08/12/2004 11:00PM

Saratoga sale ends on high note


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga selected yearling sale ended on an upbeat note Thursday night with three horses reaching or breaking the $1 million mark. But the three-day auction market was surprisingly conservative overall, and the sale closed with decreases across the board.

The men of the night were Roger King of King World Productions and his trainer Wesley Ward, who walked out with the session's most expensive lot, a $1.4 million Storm Cat filly out of champion Jewel Princess.

The pair bought the filly in partnership, with King bidding via telephone to Ward, who was in the pavilion.

Eaton Sales, agent, sold the filly, who was bred in Kentucky by Barnett Enterprises. The night's two other million-dollar yearlings were a $1.15 million Unbridled's Song colt out of the Dehere mare Mesmerized that new buyer William B. Haines bought from Paramount Sales, agent, and a $1 million Storm Cat--Gone to Venus colt, a full brother to Grade 2 winner Saudi Poetry, that Bob and Beverly Lewis bought from the Three Chimneys agency.

The sale's three sessions sold 150 yearlings this season for $45,705,000, down five percent from last year's three-day gross of $48,257,100. Average price dropped three percent, from $313,357 to $304,700. Median declined by 12 percent, from $240, 000 to $212,500. But sellers accepted the downturn, and buybacks stayed almost level, rising slightly from last year's 21 percent to 22 percent in 2004.

A $1.85 million Giant's Causeway colt, a three-quarters brother to Grade 2 winer Keats, was the sale-topper. The colt sold Wednesday night to Team Valor. Gainesway Farm agent., was the consignor.