Figures rose across the board for the second straight day at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale Aug. 21 in Ocala, Fla. The total gross of $12,276,600 for the first two sessions has already surpassed last year's three-day total of $10,874,500.
For the session, 262 yearlings grossed $4,601,600 compared with 211 horses bringing a total of $2,915,600 at last year's first open session. The average price was $17,563, up 27.1% compared with $13,818 last year. All told, 11 horses sold for $50,000 or more compared with eight a year ago.
"It was a strong day," said Tom Ventura, OBS president. "With one more session to go I hope we can finish as strong as we've started.
"We are very pleased with the quality of horses in the catalog," he added. "Buyers seem to have more confidence in the financial markets right now, and even though we actually cataloged more horses for this sale than last year, there are fewer horses to choose from overall with the smaller foal crop."
Active bidding in all price ranges was the order of the day as the back ring bristled with interest throughout the session. Consequently, median price rose 50% from $10,000 last year to $15,000. The buy-back percentage was 13.2%; it was 19.5% in 2012.
"We never could have predicted buy-backs would be as low as they are," Ventura said. "All indicators pointed to a strong sale, but we never would have imagined buy-backs at unheard of levels. The competition for horses in the middle and lower price ranges was strong. The median price is a good reflection of the depth of buyers at different levels."
Summerfield Sales (Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck) led all consignors during the select session Aug. 20, selling 12 head for $1,201,000. The Ocala-based outfit returned with another solid day during the initial open session, selling 18 yearlings for $301,500.
"The horses in the open session are bringing fair value," Barbara said. "We're pleased with our horses to this point. It's a healthy market."
Hip 279, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile , and hip 413, a filly by Flatter , both sold for $90,000 to pace the session. Mark Casse, agent, signed the ticket on the Pioneerof the Nile filly for an undisclosed client.
"She looks like an athlete," Casse said. "I have had some success buying out of the open sessions in the past, and this one looks like she has enough quality to be a good one."
The filly was consigned to the sale by her breeder, Woodford Thoroughbreds. The Florida-bred is produced from the stakes-winning Smoke Glacken mare Smokin Again and hails from the family of grade II stakes winner Dianes Halo.
Mersad Metanovic secured the bid on the Flatter filly for California clients Phil Lebherz and Roy Diedrickson. Metanovic indicated that the filly will be trained next year by Jeff Bonde.
"I liked everything about her," Metanovic said. "She has a great walk, very smooth stride, and she has a beautiful female family."
Bred in Florida by Donald Dizney of Double Diamond Farm, the filly is out of the unraced Empire Maker mare Albany Park. She was consigned by Beth Bayer, agent.
Southern Chase Farm went to $88,000 to acquire Hip 470, a colt by Forefathers consigned by Select Sales, agent. Out of the Tabasco Cat mare Bojangles Cat, the colt was bred in Louisiana by Clark Cloyce Jr.
Beth Bayer led all consignors during the first open session, selling 24 head for $649,500. Midwest Thoroughbreds spent $168,000 on four yearlings to lead all buyers on the day.
The sale concludes Aug. 22 with the final open session beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT. The sale can be viewed live at bloodhorse.com/OBS.