04/15/2009 11:00PM

Samantha Miss brings record Australasian price

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Inglis Easter select broodmare sale ended its run Thursday in Australia with more proof that high-quality broodmare prospects still command top dollar, even in a severe recession that has contributed to steep price drops.

Multiple Group 1 winner Samantha Miss topped the three-day auction Thursday in Sydney when she brought $3,850,000 Australian. Inglis reported that the price, about $2,772,000 in U.S. funds, was an Australasian record for a broodmare prospect.

Agent Duncan Grimley purchased Samantha Miss, signing on behalf of another agent, Magic Millions. Grimley said the buyer was Strawberry Hill Stud. Advertising and media mogul John Singleton owns the New South Wales operation. He also is co-owner of the Magic Millions auction house in partnership with Gerry Harvey and Rob Ferguson.

Grimley said Singleton would either own Samantha Miss outright or in partnership with Harvey. He said Samantha Miss will likely be booked to More Than Ready, a top sire in Australia. More Than Ready shuttles to Australia from Vinery in Kentucky, where he is advertised with a $45,000 fee.

Widden Stud consigned Samantha Miss, a three-time Group 1 winner in Australia.

The price outdid the record $3.4 million Australian that Darley Australia paid for Virage De Fortune in 2007.

The three-day select auction sold 372 broodmares and broodmare prospects for about $15,703,200, resulting in an average price of about $42,212. The gross fell 51 percent, partly due to the poorer general economic conditions this year but also due to the fact that the much-anticipated Swettenham Stud dispersal spawned record returns at last year's auction. Average price also declined in 2009, falling 49 percent.

Colt posts sub-10-second work

An Omega Code colt zipped an eighth of a mile in 9.80 seconds Wednesday at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's first under-tack preview for the upcoming spring juvenile auction. That was the fastest work at the distance at Wednesday's under-tack show, which featured Hip Nos. 1-348.

The sale will take place at the OBS facility in Ocala, Fla., next Monday through Thursday.

Hip No. 243, a dark bay or brown Omega Code-Magic Show colt consigned by the Halcyon Hammock agency, was the only 2-year-old to break the 10-second barrier in an eighth-mile workout.

The fastest quarter-mile work was by Hip No. 215, a Johannesburg filly out of Living Lavida Lisa who covered the distance in 20.60 seconds. Named Living Lavida Leta, the bay filly is in the Eisaman Equine agency's consignment.

Hip No. 16, a Wildcat Heir-Glendale colt, topped the three-eighths-mile work tab with a 34.20-second performance. The chestnut colt is consigned by the Derby Dreams agency.

The under-tack show was to continue Thursday with Hip Nos. 349-696; Friday with Hip Nos. 697-1044; and Saturday with Hip Nos. 1045-1389. All sessions are at OBS over the Safetrack synthetic surface and begin at 8 a.m.

Barretts catalog available online

Catalogs for the Barretts May 2-year-old sale, the date of which has changed from May 12 to May 11, are now available online at www.barretts.com. There are 250 juveniles cataloged to the auction at the Hinds Pavilion at Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

Under-tack shows will take place at Fairplex, with Hip Nos. 1-125 working May 7 and Hip Nos. 126-250 taking to the track May 8. Both sessions start at 10 a.m.

Barretts will offer live interactive bidding on the auction for registered bidders. Information for that service is located at www.barretts.com/viewsale/bidding.asp.

The auction will begin at 1 p.m.

Last year's May sale grossed $7,816,400 for 147 horses, for an average price of $53,172, and a $23,000 median. The 2008 figures lost ground after a record-setting 2007 auction; gross fell 31 percent, while average and median were off by 15 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Among those offered at the 2008 sale were current Kentucky Derby hopeful and Wood Memorial winner I Want Revenge, a $95,000 buyback at the auction.