10/07/2008 12:00AM

Tattersalls holds its own in opener

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite aggressive spending by Darley Stable, the Tattersalls October yearling sale’s three-day Book 1 sale opened Tuesday in England with a slight decline in average and a 7 percent drop in median.

The 2008 edition is shorter by one day than last year’s auction, making day-to-day comparisons inexact. But given the global financial turmoil and a generally declining market for yearlings this summer and fall, the opening-day figures prompted Tattersalls executives to label Tuesday’s session “strong.” The session sold 132 yearlings for about $27,547,506. The average price of about $208,693 was down approximately 1 percent from last year’s opening day, and the median price, about $146,160, was 7 percent down from last year.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Darley Stable purchased 17 yearlings, accounting for three of the four highest-priced yearlings and the $913,500 (500,000 guineas) session-topper. That was an Oasis Dream half-brother to champion and two-time classic winner Finsceal Beo. Liam Cashman of Rathbarry Stud was the consignor.

Darley’s 17 horses totaled more than 3 million guineas, or about $5,636,295, for an average purchase price of about $331,546.

The Book 1 auction was to continue through Thursday.

Buy-back numbers improve at OBS

One day after a bruising consignor-preferred session of steep drops and a 53 percent buy-back rate, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company started its fall mixed sale’s two open sessions Tuesday with declines and a $32,000 session-topper.

But buy-backs improved dramatically from Monday’s high rate, ending at 31 percent.

The Tuesday session sold 150 horses for $824,100 and an average price of $5,494. Those figures were down from last year by 18 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Median declined 40 percent to $3,000.

Tuesday’s session-topper was the $32,000 broodmare Miss Listo, an 8-year-old daughter of Southern Halo and stakes winner Regal Princess, by Royal and Regal. The Off the Hook agency purchased the mare on behalf of Agropecuaria Unida. Janie Roper, agent, was the consignor. Miss Listo is a stakes-winning half-sister to the dam of Grade 2 winners The Daddy and With a City and to the dam of Grade 3-placed Royal Moro.

Miss Listo sold in foal to Roar of the Tiger.

Eight Belles’s dam up for sale

Away, the dam of ill-fated Kentucky Derby runner-up Eight Belles, is to sell at Keeneland’s November mixed sale on Nov. 3. The 11-year-old Dixieland Band mare has been bred to Unbridled’s Song and is carrying a full sibling to Eight Belles.

Three Chimneys Farm, as agent, will consign Away to the auction as Hip No. 271.

Also at Keeneland November, Ahmed Zayat has announced he will sell Grade 1-placed stakes winners Baroness Thatcher and Premium Wine as part of a new plan to consign racing stock annually to auction. The pair will sell through Eaton Sales.