Times were sizzling Sunday in Central Florida as the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) held its first under tack show for a juvenile auction over its new Safetrack synthetic surface. Fourteen horses entered in the OBS February select sale of 2-year-olds in training each breezed an eighth of a mile in :10, and a Hold That Tigercolt set the pace at a quarter, stopping the clock in :20 4/5.
During last year's first under tack show for the same auction, when the track surface was dirt, the fastest times were :10 1/5 (posted by 13 horses) for an eighth and :21 (posted by three horses) for a quarter.
"You're always on pins and needles before the first under tack show, but we couldn't be more pleased," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "We had to delay the start of the show for about an hour because of fog, but other than that, we thought it went off very well. The track was very consistent from the morning into the afternoon."
Pinhooker Niall Brennan also praised the consistency of the track throughout the show. In addition, he said, '"It seemed like it was very safe. The horses seemed like they galloped out very well, and they seemed like they came out of it very well. It was great seeing horses do well and not taking bad steps. It (the track) is at least one tick (fifth of a second) faster than your average dirt track, and it might even be two ticks faster."
The swift Hold That Tiger colt was produced from the winning 10-year-old Gulch mare French Factor. He is consigned by W. D. North Thoroughbreds, agent for Tony Bowling, Bobby Dodd, and North. Bowling and Dodd purchased the chestnut colt for $75,000 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction.
The 13 juveniles that shared the honors for the fastest eighth included three consigned by Eisaman Equine, agent: a Silver Deputy-- Daisy Dukes filly, a Forest Wildcat-- Added Time colt, and a Successful Appeal -- Big Score colt.
Two each are consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent; Straightaway Farm, agent, and Southern Cypress Stable, agent. The Leprechaun Racing's two are a Friends Lake-- Incredible Me colt and a Lion Heart-- Coffee Springs filly. Straightaway Farm's two are a Zavata -- Halo My Baby colt and a Put It Back -- A B C Amanda filly. And the two from Southern Cypress were an Alke -- West Broadway colt and a Yonaguska -- Fairytalescometrue colt named Sheraguska.
Other 2-year-olds working an eighth in :10 were a Teton Forest-- Lochlin Slew colt, consigned by Don Graham; a Freud -- Val's Diablo filly, consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, agent; a Chapel Royal-- White Cliffs filly, consigned by Ricky Leppala, agent; a City Place -- Bon Caro filly named Glitter City, consigned by Murray Smith, agent; and a Johannesburg -- Border Dispute filly named Mythical Border, consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent.
"It's a learning process, and buyers will have more work to do because their short lists will be longer," Brennan said. "The horses didn’t separate themselves out as much as they do on a dirt track. There were a lot of horses that went in :10 1/5 on the wrong lead."
The second and final under tack show for the auction will be Feb. 10, beginning at 9 a.m. (EST). The sale is scheduled for Feb. 12, starting at noon.