07/14/2009 12:00AM

Japan foal sale takes significant hit


LEXINGTON, Ky. - One day after healthy yearling returns buoyed sellers' spirits, the Japan Racing Horse Association's foal sale got underway Tuesday with sobering declines across the board. The double-digit declines left little doubt the Thoroughbred industry is still feeling the bite of global recession.

Gross and median each dropped 31 percent, and average fell 28 percent from last year at Tuesday's first of two foal sessions in Hokkaido. The session sold 118 foals for a combined total of about $32,354,736, down from the gross for 124 horses last year. The opening-day average was about $274,192, and the median was approximately $210,526.

But there was still money available for attractive horses with deep pedigrees. The session-topping colt, a three-quarter brother to Japan's two-time Horse of the Year Deep Impact, commanded a final bid of about $1,736,842 from Takaya Shimakawa. Northern Farm, which sold three horses for more than $1 million at the yearling session on Monday, also consigned this son of Daiwa Major, by Sunday Silence. The session-topper's dam is the Alzao mare Wind in Her Hair, a German champion and stakes winner in England who also was runner-up in the 1994 Epsom Oaks. Her Sunday Silence horse Deep Impact was a scintillating performer, winning the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown and championship honors as 3-year-old that year and older horse in 2006. Wind in Her Hair also is the dam of American Grade 3 winner Veil of Avalon.

Another foal with significant American connection was Hip No. 221, a Ghostzapper colt that is the second foal out of three-time Grade 1 winner Island Fashion. He brought about $610,526 from buyer Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Northern Farm consigned the colt. Island Fashion, a 9-year-old Petionville mare, sold to Katsumi Yoshida for $950,000 this year at the Keeneland January sale. She was carrying the Ghostzapper colt at the time.

The auction was to continue with a final foal session on Wednesday.

English Channel heads to Lane's End

Champion English Channel has relocated from Hurricane Hall in Lexington to Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

Hurricane Hall's three other stallions - Breeders' Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller, Grade 1 winner Bellamy Road, and Grade 2 winner Teuflesberg - were moved from Hurricane Hall to Ben Walden Jr.'s Pauls Mill Farm last month. Walden and Patrick Madden bought Hurricane Hall's stallion management company, while English Channel co-owner Brad Kelley purchased the partnership's interest in the Hurricane Hall property. Kelley owns English Channel with James Scatuorchio.

English Channel entered stud last year at Hurricane Hall; his first foals were born this year. He won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Turf and twice captured the Grade 1 United Nations in course-record time. He also set a course record at Gulfstream Park when he won a 1 1/8-mile allowance race in 1:44.51.

English Channel stood this year for $25,000. Lane's End, which announced his relocation on Tuesday, said it will announce his 2010 fee at a later date.

English Channel is by another Lane's End sire, Smart Strike, and is out of the Theatrical mare Belva. He is a full brother to Grade 2-placed Sedgefield.

Cape Town relocating to Brazil

Overbrook Farm's 14-year-old stallion Cape Town has been sold to Bel Air Stud near Sao Paulo, Brazil, as part of Overbook's continuing dispersal of its bloodstock.

Cape Town, by Seeking the Gold, is the sire of Bird Town, champion 3-year-old filly of 2003. He also has sired Grade 2 winner Capeside Lady, and the Grade 3 winners Southern Africa, Susan's Angel, and Good Hope. He has lifetime progeny earnings of $13,989,198.

An Overbrook homebred, Cape Town is out of 1990 Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction and is a three-quarter brother to 1995 champion juvenile filly Golden Attraction. He won the 1998 Florida Derby and Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, as well as the 1997 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He finished second in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes in 1998.

Overbrook announced in June that it would disperse its bloodstock holdings. The farm's former flagship stallion, the pensioned Storm Cat, will remain at the farm.

Pioneering has been sold to Brazilian interests, while Jump Start will shuttle the 2009 Southern Hemisphere season in Argentina. The 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone currently stands at Overbrook.