By Carlos Medina and Ron Mitchell
A Macho Uno colt who was a standout in the crowd lived up to expectations when he was sold for $825,000 to top the record-setting Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2011 Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.
Consigned by Nick de Meric Sales on the final day of the four-day sale in Ocala, Fla., the colt was purchased by Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock, agent for Frank Fletcher Racing Operations. The colt was bred in Florida by Haras Santa Maria de Araras S.A. and had been purchased by Tristan de Meric for $22,000 from the Bridlewood consignment to the 2010 OBSC winter sale.
The gray or roan colt, whose quarter in :20 2/5 was co-fastest at the distance at April 15 Under Tack session, is out of La Defense, by Wild Again and is a half brother to stakes winner Quelle Surprise.
“I knew the Macho Uno colt was going to be a lot of money,” said Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Donato Lanni, who signed the ticket. “He performed very well on the track. His work was a pretty unusual work. He just looked really good.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale, again acting on behalf of Fletcher, also went to $675,000 for a colt by Hard Spun consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds LLC, agent. The dark bay or brown colt, who worked an eighth in :10 flat, is out of Light From Above, by A.P. Indy, a half sister to graded stakes winner Strategic Partner. Bred in Kentucky by Hargus Sexton and Sandra Sexton, the colt was acquired by Hartley/DeRenzo for $30,000 from the Warrendale consignment to the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Both colts will be trained by Bob Baffert.
“We kind of knew these two horses separated themselves,” Lanni said. “Everybody knew. There are plenty of really good horse people working this sale. They are professionals and they were no secrets. I was just fortunate that the guy I worked for wanted to buy them and play at that level. He wanted the two best colts of the sale and I told him I didn’t know how much it was going to cost. He said, ‘Just buy them.’ I hope we do well with them.”
Fletcher owns several car dealerships in the Little Rock, Arkansas area.
Underbidders on the Macho Uno colt included John Moynihan, by phone, and Mark Casse, who was also the immediate under bidder on the Hard Spun colt. There was a round of applause for the participants after the Macho Uno colt was hammered down.
The gross of $25,897,400 for the 822 horses sold was a record for the sale, eclipsing the previous record of $24,565,500 set in April, 2006. During the 2010 sale, 736 horses grossed $20,547,400. The average price was $31,505, up 12.8% from $27,918 a year ago, while the median price was unchanged at $20,000. The buyback percentage was 24.1%; it was 26.2% in 2010. Fifty-two horses sold for $100,000 or more compared with 32 last year.
During the final session, 196 horses brought a total of $6,927,200, compared with 159 horses grossing $4,863,300 at last year’s final session. The average price was $35,343, up 15.4% from $30,618 a year ago, while the median price was $17,000, compared with $18,000 in 2010. The buyback percentage was 25.5%; it was 33.8% last year.
The final session’s third-highest price of $230,000 was paid by Michael Yates for a Vindication colt consigned by Derby Dreams. The dark bay or brown colt, bred in Kentucky by Padua Stables, is a full brother to stakes-placed Dust and Diamonds, is out of Majestically, by Gone West. The colt worked an eighth in :10 1/5 at the Under Tack Show. He had previously been purchased by Ocala Farm Corp. for $4,000 from the Three Chimneys consignment to the 2009 Keeneland November sale and was then bought by Just For Fun Stables for $21,000 from the Pleasant Crest Farm consignment to the 2010 OBSC winter sale.