A full brother to 1992 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, the mare Brilliant Brass, brought the top price of $39,500 during a sale of choice yearlings at Laurel Race Course on Monday night.
The unnamed chestnut colt was purchased by the Rutledge Farm of Hermen and Monica Greenberg of Middleburg, Va.
It was the first sale conducted by Horseman's Bloodstock Services, a recently formed group whose members have previously been associated with the prestigious Fasig-Tipton sales in Kentucky.
"We're very happy with our initial venture," said the company's president Laddie Dance, who served as the auctioneer. "We were extremely well-accepted."
A total of 38 horses were sold for an average price of $15,776. Nine who were offered went unsold.
"What this indicated was a solid market for our target horse, a yearling costing between $10,000 and $45,000," said Dance. "Those represent a solid chance for a return because they figure to be competitive on the East Coast racing circuit now."
The sale was conducted under a unique arrangement in which buyers bid in the Sports Palace, not in the traditional venue of the tent or Timonium sales pavilion. The horses were outside, but within easy walking distance to view.
Potential buyers inside watched videos -- made by the selling group -- of the horses cantering at their home farms, from Virginia to New York.
"The idea seemed to fit with the more laid-back style of the '90s," said Dance. "Ninety-five percent of the crowd was inside happy watching TV. We just reversed the traditional process and it was a big hit."
The company's next offering will be a mixed sale at Timonium on Nov. 21 in a traditional setting. It will conduct another indoor-type sale (of selected 2-year-olds) May 18 at Laurel.
A colt by Smarten out of Gala Ann bred at Glade Valley Farms near Frederick brought the second top price, $36,000 from Carl MacCartee.
NOTES: The Maryland Racing Writers will hold their annual crabfeast at the Pimlico clubhouse tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $25. A $1,000 backstretch scholarship will be awarded to Baltimore's Freddie Moore Jr. and the Humphrey S. Finney Award will go to Joe Kelly, former racing editor of The Washington Star and Maryland Million publicist. Owner-breeder Robert E. Meyerhoff will be honored with a special achievement award. For further information, call (410) 252-2100. . . . With the turf still drying out from heavy rains, three races were moved to the main track yesterday. As a result, the program had 21 scratches and two triple wagers were canceled. . . . The King Leatherbury-Mark Johnston team collaborated for consecutive victories in the seventh and eighth races with Blue Highways and Son Of Zora. Larry Reynolds had a riding double in addition to Johnston.