07/12/2005 12:00AM

Japan sale tops $71 million


The Japan Racing Horse Association did not get a record sale-topper this year, but it concluded its two-day select foal sale Tuesday with a record gross. The auction on the island of Hokkaido sold 242 lots for about $71,178,571, a figure which, expressed in the local currency of yen, topped last year's record-setting auction.

Last year, Fusao Sekiguchi paid a record $4.5 million for the top lot, a Dance in the Dark-Air Groove colt. This season's sale-topper, a $1.875 million Symboli Kris S.-Must Be Loved colt that Danox Co. bought from Northern Farm, was a far cry from that price. But strong middle-market prices helped buoy the results overall, resulting in gains. Average price was about $294,126, while median was $224,537. Compared in yen with last year's returns, those marked gains of 0.3 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The buyback rate was 20 percent, which the JRHA reported was its lowest ever.

Tuesday's session-topper was a $1,696,429 colt from the first crop by champion Vindication out of graded stakes winner Roza Robata. Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm sold the colt to Masahiro and Mizuki Noda's Danox Co. Yoshida purchased Roza Robata carrying this colt last year for $550,000 at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.