Hip 112 brought a price of $400,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old sale.

Hip 112 brought a price of $400,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old sale.

Joe DiOrio

Grand Slam Colt Brings $400,000 at OBS

John Moynihan, representing Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables, is the buyer.

A smooth-striding Grand Slam colt brought $400,000 early in the afternoon during the first session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Kentucky bloodstock agent John Moynihan, while talking to his client, Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Stables on a cell phone, outlasted New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace and Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds in the bidding battle for the gray or roan juvenile that worked a quarter mile in :20 3/5 prior to the March 17 start of the Central Florida auction.

“I thought we would buy him a little bit cheaper, but he was certainly a lovely horse – a really, really nice horse,” said Moynihan, who made his offers from behind the auction stand while Chace and Finley tried to hold him off from inside the sale pavilion.

The colt “moved beautifully on the racetrack and came back good, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed,” Moynihan added. “I was getting ready to stop. That was kind of at our limit of where I thought he was worth, but he went absolutely gorgeous on the racetrack. He looks like he can get a little distance of ground, and that’s kind of what we’re looking for, so I thought we would take a shot.”

Joe Appelbaum and Carlos Morales’ Off the Hook pinhooking operation consigned the colt to the OBS March auction as agent.

“He had a lot of interest -- double digit scopes (endoscopic throat exams), multiple X-rays, all the right people looking at him,” Appelbaum said. “His breeze, I think, was very impressive to people. Even though he’s not the largest horse in the world, people really liked his physical. They loved his walk, and they liked his balance. There aren’t a lot of knocks against him. His vetting was good; everything passed the tests.”

“We’re happy with the price,” Appelbaum continued, “and we’re happy with the people he’s going to. They’re the right sort of people; they know what they’re doing, so it kind of makes us feel good.”

Off the Hook purchased the colt for $80,000 from Indian Creek, agent, at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale. He is the third foal out of the 8-year-old winning Dixieland Band mare Cosmic Wish, who is a half-sister to grade III winner Cosmonaut (by Lemon Drop Kid). She has produced a winner, Cosmic Time (by Gilded Time).

“He didn’t have the scope and size that everyone loves to buy, especially at the yearling sales,” said Appelbaum of the Grand Slam colt. “But if you look at his family, it’s a pretty good running family. Cosmonaut is in there, and I think Mr. (Will) Farish owns a half-brother, Atomic Force, who is very highly thought of. They (the buyers) loved his workout. It was fast, but it wasn’t out of control. It was done in a way that suggests he wasn’t allowed to kill himself in that workout.”

Patricia Pavlish bred the $400,000 colt in Kentucky.

Discussing the market conditions during the OBS March sale’s opening session, Appelbaum said: “My basic thought is that it doesn’t look bad unless you’re trying to sell a horse big. I just don’t think the buyers are going to spend $600,000, $700,000, or $800,000. Maybe they will on one horse, but not on multiple horses.”