A Deputy Commander
colt brought $475,000 Tuesday to top the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida.
Florida pinhooker Jimmy Gladwell, bidding on the phone from an OBS office, bought the racy-looking bay for Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.
"I had John Ferguson (Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager) on the phone, and he was with Sheikh Mohammed and Jimmy Bell in Dubai," Gladwell said. "It's late there; I think it was a quarter after one in the morning. They said they are interested in continuing to buy 2-year-olds, and this colt did everything we thought he needed to do.
"He had a quick turn of foot, but he just acted like he was a horse that may run two turns and might show up for us in the fall. He was obviously the kind of horse we were looking for, for our stable. My wife, Martha, had been here watching all the horses all week, and he was one that she kind of had pinpointed."
The colt is out of the 12-year-old winning Black Tie Affair mare Regrets Only and is a full brother to grade III-placed Commander's Affair. He worked a quarter in :21 3/5 prior to the auction.
"He's a lovely horse, and things fell into place for him," said Florida pinhooker Niall Brennan, who consigned the colt as agent. "Deputy Commander had a big weekend (as the sire of Tampa Bay Derby, gr. III, winner Deputy Glitters), and that really solidified it. He trained beautifully, and he breezed beautifully. Everybody just started coming back to the barn to look at him."
The colt was owned by a partnership that was put together by Marette Farrell and Headley Bell of Nicoma Bloodstock. He was purchased for $105,000 in the name of Bridlamere Stable at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling auction. Exhale, a Millennium Wind
-- Manila Rose colt owned by the partnership and consigned by Brennan, sold for $800,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
In all, 141 horses were sold during the OBS March sale's opening session for a gross of $12,640,000, which was down 15.6% from the total of $14,985,000 for the 188 horses sold a year ago. However, the average price of $89,645 was up 12.5% from 2005's comparable figure of $79,707. The median price of $75,000 represented a 50.0% increase from $50,000 last year. The buy-back rate rose from 23% last year to 28%.this year.
"It started out a little slow, but after we got into the sale there were an awful lot of $100,000 horses, and the session ended with very solid results," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "I think we're going to have even a better today tomorrow."
Two other horses brought prices of $400,000 or more. A Cherokee Run
-- Glory Way filly, consigned by Mayberry Farm, agent, sold to Egyptian brewing magnate Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables for $440,000. A Five Star Day
-- Saucy Maisy colt, consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, sold to Castletop Stable for $400,000.
Wednesday's second and final session begins at 11 a.m. (EST).Leding Buyers, Consignors, and Sires