03/20/2002 1:00AM

Ocala sale numbers down


Topped by a $400,000 Phone Trick colt bought by Eugene Melnyk, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-year-old sale ended Wednesday with declines across the board.

The two-day auction in Ocala, Fla., sold 98 juveniles this year for a total of $6,255,000, down 59 percent from last year, when far more horses - 216 - passed through the ring for gross receipts of $15,166,000. The average price dropped 9 percent, from $70,213 last year to $63,827 this time.

The sale-topper is out of the Grade 3-placed Mount Hagen mare Chattahoochee, making him a half-brother to the stakes-winner and stakes-producer Chatta Code (Lost Code). Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds, agent, sold the $400,000 colt. The colt last sold for $90,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale yearling sale as part of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lavin's Longfield Farm consignment. Alli-Kat Enterprises, agent, signed the ticket for the colt then.

Wednesday's top filly was a $260,000 Forest Wildcat filly out of Garden Street, whom Eddie Woods, agent, sold to to Ben Perkins.

On Tuesday, at the sale's opening day, a $300,000 Halo's Image colt from the Bridlewood Farm consignment brought the afternoon's top price; that also was the second-highest price overall for the auction. Michael Machowsky, agent, signed for the Halo's Image colt, a son of the unraced Dixieland Band mare Pleasant Dixie.