12/02/2002 1:00AM

Revenue still on the rise at Tattersalls

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Tattersalls December mare sales opened Monday in Newmarket, England, and continued the gains the company saw earlier with its strong yearling and record-breaking foal sessions.

The first of four mare sessions rang up increases in gross, average price, and median and also yielded a $1,017,188 session topper. That mare was the Machiavellian matron Molasses, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Shiva offered in foal to another Group 1 winner, Mozart. The Niarchos family consigned the 4-year-old mare in the name of Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard. Agent Johnny McKeever signed the purchaser's ticket on behalf of breeder Pat O'Kelly, owner of Kilcarn Stud in Ireland.

The session sold 186 mares for a total of $14,481,983, which, in the local currency of guineas, was up 7 percent over last year's opening mare session. This year's average price of $77,860 represented a gain of 13 percent, and the median of $40,688 jumped even more sharply with a 25-percent rise.

American breeder Elizabeth Moran of Brushwood Stable, fresh off two purchases totaling $3,585,000 at Keeneland's November breeding stock sale, returned to the auction world at Tattersalls. At Monday's opener, she bought the $716,100 mare Fantasy Royale, a stakes-placed Pleasant Colony mare in foal to Sadler's Wells. That mare went through the ring from Ciaran Conroy's Glenvale Stud.

The Tattersalls mare sales run through Dec. 5.