First Samuari, sire of the OBS April sale-topper.

First Samuari, sire of the OBS April sale-topper.

Courtesy Claiborne Farm

Big Finale Helps Ocala Spring Sale Set Marks

First Samurai filly goes for $650,000 to top four-day auction of 2-year-olds.

By Michael Compton

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. concluded a record run through its Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training on April 26 with a fourth consecutive session of spirited bidding. The vigorous action led to another day of across the board gains and a new sale topper that sold for $650,000.

A total of 165 head sold on the final day of the four-day sale for a gross of $8,468,700, compared to 199 head sold during the corresponding session last year for $6,982,700. The average was $52,325, up 46.3% from last year’s average of $35,089. The median on the final day was $25,000, an increase of 47% over last year’s median of $17,000.

The April Sale established new records for gross, average and median price. All told, 760 juveniles changed hands for a gross of $33,706,400, compared to last year’s previous record gross of $25,980,200 on 830 head sold.

The average price for the entire sale was $44,351, up 41.7% from last year’s average of $31,301 and surpassing the previous record of $32,494 set in 2006. This year’s median price was $27,000, breaking the $20,000 previous high from both the 2010 and 2011 April Sales. The buy back percentage was 17.6%; it was 24.3% last year. A total of 73 horses sold for $100,000 or more, compared to 52 last year.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager. “The sale was strong at all levels. The participation from all segments was proof that there is a horse here for everyone.

“The April Sale has certainly produced top horses,” he added. “The bottom line is that the horses have to produce on the racetrack. The sale catalog cover is a great advertisement for the product. The product brings the buyers. The consignors brought the quality horses.”

The sale topper, hip No. 929, is a First Samurai  filly consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, and purchased by The Three Amigos. Produced from the stakes-placed Unaccounted For mare Refugee, the bay filly worked a quarter in :21 at the under tack preview. She was bred by Betz, D.J. Stable, Kidder, J. Betz, and Robenalt in Kentucky and was purchased from Betz Thoroughbreds for $23,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Sale. The filly is from the family of champion Davona Dale and is a half sister to stakes-placed Profit, an earner of $180,285.

“She’s a beautiful filly,” said Eddie Woods. “She’s elegant. She’s made well and is easy on the eye.”

The second-highest price horse of the day was hip No. 967, a Broken Vow  colt who brought $475,000 from Mark Casse, agent. Consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, agent, the colt worked a co-bullet eighth in :9 4/5 at the under tack preview. Bred in the Kentucky by Sheltowee Farm and Pin Oak Stud, the colt was consigned by Three Chimneys Sales, agent, to the 2011 Keeneland September Sale where he was purchased for $32,000 by HHTS.

Next on the OBS calendar is the June Sale of Two-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age slated for June 19-20, with under tack shows scheduled for June 15-17 at 7:30 a.m.