OBSC Fall Sale Ends With Mixed Results

By Ryan Conley
A sale-topping price of $72,000 for the Kayrawan-sired broodmare prospect River Thames was the highlight of the closing session of Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. Fall Mixed Sale, an auction that yielded up and down sales totals.

River Thames, who is out of the Irish River (FR) mare Water Course, was purchased by Jack Goldenthorpe out of the Summerfield Sales Agency consignment. The 4-year-old filly's value was boosted significantly when her half-brother, Stream Cat, won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park on Sept. 17.

"You can't slip an update like that past anybody," said OBS director of sales Tom Ventura.

Goldthorpe was one of several prospective buyers making bids on the filly via telephones and was unavailable for comment.

The session's second highest price went to Appealing Pride, a 10-year-old mare by Valid Appeal who was purchased by Dr. Sandy Price for $40,000 out of the Vegso Racing Stable consignment.

The session featured 164 horses sold for $746,300, according to OBS data, yielding an average of $4,551 and a median of $2,500. Those figures were down from last year's corresponding session when 140 horses sold for $864,500, with an average of $6,175 and a median of $3,200. The buyback rate was 22.2% this year, 23.9% a year ago.

While the two open sessions featured down numbers from last year, the three consignor-preferred sessions posted somewhat stronger numbers than two similar sessions a year ago. A total of 559 horses sold for $12,458,500 this year, compared to 424 horses for $8,730,000 last year, yielding averages of $22,287 (up 8.2% from the $20,950 in 2004), but the median slipped slightly from $15,000 last year to $14,000. The buyback percentage was 27.8% compared to 25.4% last year.

But a total of 10 horses sold for $100,000 or more, nine better than last year, led by the sale-topping $240,000 given by Doug Arnold for Indian Halo, a 10-year-old Halo mare consigned by Bridlewood Farm.

"One of the things it shows is that you can sell a good horse in Ocala and get a good price," said Ventura. "The quality at the upper end was better. The open sessions were tougher, maybe we had more barren mares than we are used to having."

The leading buyer was Triple Crown Trading of South Korea, which acquired 61 horses for $987,900. The contingent has been traveling to OBS for five years and has spent $4.7 million at local auctions, Ventura said.