07/10/2005 11:00PM

Japanese sale session sees gains

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The Japan Racing Horse Association's two-day July select foal sale on Hokkaido got under way Monday without breaking last year's top-price record, but the auction opened with gains on last year's first day.

The session-topper on Monday was a $1.875 million Symboli Kris S. colt out of Must Be Loved whom Masahiro and Mizuki Noda's Danox Co., Ltd., purchased from Northern Farm. The colt is a half-brother to Japanese Grade 1 winner Rhein Kraft. The Symboli Kris S. colt was one of three lots bringing more than $1 million, but it didn't threaten the record set last year when Fusao Sekiguchi paid $4.5 million for a Dance in the Dark colt out of Japanese horse of the year Air Groove.

Monday's opening session sold 128 lots for a combined $39,428,571, an increase of 6 percent from last year's opener, when 122 lots sold. The average price also climbed slightly, rising from $304,986 last year to $308,036 in 2005. The buy-back rate this year was a moderate 19 percent.