11/03/2006 12:00AM

Several top-shelf mares up for sale


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland's November sale isn't the only place to buy big-name mares this week. Across town at Sunday's Fasig-Tipton November selected mixed auction, they have a few headliners, too.

Last year, the multiple Grade 1 winner Riskaverse brought the day's top price of $5 million from Eaton Sales, agent. Riskaverse was one of seven lots to bring $1 million or more last year, and Fasig-Tipton officials hope the 2006 auction can perform as well for them.

General market signs in 2006 are as good as they were leading into the 2005 auction, when the Fasig-Tipton sale's average nearly tripled to hit $287,348 and the median more than tripled to reach $86,000. The key now is to keep offering good horses in an up market, and hope the market stays up while buyers are on the ground.

One lot that is sure to be near the top of everyone's list is Gorella. The French-bred daughter of Grape Tree Road made a name for herself as a Group 2 winner in Europe before becoming a Grade 1-winning millionaire in the United States. What's more, she was cataloged to the Fasig-Tipton sale as either a racing or broodmare prospect, a bonus for any buyer who would like the fun of continuing her racing career.

Other Grade 1 winners offered as racing or breeding prospects are Diplomat Lady and Honey Ryder.

Another major name among Fasig-Tipton's mares this year is multiple Grade 1 winner Island Fashion, whose owner, Jeff Nielsen, has entered and scratched her from several sales in the past, most recently at Keeneland's 2006 January all-ages auction.

The troubled ClassicStar group - which has been under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service this year and recently was sued by former investors in the group's mare-leasing program - has bolstered the catalog with a major broodmare dispersal. Their stock includes Drina, dam of Spain, in foal to Speightstown; millionaire Grade 2 winner Irish Linnet, in foal to Yes It's True; St. Averil's dam, Avie's Fancy, carrying a three-quarter sibling to him by Saint Liam; the dam of D'Wildcat, in foal to Forest Danger; Grade 1 winner Hookedonthefeelin, the dam of Grade 1 winner Pussycat Doll, in foal to Distorted Humor; and Turko's Turn, dam of 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given, in foal to Storm Cat.

Other proven producers in the catalog include the dam of English Channel, in foal to Ghostzapper, and Grannies Feather, the dam of Grade 1 winner Wild Fit, in foal to Unbridled's Song.

The catalog is not limited to mares and weanlings: Grade 1 winner Prince Arch is Hip No. 1 in the catalog and sells as a stallion prospect. Also on offer are three juveniles and three 3-year-olds from Ballydoyle Racing who are young and well-bred, though they have yet to become stakes winners. The colts are listed as a supplement to the main catalog. Four are sons of Storm Cat, and they are out of: champion Phone Chatter; Group 1 winner Luna Wells; Grade 3 winner Morning Devotion, dam of Epsom Oaks winner Balanchine; and Miraloma's daughter Gone to the Moon. The fifth is by Giant's Causeway out of the stakes-winning Lyphard mare Lypink.

The one-day sale starts 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday at Fasig-Tipton's Newtown Paddocks facility in Lexington and will offer 260 lots.