This Malibu Moon filly brought $400,000 to lead opening session of OBS 2YO sale.

This Malibu Moon filly brought $400,000 to lead opening session of OBS 2YO sale.

Louise Reinagel

California Buyers Pace First OBS March Session

The opening session of the 2007 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March select 2-year-olds in training sale benefited from the appearance of a large contingent of West Coast trainers and bloodstock agents, with California residents walking away with the session's top-priced colt and filly.

Trainer Brian Koriner signed a $400,000 ticket for a powerful looking daughter of Malibu Moon  on behalf of Pete Parrella's Legacy Farm and Shirley McPherson. Hall of Fame conditioner Richard Mandella picked up the session's top-priced colt, a rangy son of Unbridled's Song, for $320,000 on behalf of B. Wayne Hughes.

For the day, OBS reported 126 horses sold, to gross $12,182,000. The average was $96,683. The median was $80,000. The buy-back rate was 36%, with 71 horses failing to find new homes.

Compared to last year, the number of horses sold increased 10.6% while the gross was down 3.6%. The average was up 7.9% and the median increased 6.7%. Last year, the auction company sold 141 horses to gross $12,640,000. The average was $89,645 and the median was $75,000. The buy-back rate was 28%, with 55 hips failing to sell.

Hughes was the day’s leading buyer, taking home three horses for a total of $750,000.

"I thought it was a solid sale overall," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales. "We had more horses bring $200,000 or more (14 this session compared to seven last year) and I think that is a very good sign with activity in that price range."

Commenting about the large number of West Coast buyers who made the trip across the country to attend the sale Ventura said, "As in years past, this market is worth the while of the California-based trainers to come to a sale where the catalog is 500 horses and has a wide range of horses that can fit within what they need in terms of budget, physicality, and quality."

"The success of the horses out of this sale is really our biggest advertiser," he said. "That is really what makes any sale, and we have been very fortunate with the types of horses that have come out of this sale. The buyers are coming because they like the horses, and the consignors are feeling more and more confident to bring the upper end horses to this sale."

The session-topping filly was consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd, who purchased her for $50,000 at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale. The filly worked a quarter in :21 3/5 at the first pre-sale breeze show.

"She was just a beast … very big for her age," Koriner said. "She had good conformation and was very well proportioned. We'll have to wait on her but she looks like she will go a route of ground."

Bred in Pennsylvania by Maple Leaf Farm, the filly is out of the Royal Academy mare Silent Academy, and her second dam is grade III stakes winner Silent Turn.

Koriner said the filly would be shipped to California, "We are going to give her some time to grow and mature."

The top-priced colt, out of the Arazi mare Rawafed, was consigned by Randy Hartley and Dean DeRenzo's Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds. Racehorse Management bred the colt in Kentucky and this was his first appearance in a public auction ring.

The colt breezed an eighth in :10 3/5 during the first presale under tack session and worked a quarter in :21 3/5 during the final under tack session.

Mandella called the colt beautiful and a great mover over the ground. "I thought the price was about what we expected to pay," he said. "He was a really nice colt."

A colt by E Dubai consigned by agent Eddie Woods went to Frank Fletcher Racing Operation for $300,000. The bay colt, who worked an eighth in :10 2/5 at the preview, is out of stakes placed Private Applause, by Private Account, and is a half-brother to stakes placed Proper Performer.

Trainer Chris Paasch, as agent, went to $280,000 for a filly by Mr. Greeley consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, agent for G. Ray Trisler. The dark bay or brown filly, whose quarter in :21 2/5 was co-fastest at the distance at last Saturday’s preview session, is out of Ravish Me, by Wild Again, a daughter of stakes winner In Conference.

The sale continues its final session March 28, beginning at 11 a.m.

- Session Leaders: Day One