Tom Ventura has been watching what's happening in the rest of the country, and he hopes the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company August yearling sale, which begins Monday, can follow the same trends that other regional markets have experienced. While the elite select sales have struggled, more modest auctions in New York and California have held steady or posted increases.
"We have the same sort of horses in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, at least on our first day," said Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "I hope that we can increase our average a little bit and keep our buy-back rate down."
Asked why the upper end of the yearling market has been so far down, Ventura said: "Maybe at the upper end they are selling to a lot smaller group of buyers, and if one or two don't participate, it has a bigger impact than in our market, which has a broader base."
The OBS auction will provide the season's first big test of the yearling market's ability to absorb a large number of horses. There are 1,322 yearlings in the catalogue, and the auction will run four days. Monday's opening session features select 216 yearlings. Also scheduled to be offered are 88 yearlings in the first phase of the Franks Farm reduction. The open portion of the sale begins Tuesday and continues through Thursday.
Sires with offspring in the sale include this year's leading freshman sire Elusive Quality, Carson City, Cherokee Run, Favorite Trick, Forest Wildcat, Gentlemen, Grand Slam, and Holy Bull. Among the others are Hennessy, Siphon, Skip Away, Theatrical (IRE), Unbridled's Song, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Artax, and Mazel Trick.