Across-the-Board Gains at OBS Open Session

The sale company reported 212 horses sold for a gross of $2.63 million, up 12.4%.

by Carlos Medina

Gross, average, and median for the first open session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. August yearling sale all increased from the comparable session in 2010.

OBS reported 212 horses were sold Aug. 24 for a gross $2,635,200, up 12.4% from $2,344,500 in 2010 when 246 horses sold.

The average price of $12,430 was up 30.4% from $9,530 last year, while the median increased 38.5% to $9,000 from $6,500. OBS reported a buy-back rate of 23.7% for the second session, down from 25.5% in 2010.

“The median to me is the one statistic that just by definition isn’t skewed by an extremely high-priced horse. For it to move 38% is a meaningful jump,” said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales.

The Aug. 26 sale-topper was a Lemon Drop Kid  colt purchased for $105,000 by Sallusto/Albina, agent. The colt was consigned by Beth Bayer, agent. The bay colt is out of stakes winner Secondary School, by Honor Grades.

The colt was owned by Virgilio Lopez of Miami, Fla., who originally purchased him for $13,000 at Keeneland as a weanling.

“I think I would have to say he was a great value,” said Hanzly Albina, who bought the horse for an undisclosed client. “He’s a beautiful example of what the sire can produce.”

Albina, along with partner Nick Sallusto, said he believes the colt could have brought double what they paid at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

“He was not in the select portion, and I was surprised to see this kind of horse go for what it did,” said Albina, who was bidding against a rival over the phone.

“I thought he would sell well, but he went above our expectations,” Bayer said. “We knew the horse was being received well, but we were pleasantly surprised.”

A colt by Political Force consigned by Select Sales, agent, was sold to Mersad Metanovic and Jeff Bonde, agent, for $100,000. The gray or roan colt is out of Pine Hill, by Siphon, and a half sister to graded stakes-placed Merger.

The colt will be a racing prospect for California interests.

“Jeff Bonde spotted him when he was walking around,” said Metanovic, racing manager for Jeff Bonde Racing Stables. “We were the first ones to vet him. The horse vetted clean.

“We have a couple of people interested. We’ll take him back to California. We always try to pay the least amount, but what are you going to do when you have the best horse in the sale?”

Andrew Cary of Lexington- based Select Sales consigned the colt. It was his first time at OBS.

“We’re thrilled,” Cary said. “It was beyond our wildest expectations. He was a horse that came in and showed better and better every day, and a lot of judges landed on him. Being a New York-bred was a huge help.

"He came out the first day and showed like a champion. We sell mostly in Kentucky, but well also go to Maryland.”

The day’s top-selling filly was a Florida-bred daughter of Scat Daddy that sold for $68,000. Bred by Cathy Gonzalez at her Emerald Pastures Farm in Ocala, Fla., the filly was returned after selling in the January OBS sale.

“We took her home and kind of let her grow,” Gonzalez said. “I’m pretty happy now she was returned in January.”

The filly was the only Scat Daddy progeny available in the sale; Scat Daddy is currently the second-ranked first-crop sire in North America. He has registered eight winners from his first crop, including Finale, who won the Continental Mile Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park earlier in August.

The filly, out of the Seeking the Gold mare Glitz N Gold, was bought by Sarazen Stable, with Niall Brennan signing the ticket. Sugar Hill consigned the filly.

The second and final open yearling session begins Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

The Aug. 23 selected session and Aug. 24 open session combined have yielded a gross of $6,816,200 for 322 horses sold. The average for the two days was $21,168, and the median $14,000.