Someone saw Samantha Siegel leave the horse sales pavilion at the Timonium Fairgrounds yesterday and said: "Quick, go get her. Don't let her leave."
In about three hours, the Beverly Hills, Calif., horse owner and her parents, Jan and Mace Siegel, spent $527,000 for six thoroughbred yearlings, including $210,000 for the sales topper, a Maryland-bred bay colt.
It was the highest price ever paid for a thoroughbred yearling at a Timonium auction and the third-highest ever for any age thoroughbred at the venue. The 9-year-old broodmare Berlo sold for $235,000 at the William duPont Jr. dispersal at Timonium in 1966, and, at the same sale, the 4-year-old filly Rose Trader sold for $215,000.
Siegel was accompanied to the sale by Bill Beatson, a family friend and business partner of Mace Siegel's, and California trainer Randy Bradshaw. Beatson lives in Annapolis and will own part of the high-priced colt.
The horse was bred and sold by "Tom Cat" Patterson, 61, a longtime Maryland trainer who owns the 85-acre Meadowcreek Farm in Upperco.
Patterson, who recently underwent six-way heart bypass surgery, said he owes doctors a substantial amount of money for the surgery. "I called my wife and told her she can pay off the credit card bills," Patterson quipped.
Chanceland Farm, owned by Bob Manfuso and Katy Voss in West Friendship, prepped the colt for Patterson and served as his sales agent.
The Siegels own Urbane, the Grade I-winning 3-year-old daughter of Citidancer, who is scheduled to run at Laurel Park in the Maryland Million Distaff.
Siegel said yesterday that Urbane will arrive at Laurel from California next Tuesday. Bradshaw trains the filly, who hasn't started since finishing second on May 5 in the Kentucky Oaks but is working in fast times at Santa Anita Park. The Siegels purchased Urbane, who has earned $448,003, at Timonium as a yearling for $25,000.
Yesterday's yearling auction smashed all records. The select portion of the sale, which included 147 yearlings, averaged $23,000 per horse, a 62 percent hike from a year ago.
The Siegels also purchased the top-priced filly, a daughter of Kentucky Derby- and Preakness-winning Pleasant Colony, for $120,000.
Laurel opens today
Several top stakes performers prep for the coming Maryland Million today on the opening day of live racing at Laurel Park.
Who Wouldn't, who hasn't run since winning the Grade II General George Stakes at Laurel last winter, returns to action in the sixth race. He is set to run again next Saturday in the Maryland Million Sprint.
Joanne Hughes' Mary's Buckaroo preps for the Maryland Million Classic by running against Buckingham Farm's Crumpton in the featured Chase Me Stakes.