Updated on 09/17/2011 12:09PM

Unbridled colt brings $2.7 million


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A $2.7 million Unbridled colt bought by Padua Stables topped an evening of aggressive bidding at .

Padua bought the session-topping son of Words of War after a protracted bidding duel with B. Wayne Hughes.

Arthur Hancock III's Stone Farm and Robert and Janice MacNair's Stonerside Stable consigned the colt, who is a half-brother to dual Grade 2 winner E Dubai and to Grade 1 winner No Matter What. Importantly, the colt is from the last crop of the highly successful stallion Unbridled, who died two years ago after a long battle with intestinal ailments.

Led by that colt, the session logged impressive gains over last year's second session. The 2003 session sold 49 lots for $17,440,000 in total receipts, up 48 percent from last year's equivalent session, when the upper end of the market underwent a sharp contraction. Wednesday's average price this year was $355,918, an increase of 33 percent over last year's session average of $268,636. Median price also fared dramatically better, improving by 28 percent to reach $250,000 this year. The buyback rate also improved from 31 percent at last year's second night to 27 percent in 2003.

The Unbridled colt was one of three colts to pass the $1 million mark on Wednesday night. Earlier in the session, a colt sired by Unbridled's fashionable young son Unbridled's Song brought $1.4 million from John Oxley, who campaigned 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. That colt, out of the stakes-winning Storm cat mare Silken Cat, went through the ring as part of Taylor Made Sales Agency's consignment. The Taylor Made agency also sold the evening's other seven-figure colt, a $1.9 million A. P. Indy colt who was a three-quarters brother to 2002 juvenile champion Vindication.

The $1.9 million A. P. Indy colt, bred by Virginia Kraft Payson's Payson Stud, was the subject of some post-auction deal-making. The hammer price of $1.9 million actually failed to reach the colt's reserve price, which undoubtedly had been decided with Vindication's 2001 Saratoga sale price of $2.15 million in mind. But within moments of the colt's exit from the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, buyers been strategizing. Trainer Patrick Biancone, who currently occupies the old Payson stables at Saratoga and has trained successful runners for Payson in the past, was the first to put together a successful partnership deal, and Payson agreed to sell the colt privately to that partnership. Payson said she would remain involved with an undisclosed interest in the colt, who will join Biancone's stable.

The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale was to continue through Thursday at the Finney Pavilion with its final session starting at 7:30 p.m.