With declines in the three previous yearling sales to date this year as polarization between the top and the rest of the market continues, the next test will take place with the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s Aug. 23-25 auction.
The sale in Ocala, Fla., begins with a one-day select session (Hips 1-274) and is followed by two days of open selling. All sessions begin at 10:30 a.m. EDT and will be live-streamed at BloodHorse.com.
Even with 103 withdrawals (as of Aug. 21) from the 1,047 cataloged, this year’s sale is considerably larger than last year’s edition. With 813 cataloged in 2015, 563 yearlings were sold for gross receipts of $12,402,900, with an average price of $22,030 and a $13,000 median.
The 2015 sale-topper was Remarqued, a son of Arch purchased by Niall Brennan on behalf of Marc Keller for $320,000 from the consignment of Beth Bayer.
“I think we will see a lot of what we have seen already,” OBS sales director Tod Wojciechowski said in reference to the first three yearling sales this year. “I don’t think this will be a lot different.”
Gross and average fell 21.2% and 11.8%, respectively, during the Fasig-Tipton July sale; 183 horses averaged $86,101 and the buy-back rate was 37.5%. That was followed by the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale, at which the average price fell 9.4% to $292,115 for 145 sold.
Most recently, 177 yearlings averaged $81,739 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred auction, down 5.5% from the previous year’s average.
Wojciechowski said sales company officials and consignors are optimistic of a solid sale, noting that pre-sale traffic in the barns has been steady.
“We have a lot of good horses cataloged throughout the sale from Tuesday through Thursday,” he said. “We are staying optimistic and are looking forward to a good sale. There is something for everyone."
This year’s sale will be the first yearling auction conducted by OBS since it instituted a repository for all of its sales starting in 2016. A centralized location housing radiographs and other veterinary information about the sale offerings, the repository has been used by other sales companies for years, and Wojciechowski doesn't believe it will have an impact on the sale.
“The repository has been in place at other sale for years and it has almost become part of the fabric of the sale,” the OBS official said. “We are not breaking new ground by doing that.”
OBS noted that 24 international millionaires have come out of the August yearling sale, including the recent Japanese graded stakes winner A Shin Bullseye. Since Jan. 1 of this year, 15 graduates of the sale have won graded stakes. Those horses together were sold for $842,500 and they have earned more than $6.9 million, OBS said.
Conformation photographs of the yearlings being offered during the select session are available through the Sortable Master Index on the OBS website at obssales.com. The Master Index also includes links to pedigree updates via equineline.com. The catalog can also be downloaded for use with the equineline Sales Catalog iPad App. For more information and to obtain the application please go to http://www.equineline.com/SalesCatalogApp/.
The www.obssales.com website now includes a Spanish language section that can be accessed from the home page.