A pair of flashy gray or roan colts from the Summerfield Sales consignment of Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck commanded the most attention during the select session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale Aug. 20.
Hip 75, a son of first-crop sire Concord Point and Hip 113, by Scat Daddy, both sold for $250,000 to top the proceedings during the first day of the three-day auction in Ocala, Fla.
Pinhooker Nick de Meric purchased the Concord Point colt.
"He is an absolute peach," said de Meric. "He's well-balanced and athletic. At the end of the day, most of us that make our living in this business are victims of our innate love of a beautiful horse. He didn't just speak to me. This colt spoke to a lot of people here today."
Bred in Kentucky by Jody and Michelle Huckabay of Elm Tree Farm in Paris, Ky., the colt is out of the Tomorrows Cat mare Better Than Swiss, a half sister to stakes winner Lyin' Heart.
"This is why we get up and do this every day," said Jody Huckabay, who attended the sale. "It's very gratifying when your peers in the industry show you this kind of respect. We've been blessed. We're thrilled with the sale, and with the job Summerfield did with this horse."
The decision to sell the strapping colt was made a little more difficult when the Huckabays' young son, Jack, a fifth grader at Sts. Peter and Paul Regional Catholic School in Lexington expressed strong feelings about keeping the colt in the family.
"Jack came home from a fourth grade class field trip tour of Claiborne Farm and told me: 'Do you know why Claiborne Farm is so successful? It's because they don't sell all the good ones.' He had it all figured out. Needless to say, Jack didn't want us to sell this one," Huckabay said.
The first phone call he received moments after the co-sale topping colt departed the ring was from his son. Jack's response: "Wow, Daddy!"
Barbara Vanlangendonck of Summerfield Sales said of the colt, "He got better every single day, and he loved the action at the barn. He walks like a big cat. He got everyone's attention. He came to us in spectacular condition and only got better."
Patrice Miller of EQB Inc. signed for the Scat Daddy colt on behalf of Zayat Stables. Bred in Florida by Rustlewood Farm, the colt is produced from the Unbridled's Song mare Great Value and hails from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Too Much Bling.
"He is the best colt in the sale by far," said Miller. "I fell in love with him three days ago. He's a lovely horse. He's just fantastic."
Summerfield also consigned the third-highest priced horse of the session, Hip 57, another gray or roan colt, this one by Unbridled's Song who sold to Passion Stables for $220,000. Joe Appelbaum and Carlos Morales, partners in Off the Hook, are the agents for the stable.
"He's a big, strong horse," said Appelbaum. "He's from a running family. In this environment, he's a standout and we knew he would be expensive."
Appelbaum related that Passion Stables, based in Venezuela, is new to the business and the first 2-year-olds acquired by the outfit this past spring will debut in the fall.
Rustlewood Farm bred the Unbridled's Song colt in Florida out of the Storm Cat mare Zehorr. The colt's second dam, Nany's Sweep, earned $499,213 and was a grade I winner in her career.
The top-priced filly of the session was Hip 100, Star of the Nile, a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile consigned by Dapple Stud, agent, who sold to Bruno deBerdt and David Scanlon for $145,000. Bred in Kentucky by Wind Hill Farm, the bay filly is out of Extra Holy, by Exploit, a half sister to Holy Bull.
"We're looking for athletes by the right sires," said Scanlon. "We're going mainly on Pioneerof the Nile here and this filly looks athletic and fast, and she's by the right stallion."
BobFeld Bloodstock went to $140,000 to secure the bid for Sagamore Farm on Hip 66, a filly by Super Saver consigned by Perrone Sales, agent. The second-highest priced filly of the day is a half sister to graded stakes winner Greeley's Galaxy, an earner of $446,222.
"I like everything about her," said Bob Feld, who with trainer Ron Ellis bought Greeley's Galaxy for B. Wayne Hughes at Keeneland's April sale in 2004. "This filly seems like she has a lot of class about her, and she reminds me of Greeley's Galaxy."
For the day, 137 horses sold for a total of $7,543,000 compared with 132 head sold in the select session last year for $5,782,000. The average price rose 25.7% to $55,058 compared to $43,803 last year and the median price was $45,000, a gain of 28.6% compared with $35,000 a year ago. The buy-back percentage dropped to 17%; it was 25.8% last year. All told, 12 horses brought $100,000 or more compared with six at last year's select session.
"We are very excited about the results," said Tod Wojciechowski, OBS director of sales. "We want to carry this momentum through the next two days of the sale. There has been an enthusiasm on the grounds from buyers and sellers that you can feel, and that's always a positive sign. We hope we can keep it going."
The sale continues with the first of two open sessions on Aug. 21 at 10:30 a.m. The sale can be viewed live at bloodhorse.com/OBS.