Updated on 09/17/2011 11:46AM

Ocala sale opens on down note

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A $270,000 Cherokee Run filly proved to be the bright spot at Tuesday's opening session for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June sale of 2-year-olds and horses of racing age in Florida. After an opening day that saw declines across the board, selling continued at the final session Wednesday, where the session leader at 5 p.m. was a $150,000 Runaway Groom-Tippecanoe Creek colt from Paul Sharp, agent. Buzz Chace, agent, bought the colt, a half-brother to Hutcheson Stakes winner Lion Tamer.

Tuesday's session-topping Cherokee Run filly had clocked a quarter-mile breeze in 21.20 at the under-tack show. Niall Brennan, agent, sold the filly, a daughter of the stakes-winning Deputy Minister mare Social Director, to Arosa Farms.

But the two-day auction's first session saw declines overall. The company sold 131 horses, up from last year's 122 lots, and grossed $2,293,700. That was down 12 percent from last year's first-session aggregate of $2,597,600. The average price also fell on opening day this year, dropping 18 percent to $17,509, and the median slipped from last year's $10,000 to $9,000. In a softer market where buyers could pick and choose, sellers took more stock home this year, and the company reported a day-one buy-back rate of 32 percent; that was up from last year's rate of 28 percent.