Hip 658, a colt by Big Drama, sold for $185,000 on August 28.

Hip 658, a colt by Big Drama, sold for $185,000 on August 28.

Joseph DiOrio

OBS August Yearling Sale Ends With Declines

Second day of open session experiences across-the-board decreases Aug. 28 in Florida.

Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale concluded its three-day run Aug. 28 with a second day of open session declines.

A total of 225 yearlings changed hands on the sale's final day, generating gross receipts of $2,820,600, down 25.8% from $3,802,600 in returns at the corresponding session a year ago on 238 head sold. The average price dropped 21.6% to $12,536 from $15,997 in 2013, while the median price was $8,000, compared to $11,250 last year. The buy-back percentage rose substantially to 33.2%; it was 17.1% last year.

All told in the two open sessions, 491 horses sold for a total of $6,322,600, down 25% compared with 507 yearlings sold for $8,441,200 last year. The average price of $12,877 declined nearly 23% from $16,649, while the median price was $8,000, down from last year's open sale record $13,000. The buy-back percentage of 29.6% compared to 13.9% a year ago.

"Obviously, we wish the numbers would have gone forward off of last year's sale," said OBS president Tom Ventura. "Maybe we weren't realistic in our expectations. These numbers look more like the 2012 rebound figures than the numbers from last year's amazing sale.

"The larger catalog likely impacted the rise in buy-backs," Ventura added. "Again, it's another reflection of how strong last year's sale was. On the bright side, we had a good mix of end-users and pinhookers, and that was good to see."

While not equaling or surpassing figures from last year's record-setting open session, the final open session generated its share of excitement in the ring, especially for yearlings by first-crop sires.

Two six-figure purchases from the first eight horses offered jump-started the sale's final round.

Topping the session on a final bid from Harold Queen was Hip No. 658, a colt by Big Drama named Dangerous Bend. Bred and consigned by Summerfield (Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck), the colt is out of the stakes-winning Unreal Zeal mare Kickapoo Princess.

In selling to Queen, the Florida-bred colt will return to his roots. Queen bred and raced Eclipse Award champion Big Drama, who stands as the property of Queen and Marc Haisfield at HallMarc Stallions.

"He's a big, strong athletic colt," said Barbara Vanlangendonck. "He's a man of a colt."

Big Drama was also represented by the sale topper, a $230,000 colt bought by George Bolton in the selected portion of the sale Aug. 26.

The final session kicked off well with the first horse through the ring. Hip No. 650, a dark bay or brown filly from the first crop of Telling consigned by Summerfield, agent, sold to Alex and JoAnn Lieblong for $180,000.

The Lieblongs, who campaigned Telling, a multiple grade I winner of $848,409, own the first-crop stallion in partnership with Richard Haisfield, and stand the son of A.P. Indy in Kentucky at Prestige Stallions.

"I had several people tell me she is a nice filly," said Alex Lieblong of the second-highest priced yearling of the day. "If she wasn't a good horse I never would have gone in for her. The fact that she is by Telling is just icing on the cake for me."

From the immediate family of Medaglia d'Oro , the filly is out of the unraced Catrail mare Kahlua Bay and is a half sister to multiple winner Go Olivia Go. The filly was bred in Florida by Family Broodmares III.

"She was sexy," said Barbara Vanlangendonck of the filly. "She is really a pretty filly, and she has a ton of sense."

Landmark Racing paid $77,000 for Hip No. 696, a daughter of Adena Springs stallion Ghostzapper  consigned by Kaizen Sales (Richard Kent), agent. The bay filly, bred in Kentucky by Andy Stronach, is out of Little Swoon, by You and I.

At Tuesday's selected session, 171 horses sold for a total of $7,860,700 compared with 143 grossing $7,705,000 at the 2013 selected yearling sale. The average price was $45,969 compared with $53,881 last year, while the median was $35,000 compared with $42,000 in 2013.  The buy-back percentage was 26.6%; it was 13.3% in 2013.

For the entire August yearling sale, 20 horses sold for $100,000 or more, compared with 12 in 2013.

Summerfield Sales led all other consignors, selling 72 of 98 head offered for gross sales of $2,476,100.

Nick de Meric, agent, topped all buyers, spending $632,000 for eight yearlings. Live Oak Plantation was the second-leading buyer, parting with $505,000 to take home four head.

Next on the OBS calendar is the fall mixed sale, which will include a new horses of racing age section, slated for Oct. 14-16.