Racehorse buyers spent about $8.6 million at the annual Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction of 2-year-old thoroughbreds that ended yesterday, more than $3.6 million less than last year.
About 320 colts and fillies were purchased at an average price of $26,939 during the two-day event at Timonium fairgrounds.
The top sales price was $360,000 -- for an unnamed, Maryland-bred colt fathered by Polish Numbers, a popular stallion that is sire to 109 race winners. Eight 2-year-olds sold for more than $100,000.
This year's auction offered a larger selection than last year, but 173 youngsters went unsold.
"Expectations were high," said Mason Grasty, executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton.
"The total was down, but it was a good [group of 2-year-olds] this year."
Buyers spent $12.2 million on 327 colts and fillies last year, with an average price of $29,964.
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic is a Maryland-based subsidiary of Fasig-Tipton Co. Inc., a horse auction firm based in Lexington, Ky. The parent company holds numerous auctions in several states each year, including four in Maryland.
Buyers spend several days before the auction reviewing the 2-year-olds' ancestries and medical records and watching them walk and run to determine their potential for racing. Of those that do get to the races, most will find themselves competing on East Coast racetracks.
Pub Date: 5/19/99