08/10/2005 11:00PM

Storm Cat colt brings $3.1 million

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A Storm Cat colt out of Grade 1 winner Rings a Chime brought sizzle to the final session of Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga selected yearling sale Wednesday night when he sold for $3.1 million to top the two-night auction.

Demi O'Byrne, the regular agent for Coolmore associate Michael Tabor, prevailed after a long bidding war with Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's representative John Ferguson. The Taylor Made sales agency consigned the colt on behalf of Stonerside Stables.

The $3.1 million colt sold as Hip No. 130 and was one of two to bring seven figures. The other was a $1.1 million Fusaichi Pegasus--Lost the Code colt, a half-brother to champion sprinter Squirtle Squirt, that trainer John Kimmel purchased on behalf of Lee Einsidler's Circle E Stable.

The sale's format was trimmed from three days to two this season, and the smaller catalog resulted in an expected drop in gross receipts. This year, 103 horses brought a total of $33,415,000, as compared to last year's $45,705,000 gross for 150 lots. But the average price climbed from last year's $304,700 to a heady $324,417. Median also improved: last year, it was $212,500, and this year it reached $225,000.