A Deep Impact colt out of U.S. Horse of the Year Azeri topped the Japan Racing Horse Association's foal session at ¥240,000,000 ($2,374,011 in U.S. funds) July 9 at Northern Horse Park in Hokkaido.
The two-day select sale, which included a yearling session July 8, posted record receipts of ¥11,764,700,000 ($,116,375,797) for 392 horses sold. The aggregate marked a 14.3% gain compared with last year's sale. The previous select sale record of ¥117,545,000,000 was set in 2006.
The cumulative average price was ¥30,011,990 ($296,877), up 4.9% from the 2012 select sale. The overall buy-back rate improved from 20.5% last year to 17.8%.
Shigehisa Tanabe of Desk Valet Company Ltd. secured the session-topping foal, the overall highest price of the select sale, on behalf of an undisclosed client.
"I love his head, neck, shoulder, and body," Tanabe said of the brown colt, who was consigned by Northern Farm. "He is thoroughly beautiful and faultless.
"He has everything and is an outstanding individual," he added. "This is the best foal I have seen since I started to work as independent bloodstock agent 10 years ago. I have not decided yet who is going to train him, but I believe one of the best Japanese trainers will train him."
Azeri was Horse of the Year in 2002 and a three-time champion older female (2002, 2003, 2004). She has produced four winners from as many starters, including 2012 Monmouth Oaks (Gr. II) winner Wine Princess
and stakes-placed runner Arienza
Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm bought the now 15-year-old Jade Hunter mare for $2,250,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She was consigned to that sale by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust.
Hajime Satomi, chairman of computer company Sega-Sammy, went to ¥230,000,000 ($2,275,096) for Northern Farm's Deep Impact colt out of multiple Argentine group I winner Malpensa, by Orpen.
"My bloodstock adviser, Yasuo Ikee (who trained two-time Japanese Horse of the Year Deep Impact), recommended this colt, and I found this is a very attractive individual when I visited Northern Farm to inspect the foals," Satomi said of the bay colt, the first foal out of Malpensa.
"And I like his white diamond on his face. (Ikee's son) Yasutoshi Ikee at Ritto (Training Center) will train him."
The JRHA reported 166 foals as sold for ¥5,604,000,000 ($55,433,198), a 15.7% increase from last year's foal session. The average price ¥33,759,036 ($333,919), was up 10.1%, and the buy-back rate was 24.5%, compared with 25.1% in 2012.
The highest price at the yearling session was ¥180,000,000 ($1,764,706) for a Deep Impact colt out of U.S. graded stakes winner Shes All Eltish
. He was bought by Riichi Kondo out of the Northern Farm consignment.