07/13/2008 11:00PM

$2.3M colt tops Japanese sale

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A half-brother to Japanese champion Kurofune and Grade 2 winner Bella Bellucci brought about $2.3 million Monday as the Japan Racing Horse Association's July sale-topping yearling.

Japanese construction industry executive Riichi Kondo paid 245 million Japanese yen for the colt, a bay son of Agnes Tachyon and Blue Avenue. Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm consigned the colt to the session, the first of three days that make up the July sale on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The other two sessions are devoted to foals.

Kondo is a prominent owner in Japan and campaigned Japan's 2007 Horse of the Year, Admire Moon, before selling him to Darley in 2007.

The session sold 105 yearlings for 2,347,600,000 yen, or about $22,067,440. That was down 29 percent from last year's gross. The average price also dropped significantly, falling 26 percent to about $210,166.

The sale was to continue through Wednesday.