07/14/2008 11:00PM

Deep Impact a hit at Japanese sale

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A $2 million colt from the much-anticipated first crop of Deep Impact stole the show Tuesday at the Japan Racing Horse Association's foal sale on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The price, 200 million yen, was well below the sale's 2006 foal record of 600 million yen, but helped Deep Impact make a strong commercial debut. A 6-year-old Sunday Silence horse, he was Japan's Horse of the Year in 2005 and 2006. His 18 foals at the two-day auction's opening session brought an average price of about $652,647.

Takaya Shimakawa, president of the health-food company Japan Health Summit, was the session-topping colt's buyer. Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm consigned the colt.

The session sold 124 foals for about $42,479,250, an average price of approximately $342,574. Gross receipts and average price were down 10 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in a slowing Japanese general economy. The buy-back rate was 25 percent, suggesting consignors were satisfied with lowered expectations in a less-buoyant market.

Other buyers purchasing foals for $1 million or more were construction executive Riichi Kondo and agent Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for Casino Drive's owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto.