Midnight Lute Filly Tops Good OBS Select Sale

By Carlos Medina

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. saw largely solid results for the Aug. 23 opening day select session of the August Sale of Yearlings.

The sale, which was delayed for more than a half hour for safety reasons after heavy rains and lightning swept through the area, posted mostly positive gains, with the average price up 6%, and the median up 30.8%. Gross sales were down more than 13.5%, but sale officials said it corresponded to a 15% smaller catalog.

“I thought it was a good day. A solid sale,” said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales. “The numbers held up well, the average was up slightly, and the median jumped about 30%.”

The select session, part of a three-day sale Aug. 23-25, had 110 horses sell for $4.18 million, down from 2010, when 135 horses sold for nearly $4.84 million. The average rose to $38,009 from $35,841. The median price jumped to $34,000 compared with $26,000 a year ago. The buy back rate rose to 26.2% from 25.4% a year ago.

“Overall there was plenty of activity by both the end users and pinhookers,” Ventura said.

Hip 115, a Midnight Lute   filly out of the Gold Fever mare Wasted Wisdom, sold for $110,000 to top the select session. Midnight Lute’s first offspring are yearlings this year. He stands for a $17,500 stud fee at Hill 'n’ Dale Farm near Lexington. Wasted Wisdom is a stakes-placed, half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Desert Code, by E Dubai.

“We thought she was the best filly in the sale. She showed really well. She was a great mover. Physically, we really liked her a lot, that’s why we paid what we paid for her,” said Steven Venosa of SGV Thoroughbreds of Ocala.

“Right now, we’re not sure if we are going to pinhook her or race her. We do do a lot of pinhooking, but I do have some partners who do race,” Venosa said.

The filly was consigned by Woodford Thoroughbred as agent for Cloverleaf Farms II.

“She was one of the best horses, if not the best horse, in the sale. We had a lot of interest in the barn. The filly was very professional,” said Matt Lyons, general manager for Woodford.

Both Woodford and Cloverleaf are owned by Tampa-based businessman John Sykes.

Three hips later, a Yes It's True   filly out of Wildcard Cat, by Forest Wildcat, sold for $105,000.

The filly was consigned by Blue River Bloodstock and was purchased by Ocala-based pinhooker Nick de Meric.

Earlier, a Midnight Lute colt out of the Known Fact mare Rainbow Promise, sold for $87,000 to Patrice Miller with EQB  Inc., making him the day’s co-highest-priced colt. The colt, Hip 61, is a half brother to multiple stakes winner Class Above, by Quiet American, and was another Woodford Thoroughbred consignment for Cloverleaf Farms II.

“We are very happy. We thought he was a very good physical horse to bring down to this sale," said Lyons. "The mare had a 2-year-old winner since the catalog and that didn’t hurt. The main thing was he looked durable and we thought he’d fit this market well.”

A son of Flatter   (Hip 65) out of the Smoke Glacken mare Relay, matched the $87,000 price.

Consigned by Dapple Stud, agent Buzz Chace bought the colt for Bill Poston, an Atlanta-based builder.

“He was a nice individual with a pretty good pedigree," said Chace. "He’s a nice horse. I’ve bought a few Flatters that have done pretty well.”

Several horses sold for $80,000, including a half sister to CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Comma to the Top.

The daughter of Belgravia, named Estreya and listed as Hip 30, was bought by Nick de Meric.

“I like the physical, in that she was a strong, well-made filly," de Meric said. "I also bought and sold the sire and Comma to the Top is one of the best of his generation on the West Coast. We know the breeder very well, and we are very happy to have her,” Linda and Richard Thompson of Oak Vale Farm have bred four generations of the family, including the filly’s dam Maggies Storm by Stormy Atlantic  ."

“We were hoping for just a little more,” Linda Thompson said. “She’s going to be in good hands. that is a big part of this whole game.”

The Ocala-area farm, which has been family operated since 1974, recently lost one of its biggest clients when Heiligbrodt Racing Stable decided to disperse its breeding and racing stock.

“We’d like to keep going if this economy would help us out a little bit,” she said.

The OBS yearling sale continues with open sessions Aug. 24-25 beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

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