01/08/2009 1:00AM

Ocala gross, average down


Echoing the recent trend at fall and winter auctions, Ocala Breeders' Sales ended its winter mixed sale Wednesday in Ocala, Fla., with sharp declines.

The auction, reduced from three days to two this year, sold a total of 343 horses for $2,129,100, down 57 percent from last year's gross for 490 horses. The cumulative average price of $6,207 represented a drop of 40 percent, and the median fell 45 percent to $3,000.

But the sale's buy-back rate improved, from 2008's figure of 38 percent to 35 percent.

The auction's sale-topper was an $87,000 Exchange Rate yearling colt. Eisaman Equine purchased him from Janie Roper, agent. The colt sold Tuesday at the opening-day consignor-preferred session.

The sale's top-priced broodmare was Elena's Dream, who sold for $62,000, also on Tuesday. The 7-year-old El Prado mare sold to McKathan Brothers. She is in foal to Scat Daddy and is a full sister to Grade 3-winning millionaire Nite Dreamer.