02/09/2005 1:00AM

Record average at Ocala sale; 22 juveniles bring $200K or more

The day's top price was brought by this Dance Master colt.

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Calder select juvenile sale began the boutique 2-year-old auction season with record figures Tuesday.

Although the one-day auction's top price of $600,000, for a Dance Master colt, was not a record, the day's $136,890 average and $120,000 median prices did set new marks for the sale even as gross receipts fell. An auction record 22 juveniles brought prices of $200,000 or more.

The record top price of $1.6 million, set last year when Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum bought a Wild Rush-Freudenau colt from agent W. D. North, was never threatened. Sheikh Mohammed didn't make any purchases at this year's auction, but sellers still enjoyed a booming market. Two horses sold above the half-million-dollar mark, both going to the Puglisi Stable of Wall Street trader Jeff Puglisi, who bought three of the top four lots in the sale. One of those was the $600,000 sale-topper, a chestnut son of Dance Master and the stakes-placed Tour d'Or mare More d'Amour. The colt, offered by the Leprechaun Racing agency, is the first foal for his dam.

Puglisi Stable also bought a $550,000 Phone Trick colt out of the stakes-placed Meadowlake mare Lark Creek. Ricky Leppala, agent, consigned the Phone Trick colt.

Earlier in the day, the stable also bought a $300,000 Artax-Bonnie Byerly colt from North, agent.

All three of the Puglisi purchases posted quarter-mile works in 21.40 seconds at the auction's under-tack previews, the fastest time for that distance. Trainer Steve Klesaris represented Puglisi at the sale.

Other high-priced juveniles include a $425,000 colt by Exchange Rate-Miss Virginia consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent, and bought by John Connelly, and a $300,000 Old Trieste-Rose Bay colt consigned by Ocala Stud Farms and bought by John C. Oxley. Todd Pletcher, as agent, signed the ticket for the highest-priced filly, who went for $270,000. She is by More than Ready out of Guilty Pleasure and was consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent.

Overall, the single session sold 109 juveniles for a total of $14,921,000, a slight decline from last year's $15,266,000 for 112 lots. The 2005 average price of $136,890 edged out last year's record of $136,304, and the median price increased sharply from $87,500 last year to $120,000. Buy-backs declined from 34 percent to 30 percent.