OBS Yearling Sale Starts Monday With Select Session

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) yearling auction, which begins its five-day run Monday in Central Florida, will provide a good test for the middle and lower levels of the market. There are 1,551 horses catalogued, a total that represents a 3.5% increase from last year's figure of 1,498.

Monday's session will feature select yearlings, and four open sessions will follow. Selling begins each day at 11 a.m. (EDT).

While a lot of yearlings will be seeking new homes, it's a good time to be offering horses based on recent results. The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select sale generated record average and median prices. The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select had a record median while its gross revenue grew. And the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred auction had a record average.

"We're expecting a good sale," said Tom Ventura, the director of sales and general manager for OBS. "I don't see anything slowing the market down."

But the OBS sale suffered setbacks in gross and average last year for the select and open sessions combined while the number of horses sold was at an all-time high.

An impressive performance by the major non-select sales of 2-year-olds in training earlier this year should help the OBS yearling auction because that is where many yearling-to-juvenile pinhookers find bargain-priced prospects. The OBS April, Barretts May, and Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sales of 2-year-olds in training combined set records for number offered, number sold, gross revenue, and average price. The median equaled the record set in 2005. Meanwhile, the number of juveniles sold for individual prices of $100,000 or more and $50,000 or more also soared to all-time highs.