The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. winter mixed sale kept the momentum going in the North American Thoroughbred auction business, which rebounded in 2011. The first sale of 2012 for the Central Florida-based firm generated significant increases in many of its key business figures and enjoyed a decline in its buy-back rate during its two-day run Jan. 17-18.
The number of horses that were sold rose 6.2% from a year ago to 327. Meanwhile, the gross revenue increased 53.4% to $3,644,000. The average price grew 44.5% to $11,144. And the median price advanced 33.3% to $6,000.
The buy-back rate dropped to 24.7% from 30.6% in 2011.
“I think it went well,” said Tod Wojciechowski, the incoming director of sales for OBS. “We continued the (upward) trend that we’ve seen in some of the earlier sales in January and last November. The demand was pretty steady all the way across (for different types of stock); a good horse brought a fair price whether it was a broodmare, a yearling, or a racing age horse. We look forward to the momentum continuing on to our March sale (of select 2-year-olds in training).”
The winter mixed auction offered a horses of racing age section for the first time and Wojciechowski reported that OBS officials were pleased with the results, which included a gross of $1,033,200 for the 74 head that were sold. It produced the auction’s most expensive horse, Lady Clara, who brought $240,000.
“We thought it was a great start,” he said. “Not only did it give a new outlet for a number of consignors (who deal primarily or exclusively) with horses in training, but it also brought some new clientele to our sale in January.”
During the open session on the auction’s final day, the 181 horses that were sold grossed $1,336,800 and averaged $7,386. The median was $4,500.
Compared to last year, the number sold declined 5.2%, but the gross rose 45.8%. The average and median increased 53.9% and 50%, respectively.
The buy-back rate fell to 23% from 32% in 2011.
A yearling son of Congrats commanded the highest price during the final session, bringing $90,000. Bortolazzo Stable purchased him from Stroud’s Lane Farm.
The Florida-bred chestnut colt is a half brother to the winners Astute (by Honor Glide) and Maxime (by Gulch). Their dam, Summer School (by Royal Academy), failed to win in her three career races, but she is a half sister to 1998 Californian Stakes (gr. II) and San Diego Handicap (gr. III) winner Mud Route (by Strawberry Road) and added-money winner Nursery Rhyme (by Tale of the Cat ).
Other family members include grade I winners Greenwood Lake, Success Express, and Whitmore’s Conn. Also in the family are Canadian champion Charlie Barley and Air Express, a group I winner in England and a champion in Germany and Italy.