07/12/2004 12:00AM

Colt sells for record $4.5M


Flamboyant Japanese entrepreneur Fusao Sekiguchi kicked off the Japan Racing Horse Association's July foal sale in spectacular style Monday on Hokkaido, paying a world-record $4.5 million for a colt by Sunday Silence's son Dance in the Dark.

The price broke the previous foal auction record of $4.4 million, which Satish Sanan paid at England's 1997 Tattersalls November sale for the Caerleon colt Padua's Pride.

Sekiguchi's extravagant bidding has become a regular feature at the JRHA July auction. Last year, he bought the sale-topper, a $2.79 million colt from Sunday Silence's last crop.

Sekiguchi shrugged off this year's $4.5 million price for Hip No. 68, a son of Japanese horse of the year Air Groove, by Tony Bin.

"The more they cost, the better they run," he said.

The $4.5 million colt is a three-quarter brother to Japanese Grade 1 winner Admire Groove and winner Into the Groove. Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm consigned the colt.

Dance in the Dark also sired the Monday session's second-highest-priced lot, a $1.5 million colt out of Japanese Grade 2 winner Star Ballerina, by Risen Star. Takaya Shimakawa bought that colt from Shadai Farm.