A son of leading sire Tapit topped the second session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s spring sale of 2-year-olds in training April 22 on a bid of $725,000 from Mike Repole.
Jim Martin, Repole's racing manager, handled the bidding and signed the ticket for the colt who sold as Hip No. 514 out of the De Meric Sales, agent, consignment.
"He's going to Crupi's New Castle Farm," said Martin. "He will get 90 days off and then we'll bring him back to the races. I sat here for two days waiting for this horse."
Produced from the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed More Than Ready mare Ready for Fortune, the bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Hargus and Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm.
Consigned to the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale by Warrendale Sales, the colt failed to meet his reserve when he was hammered down in the ring at $130,000.
Ahead of the spring sale, the bay colt breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 at the second under-tack preview.
"With a Tapit you know anything is possible," said Nick de Meric. "This colt trained into the sale beautifully. He arrived in beautiful condition from his part-owner and trainer Danny Pate of Solitary Oak. The horse handled the scrutiny with real aplomb. He couldn't have been a more pleasant horse to have in the barn. He is a beautifully athletic colt and I see a bright future for him on the racetrack."
Commanding the second-highest price of the session was Hip No. 563, a Harlan's Holiday filly who sold to Kaleem Shah for $525,000. Agent Donato Lanni signed the ticket and reported that Bob Baffert will train the filly.
Out of the winning Mr. Greeley mare Ruby Summer, the filly worked a co-fastest furlong in :09 4/5 at the second under-tack preview for consignor Eisaman Equine, agent.
"We liked her," said Lanni. "She did everything right all week. I have a lot of trust in Barry (Eisaman). He does right by his horses. He liked her and he has had her since last September. I didn't expect her to bring that, but again, the good ones seem to bring a little more. She worked great. She made a pretty video and was pretty on the racetrack."
Bred in Kentucky by C. Kidder, N. Cole, and E. Voute, the filly did not meet her reserve price on a final bid of $40,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Trainer Michael Matz went to $425,000 on behalf of Green Hills Farm for Hip No. 570, a filly by Scat Daddy consigned by Woodside Ranch.
Produced from the stakes-placed Saint Ballado mare Saint Bernadette, the bay filly breezed a quarter mile in :21 2/5 at the under-tack preview. She is a half sister to Social Inclusion , a 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile who most recently finished third in the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
"We liked the looks of the filly and we liked her work," said Matz. "It's a young family and hopefully we can continue it."
Bryan Rice of Woodside Ranch bought the filly as a yearling for $58,000 out of the Summerfield Sales consignment at last year's OBS August yearling sale. Summerfield had acquired her as a weanling for $27,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Trainer Gary Contessa and Chip McEwen of Wounded Warrior Stables, the connections of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (gr. I) contender Uncle Sigh, went to $390,000 for Amerindian, Hip No. 384, who, like Uncle Sigh, is a New York-bred by Indian Charlie.
Consigned by James Layden, agent, the filly, bred by Milfer Farm, is out of the winning A.P. Indy mare My Success and is a half sister to stakes winner Southern Success and stakes-placed Taste Like Candy.
"I loved the way she moved," said Contessa of the filly who breezed an eighth in :10 at the preview. "And what a coincidence that Uncle Sigh is also an Indian Charlie New York-bred. Believe me it had nothing to do with it. When she ran past me I said, 'I have to have this filly.' It was an easy sell. Now if Uncle Sigh can win the Derby we'll be in good shape."
Contessa added that he was returning home to New York after the second session and plans to work Uncle Sigh April 25 before heading to Louisville.
A son of Pure Prize consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent, sold to trainer Lynn Whiting, agent for Charles J. Cella, for $350,000. The Kentucky-bred colt, sold as Hip No. 330, is out of Miki's Melody, by Aptitude, and he worked an eighth in :10 2/5 at the preview.
"He's a big stout-looking two-turn horse," said Whiting. "I think his future will be next year as a 3-year-old. I expect him to be stakes quality. I liked everything about him. He's got a good mind, a good eye, and a great walk."
All told, 196 horses sold in the second session for a total of $15,573,000, compared with 213 horses selling for $13,272,500 at the corresponding session a year ago. The average price was $79,454, soaring 27.5% from $62,312 last year, while the median price was $48,500, up 21.3% from $40,000 a year ago. The buy-back percentage was 18.7%; it was 12.4% in 2013.
Forty-four horses sold for $100,000 or more compared with 26 a year ago.
"As good a day as we had yesterday, it certainly felt like the momentum picked up today," said Tod Wojciechowski, director of sales at OBS. "We are very pleased with the depth of the catalog, and that's a credit to the quality of horses the consignors brought here. I also believe the buyers come to this sale with a lot of confidence, knowing they can buy a runner."
De Meric Sales led all other consignors during the second session, selling 17 horses for $1,624,000. Eisaman Equine sold 12 juveniles for $1,604,000.