08/14/2011 10:08AM

Saratoga shoppers highly selective at Fasig-Tipton sale of New York-bred yearlings

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The prospect of bigger, gaming-enriched funds in New York gave an expected boost to the New York-bred preferred yearling sale’s opening night, but market polarization worsened as buyers sifting through an expanded catalog concentrated on horses they perceived to have the highest quality.

Saturday’s first of two sessions at Fasig-Tipton’s Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., saw average price rise 50 percent to $51,992 as median gained 22 percent to hit $33,000. Gross jumped by 61 percent when 59 horses sold for a combined $3,067,500, up from last year’s $1,908,000 total for 55. But the buyback rate also soared, going from 26 percent to 36 percent.

The high buyback rate possibly indicated consignors’ higher expectations in light of the news out of Aqueduct Racetrack near Manhattan, where video gaming terminals will debut this fall after a decade of planning and delays. Horsemen expect revenue from the casino-style games to add $40 million to New York purses and $6 million to statebred funds.

Topping the New York-bred sale’s opening session was a $250,000 Dixie Union colt out of Grade 3-placed Dash For Money that Cheyenne Stables bought from the Kentucky consignment agency Winter Quarter Farm. Cataloged as Hip No. 300, the colt had several significant updates since Fasig-Tipton published the sale catalog. Two of his half-brothers, Prado Dash and Almooriq, already winners, increased their earnings to $103,053 and $93,143, respectively. And the mare’s current 2-year-old, the Johannesburg colt No Spin, has won both of his starts to date.

The Dixie Union colt was one of 11 yearlings to fetch bids at $100,000 or more. The session’s top-priced filly was Hip No. 249, a $140,000 Yes It’s True daughter of Who Fu, by Fusaichi Pegasus. John Confort bought her from Elise Benedi (Denali Stud, agent). The filly is her dam’s second foal and is from the family of graded-placed stakes winner Go to the Ink and stakes-winner and producer Bay Barrister, dam of Grade 2 winner Indian Firewater.

The second and final session of Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred preferred sale will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday.