06/22/2005 12:00AM

Ocala sale posts sharp declines


The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s June 2-year-olds and horses of racing age auction in Ocala, Fla., ended its second and final session Wednesday with steep declines.

The opening session on Tuesday also posted declines and an increased buy-back rate from last year, prompting sellers at Wednesday's session to withdraw numerous lots. By day's end on Wednesday, the auction's total tally showed that 304 juveniles had sold for $5,677,800, down dramatically from last year's total of $7,394,600 for 314 juveniles. The average price also fell sharply, by 21 percent, to $18,677. The two-day sale also sold nine older horses for a total of $55,900 and an average price of $6,211 this year. Last year, 17 older horses brought $144,000, an $8,471 average.

At Tuesday's opener, 157 horses sold for $3,038,300, a drop of 21 percent from last year's first day, when 174 horses brought $3,819,900. The average and median prices also declined. The average fell 12 percent to $19,352, and the median slid 27 percent to $11,000. In the face of those declines, the buy-back rate soared, from 18 percent last year to 32 percent this season.

A $135,000 Maria's Mon colt topped the sale on a final bid from agent Buzz Chace. Sold as Hip No. 330 on Tuesday by Gabriel Dixon, agent, the colt is out of the stakes-winning Dixieland Band mare Dixie Daylight.