OBS Fall Mixed Sale

OBS Fall Mixed Sale

Joe DiOrio

Expectations High for OBS Fall Mixed Sale

A total of 386 horses have been cataloged for the two-day mixed sale.

Florida's sale market reputation has been built on the shoulders and success of 2-year-olds in training auctions. Judging by the record results realized at Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale and high expectations heading into this week's OBS Fall mixed sale Oct. 15-16, there appears to be a growing confidence in additional segments of the region's marketplace.

A total of 386 horses have been cataloged for the two-day mixed sale, which kicks off Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. with a consignor preferred session (Hips 1-174). The sale concludes on Oct. 16 with an open session (Hips 175-386) slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.

"The general feel in the barn area is positive based on early activity," said OBS president Tom Ventura. "The market has been strong this year, and I expect another strong sale this week. Quality individuals should continue to sell very well."

The sale features 160 weanlings by such sires as Colonel John, Discreet Cat, Graeme Hall, High Cotton, Imperialism, Kitten's Joy , Leroidesanimaux, Old Fashioned, Put It Back, Two Step Salsa , Wildcat Heir, and With Distinction. First crop sires represented include Cape Blanco and Paddy O'Prado and Florida stallions Adios Charlie , Big Drama, First Dude , General Quarters, Gone Astray , and Telling.

A lot of people that live locally came out on Sunday to do homework," said Tod Wojciechowski, OBS director of sales. "Buyers are very pleased with what they are seeing from the babies. Some of the newer Florida stallions are well represented in this sale. It's a real solid group of babies."

Buyers of yearlings and 2-year-olds fueled robust auction results across the board this season, signaling a return of confidence in the market. In closing out the OBS sale season, buyers will have an opportunity to demonstrate where they stand in acquiring breeding stock.

"I expect an improvement in the market for mares," said Ventura. "With fewer horses produced in recent years and with a healthy market now, expectations will be stronger and I think we'll see more interest in the mares, especially mares in foal to popular stallions. The mares, after all, are the factories."

Encouraged by high traffic in the barn area, Jay Goodwin of Select Sales is confident heading into the sale.

"The market is strong, as strong as I've seen it, and traffic in the barn has been great," he said. "I'm seeing the right people here. I'm confident it's going to be another strong sale. There appears to be a good mix of regional and out-of-town buyers."

Fall sale graduates in the spotlight recently include Preston Stables' Flat Out , an earner of more than $3 million, and multiple graded stakes winner Comma to the Top.

Flat Out, winner of the Westchester Stakes (gr. III) and Suburban Handicap (gr. II) this year at age seven, is currently being pointed to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) by trainer Bill Mott. The son of Flatter  was sold by Thoroughstock for $11,000 at the 2006 sale.

Comma to the Top, a gelding by Bwana Charlie, went through the ring at OBS in 2008 and is a millionaire and multiple stakes winner for Gary Barber, Roger Binbaum and Kevin Tsujihara.

Last year's sale saw 287 horses sell for a gross of $2,953,400. Richard Kent's Kaizen Sales led all consignors at last year's two-day offering, finding new homes for 29 horses to the tune of $310,100. Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck's Summerfield Sales also sold 29 head for receipts of $259,600. W.P. Stiritz led all buyers, spending $207,500 for 12 head.

Bobby Jones consigned last year's sale topper, a $55,000 weanling colt by Scat Daddy purchased by Tom McCrocklin, agent. Jones sees more of the same for the right horses again this year.

"The strike zone has definitely gotten wider, that's for sure," said Jones. "Supply and demand and the economy both play roles at the sales, but to me, it comes down to one thing: if you a lead a good one over there you will be rewarded."

The sale will be streamed live at bloodhorse.com/OBS.