A well-built son of Forest Wildcat led the way during the closing session of the 2007 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company’s March select 2-year-olds in training sale bringing a final bid of $900,000 at the Central Florida auction house.
Jimmy Gladwell, representing Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, purchased the top-priced colt from Barry and Shari Eisaman's Eisaman Equine. Gladwell signed the ticket in the name of John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed's primary bloodstock agent.
For the two-day sale, OBS reported 253 horses sold to gross $26,541,000 for an average of $104,905. The median was $82,000, establishing a March sale record. The sale also saw 35 horses sell for more than $200,000, compared to 27 last year.
The buy-back rate was 33.2%, with 126 hips failing to sell. The 2006 buy-back rate was 27.4% when 108 hips failed to meet their reserves.
Compared to last year, the gross fell 14.5% while the average dropped 3.4%. The median improved 9.3%
"Overall, I felt it was a very good sale through and through," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales. "It would have been awfully hard to match last year's numbers. I said before the sale started that it was going to be a true test of the market and we passed the test."
Last year, the sale grossed a record $31,044,000 for 286 hips sold. The average was $108,545 and the median $75,000. On the sale's second day in 2006, two hips topped the seven-figure mark: a son of Belong to Me --Vassar, by Royal Academy brought a final bid of $1.8 million and a daughter of Indian Charlie--V Sign, by Robellino, now named Imperial Reign, registered a $1 million bid.
The Eisamans’ originally purchased the '07 sales topper, a strapping chestnut colt, for $120,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale.
"The colt worked really well, he got across the racetrack really well and we sure liked him," Gladwell said. "Physically, he was a great specimen. We liked him in September and we liked him even more here after he came here and performed. Shari and Barry Eisaman felt he was one of the best horses they have ever had on their farm and we have a lot of confidence in both of them. He jumped through all of the hoops and vetted great, and had a great attitude around the barn. He was just a horse we felt that needed to be in the stable."
Gladwell was in contact with Darley USA president Jimmy Bell, who is in Dubai for the World Cup and who watched the sale live on his computer. Gladwell said he believed the colt would remain in the United States.
Bred in Kentucky by The Answer, he is out of the Capote mare Whatacapote and is a half-brother to grade III stakes winner Here's Zealous. He breezed a quarter in :21.1 during the sale's first under tack show March 18 to share the co-fastest time for the distance.
In back-to-back fashion toward the end of sale, two offerings hit the $500,000 mark. On behalf of a partnership, Lane's End Farm owner William S. Farish bought a son of A.P. Indy. California trainer John Sadler, on behalf of Edmund Gann, bought a son of Grand Slam.
The Kentucky-bred son of A.P. Indy out of the Mr. Prospector mare Golden Sonata was consigned by agent Justin Casse's Casse Sales. The colt was bred by Skara Glen Stables and Sha-li- Leasing Associates. He was previously offered at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale where he failed to meet his reserve and was bought back for $240,000.
Justin Casse's brother, Mark, signed the ticket for the colt, who breezed a quarter in :23.1 during the first pre-sale breeze show March 18 and breezed another quarter in :22 during the March 24 undertack show, on behalf of the Farish partnership.
Mike Mulligan's Leprechaun Racing, agent, consigned the son of Grand Slam out of the Hennessymare Goodness. Mulligan purchased the colt as a weanling for $90,000 at the 2005 Keeneland November mixed sale. Mulligan often buys yearlings for pinhooking partnerships but bought this colt as a weanling for himself and wife, Britt, to sell as a juvenile.
The colt went an eighth in :10.1 during the March 18 pre-sale breeze show.
For the sale's second session, 127 horses sold for a total of $14,359,000 compared with 145 horses grossing $18,404,000 at last year’s second session. The average price was $113,063, compared with $126,924 in 2006, while the median price was $85,000, up 13.3% from $75,000 a year ago.
The buyback percentage Wednesday was 30.2%, compared to 26.7% a year ago. Twenty one horses sold for $200,000 or more, compared with 20 last year.
Next for OBS is the Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training set for April 24-27 with Under Tack Shows scheduled for April 18-21.