Shortened OBS Consignor Preferred Sessions See Increase in Average and Median

Shortened OBS Consignor Preferred Sessions See Increase in Average and Median
Photo: Louise E. Reinagel
Top Weanling; colt, Closing Argument - Autumn Music by Unbridled's Song
Despite difficult comparisons, the two-day consignor preferred sessions at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed sale ended Oct. 9 in Central Florida with an increase in average price. Comparisons to 2006 were hard because last year there were three consignor preference sessions.

For the two days, 256 horses sold for $6,848,700. The average was $26,753, and the median $20,000. The buy-back rate was 49.1%.

Compared to the figures from last year--for three preferred sessions compared to the two this year--the number of horses sold dropped 56.8% from 592 and the gross fell 46.4% from $12,765,900. The average increased 24.1% from $21,564. The median was $20,000, an increase of 66.7%. Last year's buy-back rate was 35%.

"The market was a little tough," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales. "The buy-back rate was 49% so it was a little difficult to get horses sold. Again, the weanlings proved strong."

For the two days, the average weanling price was $29,800 while the average price for a mare was $22,500.

For the Oct. 9 session, OBS reported 129 horses sold, a decrease of 35.8% compared to last year. The gross dropped 25.7% to $3,270,200. The average was $25,350, an increase of 15.7% over the corresponding figures from one year ago. The median was $17,000, an increase of 70% over last year's figure of $10,000.

Last year's second consignor preferred session saw 201 horses sell for $4,403,400. The average was $21,907 and the median $10,000 The buy-back rate was 34.3%.

The second session and two-day consigner preferred sessions was topped by an $185,000 son of Closing Argument purchased by bloodstock agent Buzz Chace on behalf of the pinhooking partnership of Terry Finley's West Point Stables and Lewis Lakin. The colt was consigned by Beth Bayer, agent.

Tanourin Stable bred the dark bay or brown colt in Florida from the Unbridled's Song mare Autumn Music, who they purchased carrying the session-topping colt for $65,000 from the consignment of Burleson Farms at the 2006 OBS October sale.

The colt, a January foal, is a half-brother to Puerto Rican group winner and champion Vivaldi Girl (by Forest Camp) and is from the family of Wild Desert.

Chace said the colt would likely be resold as a yearling or 2-year-old. "He was just a very nice horse with a lot of presence," he said. "I like the way he was bred and I think Closing Argument has a real good chance (to be a good sire). He was a good horse on the racetrack and the horses I have seen of his at this sale have really impressed me."

Closing Argument stands at Becky Thomas' Sequel Stallions near Orange Lake, Fla. His 2007 fee was $10,000. His first foals are weanlings of 2007.

Chace said the colt was put together like horses from the Valid Appeal line and he liked the fact that the mare was a daughter of Unbridled's Song. "This was a real good nick. It has been successful before," said Chace. 

The top-priced mare of the day and for the consignor preferred sessions was Maid Guinevere (Gilded Time--Dear Guinievere, by Fearless Knight) who was purchased in foal Empire Maker carrying her first foal, for $175,000 by Jim Scott, representing George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stud. Brent Fernung's Journeyman Bloodstock consigned the mare, who is a half-sister to grade III stakes winner Mass Market as well as two stakes-placed winners.

Scott called the mare the whole package--in foal to the right stallion (Empire Maker), size and conformation. "The mare was a decent racehorse and was an athletic mare and proved that she could run," he said. "She is the kind of mare that I can sell babies out of for three or four years and make money."

Scott added the price of the mare was a touch north of what he expected to pay. "The market is a little soft here. I expected to pay about $150,000, but she has a lot of upside to her."

A decision on breeding plans for Maid Guievere has yet to be decided.

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