10/03/2001 11:00PM

S3.5M for Desert Prince colt


LEXINGTON, Ky. - As Europe's select yearling market continued to post solid results, major yearling buyers provided some second-session sizzle Wednesday at the Tattersalls Houghton yearling sale in Newmarket, England. A $3,550,050 Desert Prince colt topped the session as the result of a clash between Michael Goodbody, the successful bidder representing Sheikh Maktoum al-Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud, and the underbidder, John Magnier of Coolmore.

Gross revenue fell short of last year's second-day returns. On Wednesday, the auction sold 65 yearlings for 13,704,000 guineas ($21,152,124), down from last year at this point, when 68 sold for 15,187,000 guineas. Average slipped 6 percent to $325,000, but median held level at $230,000. Second-day buybacks were 17 percent this year, down from 21 percent.

The session-topper, Europe's highest-priced yearling for a first-crop sire, is out of English and Irish champion Park Express (Ahonoora). He is a half-brother to Japanese stakes-winner Shinko Forest and Group 3 winner Dazzling Park.

Midlantic is down

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's Eastern fall yearling sale in Maryland entered its third and final session with a $180,000 End Sweep-She's My Choice (El Raggaas) filly the leader as of 5 p.m. Jan, Mace, and Samantha Siegel bought the filly from White Oaks (Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Rogers, Jr.).

Through its first two days, the Midlantic market posted dramatic declines across the board, with drops of 29 percent in gross, 24 percent in average, and 23 percent in median price. Through Tuesday, 357 yearlings sold for $5,790,400, well off last year's total of $8,167,300 for 376 lots. The two-day average for this year's sale was $16,220, down from $21,222 last year; median was $7,700, compared with $10,000 at the same point last year.

The Midlantic has suffered from a general lack of interest for horses valued at $25,000 or lower, a trend that deepened on the economic slowdown earlier this year and appears to have been exacerbated by uncertainty following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Barretts numbers good

Barretts Equine Sales in Pomona, Calif., completed its single-session October yearling sale Tuesday with gains in median and average from a smaller catalog. Topped by a $120,000 Bertrando-Reason to Be (Aloma's Ruler) colt, the session sold 222 yearlings for gross receipts of $2,228,300. That was down from last year's $2,702,800 for 315 horses, but average price rose 17 percent to $10,037 and median jumped 60 percent to $6,700.

Jeff Bonde purchased the sale-topper from River Edge Farm, agent.