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Lookin At Lucky - Monmouth 01/08/2010

Lookin At Lucky: John Ferguson secured a half-brother by Afleet Alex to the recent Haskell Invitational winner for $750,000 at Saratoga

  PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos 

Average drops 16 per cent as tough Saratoga draws to a close

Overall Fasig-Tipton Saratoga comparative figures ($)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Total  Average  Median
 2010  202  164  117  71  32,415,000  277,051  250,000
 2009  232  204  160  78  52,549,500  328,434  250,000
Day2 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga comparative figures ($)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Total  Average  Median
 2010  101  84  59  70  17,665,000  299,309  250,000
 2009  116  98  75  76.5  25,760,000  343,467  260,000

THE feeling on the Saratoga sale ground was that a stronger group of horses had been catalogued on the second night of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale in New York and so it proved as trade picked up following a tough opener on Monday.

But although the $1 million barrier was broken by the first horse through the ring on Tuesday, a son of A P Indy, the session's figures still finished some way adrift of last year's comparative set. As a result, the overall figures represented a hefty drop from the near record levels set in 2009.

The auction's two-day run saw Fasig-Tipton sell 117 horses - 27 per cent fewer than last year - for a total of $32,415,000, a drop of 38 per cent from 2009.

The average fell 16 per cent to $277,051 while the clearance rate dropped from 78 per cent to 71 per cent. The median remainedthe same at $250,000.

Tuesday's session got off to a rousing start when Todd Pletcher went to $1.2 million on behalf of Ben Leon's Besilu Stable for a colt by A P Indy out of US champion sprinter Maryfield. The colt was the only yearling to sell for $1 million or above, compared to five last year.

Bluewater Sales consigned the colt on behalf of Mike Moreno's Southern Equine Stables, who paid $1.25 million for Maryfield in 2007.

"I thought he was the complete package," said Pletcher. "Conformationally, he was beautifully formed, and he handled himself well. He checked off all the boxes for what we were looking for."

As expected, John Ferguson was once againactive on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed although he didn't appear to bid for the A P Indy colt or for the most expensive filly of the sale, a Distorted Humor half-sister to US Horse of the Year Point Given.

The filly is set to join Robertand Lawana Low's stable after selling to the pair out of the Woodford Thoroughbreds consignment for $850,000. Tom McCrocklin signed the ticket.

Ferguson signed for six lots worth $3.29 million led by a $750,000 Afleet Alex half-brother to recent Haskell Invitational Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky. As well as foaling this year's dominant US three-year-old, the colt's dam, Private Feeling, has also produced the Grade 2 winner Kensei from just three foals of racing age.

Those purchases took Ferguson's total sale expenditure to $6.445 million for 14 lots. Last year, he secured 12 yearlings for a total of $11.8 million while Anthony Stroud, John Gosden and Michael Bell were among others make purchases on behalf of the Maktoum family.

None of those buyers signed for a single lot this year. However, as on the first night, Shadwell's US representative Rick Nichols was active, going to $350,000 for a first crop son of Sheikh Hamdan's Breeders' Cup Classichero Invasor.

European participation was restricted to Blandford Bloodstock, who purchased a Medaglia d'Oro colt for $230,000, and Hugo Merry, the buyer of a $430,000 Mr Greeley three-parts brother to Grade 1 winner El Corredor.

Fasig-Tipton's plan of broadening the sale's appeal by cataloguing yearlings by European-based sires failed to spark much interest with neither the Oasis Dream filly or Cape Cross colt reaching their reserve. The only other yearling with anEuropean connection, a daughter of Dubawi, was sold to Blandford Bloodstock for $200,000 on the first day.



 Breeding  Consignor  Buyer  Price ($)
 c A P Indy - Maryfield  Bluewater Sales  Besilu Stables  1.2 m
 f Distorted Humor - Turko's Turn  Woodford Thoroughbred  Robert & Lawana Low  875,000
 c Street Cry - Don't Tacha Me  Taylor Made  John Ferguson  800,000
 f Street Cry - Alchemist  Eaton Sales  Helen K. Groves  775,000
 c Afleet Alex - Private Feeling  Gainesway, agent  John Ferguson  750,000
 c Smart Strike - Sluice  Denali Stud  John Ferguson  750,000



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