They say two heads are better than one, but is one sale better than two? We’ll find out March 15 and 16 when the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. conducts its March select juvenile auction in Central Florida.
OBS officials decided to consolidate the company’s program for select 2-year-olds in training this year, eliminating its February sale and keeping the March sale, which recorded encouraging increases in 2010 from the previous year in its average and median prices while reducing its buy-back rate.
The total of 490 horses in the March catalog is nearly the same as the 500 in last year’s February and March auctions combined.
“We’ve got very good horses here this year, and the early sale interest in the sale has been excellent,” said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. “If it was three years ago, we would be doing back flips in anticipation, but now everybody is a little cautious about how the market is. However, I’m excited about the sale.”
The Fasig-Tipton Florida select auction kicked off the select juvenile selling season March, suffering downturns in gross revenue, average, and number of juveniles sold while the buy-back rate rose above 40%. The median was stable.
But in Ventura’s opinion, the OBS March sale has an advantage over that auction because it has more than twice as many horses in its catalog, which will make the sale more appealing to a wider range of buyers.
“I’m hopeful that we’re going to move forward over last year even though the nature of the market now is somewhat concerning,” he said. “We have more than 400 horses of quality and even if buyers aren’t playing at the very top of the market, they will still find plenty of horses that will fit in their price range.”
The under tack show, which was held in two sessions March 11 and 12, produced plenty of fast times, with numerous workers covering an eighth of a mile in :10 and below and a quarter mile in under :21 2/5 and under.
The Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, which traditionally offers well-bred stock, is selling its select horses only at the March sale this year, enhancing the quality of the auction’s catalog. In 2010, the Bailey Sales Agency sold the auction’s sale topper, a More Than Ready filly named Avid, for $525,000. Her Street Sense half brother by Street Sense is in this year’s auction. Their dam, Meadow Silk (by Meadowlake), has produced grade II winner Star Dabbler and added-money winner Run Production (both by Saint Ballado).
In addition, there are horses in the March sale by such successful sires as Bernardini , Congrats , Distorted Humor , Giant's Causeway , Indian Charlie, Malibu Moon , Medaglia d'Oro , Tapit , Tiznow , and Unbridled's Song .
Each session of the auction will begin at 11 a.m. (EDT).