The opening session of the 2004 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August yearling sale was as hot as the weather in Central Florida when the sales company established new records for gross revenue, average, and median price. The average of $52,271 was the highest ever for the sale, breaking the record of $44,945 that was established in 1999.
The opening select session saw 177 horses find new homes for a gross of $9,252,000. The median price was $45,000 and the buy-back rate dropped to 21.3%.
Sixteen horses topped the six-figure mark, doubling the number that reached $100,000 or more last year.
The 2003 auction grossed $6,367,000 when 144 horses were sold. The average price was $44,215 and the median price $35,000. The buy-back rate was 25.7%.
"It was a pretty solid sale through and through," said Tom Ventura, OBS director of sales and general manager. "We anticipated a solid sale... just to continue on what the statistics were back in the fall and during the 2-year-old sales.
"The select sale saw about 40 more horses than we had last year but I think we had the quality to go with the numbers. There were positive signs all around that showed there was real depth to the market. The increase in the median price proved that the market wasn't just top heavy and the low buy-back rate shows that people were happy with their purchases."
This year's sale was led by a $235,000 son of Halo's Image
out of the stakes winning Tri Jet mare Proud Clarioness. Red Storm Stable's Anthony Gurino signed the ticket for the colt that was consigned and bred by his cousin Louis Gurino's Celebrity Farm.
Proud Clarioness, who was raced by the Gurino family, is the dam of grade II winner Hesabull (by Dispersal) and grade III winner Big E E (by Jolie's Halo). She is also the dam of 3-year-old stakes placed Cooperation, who topped the 2002 OBS August sale at $200,000 when he was purchased by James McIngvale.
"My cousin bred this horse and I had made him an offer to privately purchase this colt before the sale, but we decided to let him go through the sale and get him for a fair market value," Anthony Gurino said. "He has tremendous physical attributes and basically think he is an athletic horse. He has a big butt and a nice walk."
Anthony Gurino said he did not know if he would keep the colt and syndicate him or if he would be entered in a 2-year-old sale next year.
Louis Gurino said, "He's a nice horse and the price reflected it. I don't know if I will stay in for a piece or not. He's just a super nice horse and is the real deal."
A daughter of Florida-based stallion Yes It's True
topped all the fillies when bloodstock agent Buzz Chace went to $170,000 to acquire her on behalf of Terry Finley's West Point Thoroughbreds. The filly was consigned by the Caporella family's Big "C" Farm.
"I believe she has a chance," Chace said. "She's a nice, big filly and has a lot of class. I liked her because she was nice and relaxed."
The filly was produced from the Copelan mare Future Question and is from the family of grade II stakes winners Whata Brainstorm and Ruler's Court.
Chace said he didn't know if the filly would be kept by West Point and syndicated for racing purposes or if she would be sold as a 2-year-old.
The sale runs through Thursday in Central Florida. The first of three open sessions begins Tuesday at 11 a.m.