OBS March Sale

OBS March Sale

Joe DiOrio

OBS Market Comments: Enthusiasm Prevails

Buyers and consignors are positive about the market at the juvenile auction.

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training got off to an impressive start, with increases in gross revenue, average price, and median price along with a decline in the buy-back rate. Read what people had to say following March 13’s first session:

Hal Hatch, Halcyon Hammock Farm: “This year I think people have adjusted to our economy. Purses, of course, have increased in New York. People have come forward this year with some more enthusiasm. There was an increase in traffic (in the sale barns).

“It’s a rare occasion that we get by with as ideal of conditions as we have had for this particular sale. The temperature has been nice and the weather was good for the breeze show except when we had some showers at the end of the second day. When it’s nice outside and the sun is shining, it just makes the horses show better; it puts the clients in a better frame of mind. It’s a huge benefit.

“This a good place to buy horses. OBS is known for producing many good horses. You can buy as good a horse here as anywhere else in the country. I couldn’t be happier with this sale.”

Randy Hartley, Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds: “The market has been great. There are plenty of people here looking for good, solid horses, and there was a very good group of horses here in the $200,000 to $400,000 range. There are tons of buyers here who want to spend in that range, and that’s the range that this sale fits the best.

“People are just wanting to get these 2-year-olds and are ready to get rolling. They are excited about the races, they’re excited about what’s happening in New York, and I think that they’re just ready to go. It seems like everybody wants horses and that they need more horses.

“From watching the horses train, I think everybody here had a few decent horses, a few pop-out horses.”

David Ingordo, Lane’s End Bloodstock: “Have you ever seen ‘Jaws?’ We need a bigger boat. (In other words) we need a bigger bankroll for some of these horses. The market is strong. I think people want horses. The racing game, I feel, in a lot of ways is healthy. Other people are always knocking and saying it’s not healthy. But we’ve got orders we’re trying to fill and haven’t gotten them filled, and we’ve got other people calling in. It (buying horses) has been tough to do. We’re bidding on the sale-topping horses up to $460,000 or whatever and getting outrun. We’re bidding $390,000 on the horse that brought $400,000. I think people want horses and they’re willing to pay for them.

“Part of it is psychological. All that stuff happened (with the economy) and the sky was falling. Then they (people) see that it didn’t and they go, ‘Well, OK.’ The economy is getting better. California seems healthy enough. The owners we have out there want to do it (buy horses). New York is obviously going to be healthy. The clients we have -- from top to bottom, at all price levels -- want to be very active.

“And there are nice horses here. They are very nice. We vetted almost 60 horses out and we’ve been very fortunate that the vetting has been good on a majority of them.”

Davant Latham, Kentucky bloodstock agent: “There are a lot of nice horses and there is a lot of competition. The market is stronger than I anticipated.”