Numbers Soar at OBS Opening Session
Photo: Joseph DiOrio
Hip 73, a weanling filly by Kitten's Joy, sold for $110,000.

Capitalizing on the momentum of this year's thriving auction market, the consignor preferred session of Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed sale Oct. 15 in Ocala, Fla., enjoyed substantial gains in all key economic indicators.

In the first of two sessions, 116 horses sold for gross receipts of $2,631,000 compared with 123 horses sold for a total of $1,740,900 at last year's consignor preferred session. The average increased 60.2% to $22,681 from $14,154 a year ago. Median price soared 68.15% from $11,000 last year to $18,500. The buy-back percentage dropped to 15.9%; it was 18% last year.

"It was definitely a strong start," said Tod Wojciechowski, director of sales at OBS. "We couldn't be any happier. Gross, average, and median all increased significantly and buy-backs dropped. All of the numbers are headed in the right direction."

Hip 73, a weanling filly by Kitten's Joy   consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, topped the session, selling to Machmer Hall for $110,000. Out of the Proud Citizen   mare Brickyard Gal, the filly hails from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Magical Maiden. Christian Hurtado bred the filly in Kentucky.

"I thought she was the by far the best horse in the sale," said Carrie Brogden of Machmer Hall. "She's by an exceptional stallion, and I just loved her. We usually don't spend this much, but we've had a good year."

Jimbo Gladwell of Top Line Sales LLC had high hopes for the session-topping filly, and he was encouraged by the auction's early returns.

"She's very elegant," said Gladwell, who operates Top Line Sales with wife, Torie. "She has a beautiful neck and shoulder, as well as a big walk.

"We're seeing fair prices for the better individuals," he added. "I believe the market is in a good spot with supply and demand. The sale has been strong so far."

The second-highest priced weanling of the session was hip 91, a Florida-bred daughter of Discreet Cat   who sold to Jumping Jack Racing for $75,000. Consigned by her breeder, Kerri Szegi, the filly is produced from the War Chant mare De Danann, a half sister to graded stakes winner Regal Engagement and graded stakes-placed Miss Hellie.

Active bidding for broodmares throughout the session suggests a possible changing mindset among breeders gaining confidence in a healthy bloodstock market.

"We're real pleased with the sales results of the breeding stock," said Wojciechowski. "Buyers were here to get broodmares. With buy-backs low, a lot of mares were getting bought. We saw strength over the entire session."

Ribbon Taffy, a 4-year-old mare by Hard Spun  , topped all broodmare offerings in the session, bringing $72,000 from Hunter Valley Farm of Versailles, Ky. In foal to Into Mischief, Ribbon Taffy is out of the Premiership mare Partyship, making her a half sister to stakes winner Barrier Reef and stakes-placed Artic Party and Kissin Party.

Bred in Kentucky by Matthew Herbener, Ribbon Taffy was a winner in two of 12 career starts and she earned $37,382. Ribbon Taffy ws also consigned by Top Line.

"I think she's a great mare," said Hunter Valley Farm's Adrian Regan. "She's by Hard Spun and is in foal to Into Mischief, a sire that just keeps getting better and better. She's a young mare and was bred on an early cover. This sale has been strong, and she seems to be a good value."

The first horse through the ring, Paint Me Red, an 8-year-old mare by Red Bullet, sold to H & E Ranch for $65,000 to kick off the day's festivities. Consigned by TdM Sales (Tristan and Valery de Meric), agent, Paint Me Red sold in foal to Quality Road  , and was the second-highest price broodmare of the session. She is produced from the stakes-winning Smarten mare Queen St. West, and was bred in Florida by Adena Springs. She is the dam of one foal to race, a gelding by Malibu Moon   named Paint the Moon.

Sue Vacek signed for the mare on behalf of H & E Ranch in Arizona.

"She is a lovely mare," said Vacek. "The client liked her based on the pedigree."

H & E Ranch also went to $65,000 to secure the top-priced weanling colt of the session, hip 123, a son of Smoke Glacken. The gray or roan Florida-bred colt, consigned by Kerri Szegi, agent, is out of Honora Helen, by Bianconi.

The OBS Fall mixed sale concludes Oct. 16 with an open session beginning at 10:30 a.m. The sale will be streamed live at bloodhorse.com/OBS.
 

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