10/14/2008 11:00PM

Records help ease Tattersalls fall

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American breeder Betty Moran of Brushwood Stables was the headliner Wednesday at the final session of the Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling sale in Newmarket, England. Represented by agent Maxine Cowdrey, Pennsylvania-based Moran splashed out the sale-topping, and sale-record, price of 420,000 guineas for a Danehill Dancer colt. The price was about $762,930.

The high-priced purchase helped end the three-day sale on an exciting note, but it did not plump up the bottom line enough to avoid across-the-board declines. The auction, lengthened this year from two days, registered an 18 percent decline in gross, selling 509 yearlings for about $35,735,459; last year's auction sold 473 horses. The average suffered a steeper fall, dropping 24 percent to about $70,207. And the median slid 17 percent to approximately $52,678.

The buy-back rate leaped to 41 percent from last year's 17 percent.

Moran's new Danehill Dancer colt is out of the Group 3-placed stakes winner Castle Quest.

The colt's breeder, Dermot McAuliffe, consigned him through agent Ballyphillip Stud. Moran outbid Coolmore agent Demi O'Byrne for the colt.

O'Byrne came back to pay a sale-record filly price for another Danehill Dancer, a daughter of Evangeline, for 400,000 guineas. The price was about $726,600. The dam is by Sadler's Wells and already has produced a Group 2 winner in Infamous Angel, by Exceed and Excel. The Castlebridge Consignment was the seller.