Mike Ofarrell

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OBS February Sale Gross Falls 29.3%

OBS February Sale Gross Falls 29.3%

The selling season for select 2-year-olds in training staggered out of the starting gate in Central Florida Feb. 17. The year's first major juvenile auction, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February sale, suffered sobering setbacks of 29.3% in gross revenue, 33.7% in average price, and 28% in median price from a year ago. Another discouraging result was the buy-back rate, which soared from 28.2% in 2008 to 38.3%.

2yo Whip Rules Will Be Similar

Officials of Barretts, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) announced in early September that they were banding together to make major changes in the under tack shows for their sales of 2-year-olds in training. Beginning in 2009, they said they would strictly regulate the use of whips by riders during workouts and would prohibit the use of front toe grabs on horses.

Electricity Possible Cause of Fatal Barn Fire

Leading New York owner Carl Lizza hoped to broaden the scope of his mostly homebred racing stable by buying a large number of yearlings in 2001. His hopes perished in a late-afternoon barn fire Feb. 23 that killed 22 horses in training at Mike O'Farrell's Ocala Stud in Florida.

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