108 thoroughbreds sold at auction in Timonium

More than $1.6 million spent in Midlantic event's 3rd year

$102,00 tops sale

Horse Racing

July 10, 2002|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Buyers searching for a winning racehorse spent more than $1.6 million for 108 thoroughbreds yesterday at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction at the Timonium fairgrounds.

This was the third year for this sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age. And T. Mason Grasty, executive vice president of the Elkton-based sales company, was pleased with the results.

"We're in a building stage with this sale," Grasty said. "But we've sold more horses each year, and I think the quality this year was better than last year on the upper end."

Last year, however, one horse sold for $240,000, skewing the average. Yesterday, the sales topper brought $102,000. John J. Brunetti, owner of Hialeah Park in Florida as well as a stable of racehorses, paid that for the New York-bred Foreverness, a 3-year-old chestnut son of Island Whirl and Dearness who recently won at Belmont Park.

The 108 horses sold yesterday averaged $14,913 for a total of $1,610,604. Last year, 91 horses brought an average of $18,698 for a total of $1,701,518. The median was $8,000 this year, $10,000 last year.

"It's down on paper," Grasty said, referring to the numbers. "But at the same time it was equally hard to buy a good horse this year."

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