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Always A Princess - Santa Anita13.02.11

A half-sister to recent Grade 2 La Canada Stakes winner Always A Princess is one of the stand-outs at today's Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale

  PICTURE: Alex Evers/EquiSport photos 

Vibes positive for Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale

THE demise of the OBS February Selected Two-year-olds in Training Sale sees today's Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale at Palm Meadows - one of the leading breeze-up auctions in the world - raise the curtain to the American breeze-up sales season.

The vibe is positive that the auction, which attracted 235 entries, will get the year off to a good start.

"We had a great breeze show, and we have had a lot of pre-sale inspections and activity on the grounds," Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton president, told the Racing Post earlier this week. "All indications are positive. In terms of Europeans, there is a significant participation here."

Seemingly particularly successful has been this year's switch from Calder racetrack to the Palm Meadows training facility, which is situated 45 miles north of Gulfstream Park. The nature of the track and relaxed atmosphere has drawn the thumbs up from many of the consignors.

The sale more than lived up to its reputation back in 2006 when playing host to the $16 million sale of The Green Monkey to Demi O'Byrne, which contributed to an average high of $403,812.

Despite its high-flying status however, it has not been immune to the general economic downturn; within four years of the 2006 renewal, the average had dropped to $235,595.

Figures rebounded slightly last year when 16 per cent fewer horses offered helped boost the average by nine per cent to $257,473. But while the $2.3 million top price eclipsed the previous year's high of $1.6 million, the sale-topper was the only horse to break the seven-figure barrier compared to three (each purchased by John Ferguson) in 2009.

This sale has attracted a share of European buyers in the past - Paul Cole bid up to $2.1 million on last year's topper on behalf of Jim Hay while Jim Bolger sourced Group 3 winner Maoineach through Tom Gentry in 2008 - and agent Hugo Merry has been among those from Europe spotted on the grounds this year.

All horses breezed on Monday and selling for the auction starts at 11am (4pm British time).

Box-office lots:

On paper:
90) c Gulch - Weekend Storm (Storm Bird); this $330,000 Saratoga yearling is a brother to Grade 1 winner Court Vision and Grade 1-producing sire Kipling from the family of A P Indy.

135) c Bernardini - Casual Look (Red Ransom); by a leading young sire out of an Epsom Oaks heroine, this colt cost Whitehorse Stable $425,000 as a yearling.

175) f Johannesburg - Gabriellina Giof (Ashkalani); a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Gabby's Golden Gal and Always A Princess, recent winner of the Grade2 La Canada Stakes.

Fastest times:

49) f More Than Ready - Spring Unbridled (Unbridled's Song); equalled the world record for a breeze at juvenile auction when running a furlong in 9.6 seconds on dirt.

23) c English Channel - Reach The Top (Cozzene); ran two furlongs in 20.8 seconds on turf.

Pinhooks range from the $575,000 at the Keeneland September Sale given by Paul Pompa Jr. for lot 186, a colt by Empire Maker out of Henderson Band, to $8,500 given by Omega Farm at the 2009 OBS Fall Mixed Sale for lot 65, a colt from the first crop of High Cotton out of Terres Des Hommes.

One brave owner turned down $650,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale for lot 26, a first crop son of Street Sense born on June 2.

2010 results: From 145 offered, 91 (63%) were sold for a total of $23,430,000 (-10.5%), average of $257,473 (+9%) and median of $200,000 (+33%).

2010 top price: $2.3 million paid by Stonestreet Stables for a colt by Distorted Humor out of Tomisue's Delight consigned by Two Beaches.

Withdrawals: 1, 9, 14, 20, 21, 24, 27, 30, 31, 48, 51, 56, 62, 80, 81, 87, 88, 92,96, 100, 102, 105, 108, 110, 113, 118, 122,
126, 127, 145, 148, 153, 157, 159, 162, 169, 179, 183, 184, 187, 196, 197, 215, 216, 227, 228, 231, 237 and 238.





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