11/13/2007 1:00AM

Darley sends Octave to the breeding shed

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - Darley, which purchased Grade 1 winner Octave for $4 million at Fasig-Tipton's November sale after disputed bidding, has decided to retire the filly to the breeding shed.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's breeding operation hasn't yet made breeding plans for Octave, said Darley America president Jimmy Bell. She is currently stabled at Gainsborough Farm, one of the sheikh's Lexington properties.

Jack and Laurie Wolf's Starlight Stable and partner Donald Lucarelli campaigned Octave through the 2007 season. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Octave, an Unbridled's Song filly, won the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Mother Goose this year. In her two-season racing career, she also finished second in four other Grade 1 races. She also finished third in the Grade 1 Alabama this year and ended her career with another third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, in which she was narrowly beaten by Ginger Punch and Hystericalady.

Bred by Marty and Pam Wygod, Octave retires with 4 wins in 13 starts and earnings of $1,660,934.

The Wolfs and Starlight entered Octave in the Fasig-Tipton mixed auction on Nov. 4 as a racing or broodmare prospect, and initially, Maktoum's representative, John Ferguson, had suggested that Octave could race in 2008. Darley offered no explanation for the change of heart.

Octave's $4 million sale created some controversy when, after Ferguson had signed the ticket, Coolmore Stud's John Magnier and Demi O'Byrne angrily asserted that Coolmore also had bid $4 million for the gray 3-year-old filly. Fasig-Tipton officials heard Coolmore's protest in a private meeting immediately after the hammer fell but said later that the sale was final because no bid-spotter ever recognized and acknowledged Coolmore's $4 million bid, meaning that, in effect, the bid officially had not taken place.

South African farm buys $150K mare

The Keeneland November mixed sale continued to benefit from overseas buyers Tuesday as it neared the conclusion of its ninth session.

At 5:30 p.m. Eastern, the session leader was the $150,000 mare Full Flavor, a 4-year-old Smart Strike mare that Lane's End, agent, offered in foal to Wando. L'Ormarins (Pty) Ltd., a vinery and stud farm owned by prominent South African breeder and owner Johann Rupert, bought Full Flavor.

Rupert's purchase highlights the competitive international market for bloodstock at the Keeneland sale, especially as prices in the auction's second week come down to the lower six-figure level. International buyers, particularly those from South America and Korea, helped the 15-day auction achieve a second consecutive day of double-digit increases Monday.

That session sold 244 horses for $11,270,200, an 11 percent increase over the gross for the equivalent session last year, when 257 horses sold. Average increased 17 percent to $46,189, and median did even better, rising 20 percent to $36,000.

An influx of foreign buyers for middle-market horses fueled the late-market gains. But a large domestic operation, WinStar Farm, bought the $220,000 session topper, the Unbridled mare Reinfree, from Adena Springs (Hidden Brook, agent). Reinfree sold in foal to Orientate.

The Keeneland sale continues through Nov. 19.

Gilded Time headed to Canada

Champion Gilded Time will follow Kissin Kris and Cape Canaveral as the latest American stallion to ship north to Alberta, Canada.

The 1992 juvenile champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Gilded Time has stood at Vinery in Lexington since 1994 but will now head for Bar None Ranches in Alberta, where the promise of a new racetrack, to be completed in 2009, is inspiring increased interest in Thoroughbred breeding.

Bar None will stand Gilded Time for $7,500 (Canadian).

"He is a very attractive animal and has been a fixture of the leading sire list," Bar None manager Mike Vanin said. "He has not even arrived, and his book is already filling fast. We are seeing tremendous growth in our industry in Western Canada."

Gilded Time, 17, is a son of Timeless Moment and the What a Pleasure mare Gilded Lilly. His best runners to date are Elloluv and Mandy's Gold, both Grade 1-winning millionaires.

* Tattersalls in Newmarket, England, announced Tuesday that European champion Manduro's dam, Mandellicht, is a late entry to the December sale. She is carrying a full sibling to Manduro.