03/24/2005 12:00AM

Results mixed at Ocala sale

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The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select 2-year-old auction posted mixed results after a softer final session on Wednesday, proving that it is hard to top a record year, even when selling is good.

Following a record sale last season, the 2005 auction's gross receipts hit a sale-record $26,399,000 for 323 juveniles sold; last year, 245 horses brought a total of $22,563,000. But the 2005 average price of $81,731 slid 11 percent from last year's record $92,094. The median price also declined, from $60,000 to $55,000.

The Ocala, Fla., sale got off to a strong start. Tuesday's opener auctioned a flashy sale-topper when Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley organization paid $900,000 for the Eisaman Equine agency's Yes It's True colt out of Kit Kat Kitty. That session produced 14 horses who sold for $200,000 or more, and the buy-back rate declined from last year's opening-day 32 percent to just 23 percent.

But Wednesday's second and final day proved more difficult for consignors. Topped by a $320,000 Salt Lake-Slinkylady colt that David Clark's Iron Horse Racing bought from the Eisaman Equine Agency, the session saw buy-backs soar to 41 percent, up sharply from last year's 35 percent. Despite selling more horses this year, 135 as compared with 118 last season, the second session saw its gross decline from $11,535,000 to $11,414,000.