By Mike Compton
The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training gets underway Mon., April 23, with a total of 1,196 juveniles cataloged for the four-day sale. Fresh off a successful March offering at OBS that saw huge gains in average and median price, Tom Ventura, OBS general manager, is optimistic the momentum will continue heading into Monday’s first session of the Spring Sale.
“I’m very positive about the sale going in,” Ventura said on April 20, following the last of four under-tack breeze shows. “The two-year-old sales have done well this year, and our April sale has been a very good sale. Just looking at the horses featured on the catalog covers tells you how productive this sale has been.”
Featured on the covers are April graduates Stephanie's Kitten, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) and Musical Romance, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I) and champion female sprinter of 2011. The list of recent April graduates also includes graded stakes winners Blind Luck, Turbulent Descent, Atlantic Hurricane (recent Sovereign Award winner), Weemissfrankie; Yara, and I'll Have Another , who is bound for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) following his win in this month’s Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
“The April sale is a good sale, not just from the standpoint that it produces top horses, but because it is good for sellers and buyers,” Ventura said. “There are horses in every price range. And it looks like there are some major players here as well. I would expect they are looking for top-end horses.”
With the breeze shows in the books, it appears prospective buyers have plenty of opportunities to find talented youngsters again this year.
Four horses breezed an eighth in a brisk :9 4/5 last week over the SafeTrack synthetic surface at OBS to share honors for the fastest at the distance during the under tack preview.
Hip No. 233, a filly by Henny Hughes—Cape Discovery, by Cape Town, was the first to record the time during the April 17 preview. The filly is consigned by Best A Luck Farm, agent. The three others breezed April 20 in the fourth and final session. Hip No. 967, consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, agent, is a colt by Broken Vow out of the stakes-placed Runaway Groom mare Runaway in Love. The colt is from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Sir Shackleton. Hip No. 1171 is an After Market colt produced from the multiple stakes-winning mare Travelator, by A.P. Jet, consigned by Harris Training Center. Hip No. 1194 is a Wildcat Heir filly out of the Pleasant Tap mare Unrepentant consigned by Flying Fish, agent.
Seven horses shared the fastest quarter time of :20 3/5: Hip No. 28, a Put It Back colt out of stakes winner Wabash Gal, by Jungle Express, consigned by Blue River Bloodstock; Hip No. 201, a filly by Ready's Image —Bound to Blush, by Boundary, consigned by Hoppel’s Horse and Cattle Co., agent; Hip No. 278, a filly by Cowtown Cat out of the stakes-placed Regal Classic mare Classy Daniela consigned by Blue River Bloodstock, agent; Hip No. 602, also consigned by Blue River Bloodstock, is a Safe in the U.S.A filly out of Just Call Me Berty, by Bertrando; Hip No. 711, a Horse Greeley colt produced from Mattie Camp, by Forest Camp, consigned by Thoroughbred Friends and Associates, agent; Hip No. 714, a filly by Freud —Maya’s Note, by Editor’s Note, consigned by Everett Livestock; and hip No. 1000, a filly by Put It Back out of the Seattle Sleet mare Seemein in Seattle, consigned by Blue River Bloodstock, agent.
The session’s fastest three eighths of :33 1/5 was turned in by hip No. 64, My Jealous, a colt by Halo's Image consigned by Blue River Bloodstock, agent. The bay colt is out of Windjammin Lady, by Helmsman, a daughter of stakes winner Loudon Top.
“We had four long days of breeze shows,” Ventura said. “Fortunately, the weather was very accommodating. Buyers have a lot of information to digest. Everything went well and we’re looking forward to the sale.”
Last year’s sale set an April record with gross sales of $25,897,400. The sale topper was a Macho Uno colt consigned by De Meric Sales, agent, who sold to Hill ‘N’ Dale Bloodstock, agent for Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, for $825,000. Hill ‘N’Dale, agent, led all buyers at last year’s sale, haltering two for $1.5 million. De Meric Sales, agent, led all consignors, selling 26 head for $1,698,500.
The OBS April sale will be streamed live at www.obssales.com. Each session begins at 10:30 a.m.
By Mike Compton