10/12/2008 11:00PM

Sharp declines at Tattersalls

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum and his brother Sheikh Hamdan continued their English buying spree Monday at the Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling sale in Newmarket, England, but the sale's opening-day financial figures still declined sharply from last year.

The auction was extended from two days to three this year and sold 160 yearlings Monday, as compared to 231 on last year's opening day. They brought a total of about $10,971,115, down 51 percent from last year's total. Monday's average price of $68,569 was 30 percent lower than last year's figure, and the median, approximately $54,495, fell 21 percent.

The Maktoum brothers were dominant buyers at the October Book 1 auction on Oct. 7-9. Together they bought 74 yearlings at that sale for a total of about $25,035,003.

Sheikh Mohammed accounted for the afternoon's most expensive yearling, an Oasis Dream colt out of stakes-placed Roo, by Rudimentary, that cost about $345,135. Denis Brosnan's Croom House Stud sold the colt, who is a half-brother to Group 1-placed Gallagher. The price in the local auction currency was 190,000 guineas.

Shiekh Hamdan bought the next two highest-priced yearlings, both colts. They were Hip No. 653, a 150,000-guinea Forest Camp colt out of Look for Good, by Unbridled's Song, and Hip No. 759, a 135,000-guinea Acclamation colt out of Park Approach, by Indian Ridge.

Yeomanstown Stud consigned the Forest Camp colt, whose price was about $272,475. Max Ervine consigned the Acclamation colt; his price in dollars was approximately $245,227.

Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan, represented by John Ferguson and Angus Gold, respectively, purchased 24 yearlings Monday for about $3,491,313 - almost a third of the day's gross.

The October Book 2 yearling sale was to run through Oct. 15. The Book 3 portion of the October yearling sale is set for Oct. 16-17, and Book 4 will take place Oct. 31. All take place at the Tattersalls sale pavilion in Newmarket, England.

New York sale bucks downward trend

The New York Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sunday improved its numbers over last year's figures, bucking a general downward trend at Thoroughbred sales so far this season.

According to results posted at the NYBS website, the one-day auction sold 160 weanlings, mares, and stallion seasons for a total of $1,787,650, for an average price of $11,172 and a $5,000 median. Those numbers were up from last year's session, which sold 170 offerings. Gross gained a half-percent, rising from last year's aggregate of $1,778,700, while average price climbed 7 percent and median gained 25 percent.

The buy-back rate for the entire auction, including shares and seasons, also improved somewhat, dropping from last year's 47 percent to 45opercent this year.

The highest-priced horse was a $95,000 weanling Fusaichi Pegasus filly that sold as part of the select weanling portion of the auction. Destined Farm purchased the daughter of Honor Lass, by Honor Grades, from Five Oak Farm.

The top-priced mare was $19,000 Lady Chestnut, a Horse Chestnut mare out of Gillingham, by Hatchet Man. The 7-year-old was cataloged in foal to A.P. Indy's son Suave. She is a half-sister to stakes winner City Fire and stakes-placed Creador de Suenos. Glenmare Farm, agent, sold the mare to Brian Gillum.

Among stallion seasons, the top seller was a $45,000 More Than Ready season bought by Jamie Lamonica.

NYBS sale director Todd Venetz acknowledged that the market for mares was "quite tough," but said the select weanling portion of the auction was developing into a bright spot on the Eastern sales calendar that he called "the sweet spot" of the NYBS fall mixed auction.