07/15/2008 11:00PM

Japanese sale shows declines

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Buffeted by a decline in the Japanese economy, the Japan Racing Horse Association's three-day yearling and foal sale ended Wednesday with a 16-percent decline in gross sales, an 11-percent drop in average, and a 30-percent buy-back rate.

The auction's topper was a yearling by Agnes Tachyon out of Blue Avenue who sold for about $2.3 million to construction executive Riichi Kondo. The colt is a half-brother to Japanese champion Kurofune and Grade 2 winner Bella Bellucci. Northern Farm consigned the sale-topper.

Wednesday's highest price was about $952,380 for a colt by Japan's two-time Horse of the Year, Deep Impact, and out of Mill Grain. Shadai Farm sold the colt to Takaya Shimakawa, who also purchased the highest-priced foal at the auction on Tuesday, another Deep Impact colt out of Biwa Heidi that Northern Farm sold for about $2 million.

The three-day auction sold 327 yearlings and foals for about $90,528,970, resulting in an average price of about $276,847. The figures were down from last season, when 348 horses sold.

The auction took place on the island of Hokkaido, Japan.