The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. continued the upswing in juvenile sales seen so far this year, its April auction showing huge gains in gross and average. Also, the number of horses bought back by their consignors dropped markedly, and a record price for the sale was established.
During the April 19-22 auction, 774 juveniles were sold for $23,183,000, an average of $29,952. The gross was an increase of 55.4% and the average was up 41.3% from the 2003 sale, when 704 youngsters brought $14,923,000, an average of $21,197. Both the gross and average were sale records. The sale's median was $18,000, a 38.5% jump from the $13,000 mark last year.
There were 192 horses, 19.8%, listed as not sold, compared to 271, 27.8%, last year.
John Ferguson, acting for Sheikh Mohammed, blasted past the old record ($550,000) for the OBS April sale, paying $975,000 for a colt by Distorted Humor
. The colt, named Princely Humor, is the second foal out of the graded stakes winning Zuppardo's Ardo mare Zuppardo's Prince. He was sold by Niall Brennan as agent for the estate of John Franks.
Zuppardo Ardo won 14 races, including the grade II Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. II), and earned $667,886.
The previous record was $550,000, paid by Kaaren and the late Hays Biggs for Etbauer in 1998 and equaled in 2001 when David J. Shimmon paid the same price for Quiet Delight.
Etbauer (Silver Deputy
-- Insurprise, by Greinton) won the 1999 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) and earned $138,920, while Quiet Delight (Grindstone
-- Quiet City, by Carson City
), is a restricted stakes-placed earner of $128,720).
The old record was actually bested twice. On the sale's final day, William Condren went to $675,000 for a colt by Double Honor named Collegiate Honor. Produced from the Carr de Naskra mare Camptown Miss, Collegiate Honor is a full brother to stakes winner College Honor. The Florida-bred colt was sold as agent by Farnsworth Farms.