01/15/2003 12:00AM

Ocala open session sees declines


The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's winter mixed sale in Ocala, Fla., entered its final day Wednesday after posting declines in its first open session Tuesday.

Despite sharp gains in gross receipts and the average and median prices for the consignor-preferred stock offered Monday, the initial open session on Tuesday saw prices fall across the board, emphasizing the difficulty of selling lower-level horses in a regional market. The Tuesday session sold 193 horses for a total of $805,600, down from last year's total of $1,313,500 for 250 horses. The smaller number sold was a contributing factor in the decline, but the difficult economic situation for sellers was evident in the average price, which fell 21 percent to $4,174, and a median that dropped 27 percent to $2,700. Buy-backs climbed from 18 percent last year to 22 percent this season.

Tuesday's session-topper was a 10-year-old mare, Extreme Change, who brought $25,000 from Gaspar Rivera. Nancy Bauman, agent, consigned the mare (by Copelan), who sold in foal to Devil's Bag.

The final session Wednesday also opened with generally low prices. The session leader as of 4:30 p.m. was a $38,000 Yankee Victor yearling colt that Leprechaun Racing, agent, purchased from Lakland, agent.