SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — As expected, it didn’t take long for things to heat up at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale on Monday night.  The Spa was steaming.

Just 45 hips into the sale, bloodstock agent Ian Brennan raised the ante and his hand — repeatedly — to capture a striking colt by Curlin for $1 million on behalf of his client Eric Fein.

And, the race for some of the best looking yearlings to be offered in the marketplace this year was on.

At the end of the night, Fasig-Tipton had sold 75 yearlings for a grand, grand total of $24,425,000.  That amounted to an average of $325,667 and a median price of $300,000.  Only 17 horses didn’t mean their reserve price and returned to the consignors making them available.

A year ago, Fasig-Tipton sold 73 head for $21,215,000.  That averaged out to $290,616 per horse, with a median price of $240,000.  A year ago, 31 horses did not sell.

It left the Fasig-Tipton team all smiles.

“As was quoted by Ian Brennan last night when he purchased the Curlin colt on behalf of Eric Fein, you have to pay for quality offerings and the Curlin colt that sold last night was just that,” said Bayne Welker, Fasig-Tipton’s Vice President of Sales, when contacted this morning.

“Overall, the sale saw robust trade with a low buyback rate and that’s a testament to the overall quality of the yearlings consignors committed to this year’s sale.”

Hip 45 certainly met that quality characteristic.

The striking red head is by Curlin, one of the world’s hottest sires today and the father of the great race mare, champion and this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff favorite Stellar Wind.

But the yearling also has class on the bottom side.  His mother, River’s Prayer won 9 times out of 16 starts and nearly earned $1 million at the races.  Already, she has produced 5 foals of racing age and 4 of them have made it to the track in the afternoon.  Three of those 4 have already found the winner’s circle, too, and two have become nice runners in Japan.

But there were others to light up the summer sky and the tote board, as well.  Three other yearlings sold for $750,000 or more on a night full of thrills in a town built on frills and fancy.

The three were:

Hip 44: A colt by Medaglia d’Oro, out of the Concerto mare Rigoletta.  This one is a half-brother to Battle of Midway, who ran third in this year’s Kentucky Derby.  The powerful racing tag team of Mike Repole and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners teamed up to purchase him for $900,000 from the consignment of Gainesway Farm.

Hip 98: An Into Mischief colt, out of Victorious Ami, went for $850,000 to Lael Stables.  This one is a Canadian-bred, who is a half-brother to the G3 Stakes winner in Canada, Ami’s Holiday.

Hip 34: A Curlin filly, out of the Bluegrass Cat mare Purple Cat, sold for $750,000 to Juddmonte Farms.  This one comes from the same female family as Finley’sluckycharm, who ripped off three straight stakes victories at Churchill Downs this spring and summer.

The second night of the sale goes at 6:30 p.m. tonight.