Stables bought.

The auction's start was delayed slightly by a two-minute power outage that struck just as the first horse entered the ring. The horse, a Deputy Commander colt out of Phoenix Sunshine, stood calmly in the dark arena as the sale company scrambled to switch to power-generators. Those provided light and sound for the remainder of the sale, even as a pair of storms knocked out power to the rest of Saratoga.