Zensational Storm, an unraced 3-year-old colt by Zensational, and Pushingonastring, a winning 5-year-old gelding by Distorted Humor , each sold for $75,000 to top proceedings during the horses of racing age portion of Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s winter mixed sale Jan. 23 in Ocala.
Much like the previous day's consignor preferred session, Thursday's horses of racing age selling proved steady despite lacking a breakout horse like last year's sale topper Falling Sky, who sold to Newton Anner Stud, James Covello, and Joseph Bulger for $425,000.
All told, 96 horses sold for a gross of $1,603,400 on the second day of the winter mixed sale compared with 106 horses sold for $1,629,000 during the corresponding session last year. The average price was $16,702, an increase of 8.7% from the 2013 average of $15,368. The median price was $10,500 compared with $8,250 a year ago. Buy-back percentage was up a tick to 23.2%; it was 20.3% last year.
Woodbine-based trainer Stuart Simon signed the ticket for Zensational Storm, an Ontario-bred who sold as hip 361. Produced from the stakes-placed Storm Boot mare Storming Starlet, Zensational Storm was consigned by Paul Sharp, agent.
Zensational Storm worked three furlongs in :34 at the Jan. 21 under tack preview over the Ocala Training Center's Safetrack synthetic surface.
"We were interested in him as a 2-year-old last year," related Simon who indicated the horse will race for a partnership. "But he went in another direction. I'm glad he resurfaced here. Being an Ontario-bred, he's eligible for certain races at home, and offspring of Zensational run well over the poly."
Bred by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Zensational Storm sold to H. Walton for $120,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton July sale, and then was bought back for $65,000 at last year's OBS June sale of 2-year-olds in training.
"He's a very nice horse," said Sharp. "We wanted to sell him last spring, but he had some typical baby issues. This just goes to show you that when you bring nice horses to a sale the buyers find them. We were willing to stay with the colt if he didn't bring what we wanted. That was the price we needed to get him sold."
Kentucky-bred Pushingonastring, hip 459, was the last horse through the ring. He was purchased by The Farm on 4 LLC out of the TdM Sales (Tristan and Valery de Meric) consignment. Produced from the unraced Stravinsky mare Luna Bella (NZ), a full sister to graded stakes winner Hips Don't Lie, Pushingonastring is a winner in three of five lifetime starts.
Trainer Scotty McNair signed the ticket for the chestnut gelding who has bankrolled $59,510. Pushingonastring will join McNair's string at Fair Grounds.
"I liked the whole package," said McNair of Pushingonastring. "I had a few horses in mind. I didn't get the others, but this one was my second choice. He looks tough, and he acts like he could run over nails."
Hip 362, Star Academy, sold for $55,000 to Patrice Miller (EQB, Inc.), agent for Matt Schera. Consigned by Bobby Dodd, agent, the unraced 3-year-old colt by Malibu Moon out of the Forty Niner mare Sultry Allure is a half brother to graded stakes winner Mass Media.
Bred in Florida by Dr. Robert N. Hathaway, Star Academy drilled a half-mile in :47 4/5 at the under tack preview. He was a $70,000 buy-back at last year's OBS June sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age.
The winter mixed sale concludes with an open session Jan. 24. The sale will be streamed live at www.bloodhorse.com beginning at 10:30 a.m.