06/19/2003 12:00AM

Average price slips at Ocala sale


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A $270,000 Cherokee Run filly bought by Arosa Farms was the top seller at the two-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June auction of juveniles and horses of racing age. The auction concluded Wednesday with a slight gain in gross and slight declines in average and median prices.

Overall, the auction sold 249 juveniles for $4,584,500, up 2 percent from last year's total of $4,469,500 for 241 sold. The average price dipped nearly 3 percent from last year's record $18,961 to $18,412, and the median was down 2 percent, from $9,700 last year to $9,500 in 2003. Despite results so close to last year's figures, the auction's buy-back rate climbed from last year's 24 percent to 32 percent this season.

The auction also sold six older horses of racing age for a gross of $90,700 and an average price of $15,117. Eight older horses sold last year for a $40,000 total and an average of $5,000.

The final session's top price was the $150,000 that agent Buzz Chace paid for Cab Driver, a 2-year-old Runaway Groom colt who is a half-brother to graded winner Lion Tamer. Paul Sharp, agent, sold the colt, who is out of the stakes-placed Olympio mare Tippecanoe Creek.