The weather was warm and sunny in Central Florida, and the conditions were much better than when this same group of horses worked out a week ago, according to consignors. The obstacles then were a strong headwind and a deep, heavy track surface.The OBS March sale is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, with each session beginning at 11 a.m. (EST). In general, consignors are optimistic."We've shown our horses quite a bit; there has been a lot of interest," said Mike O'Farrell of Ocala Stud. "From what I've been told, there are a lot of good horses in this sale, and a lot of horses are working well, so it must be true. The market should be strong. All the 2-year-old sales this year have been up, and it shouldn't be any different here."The March sale has attracted many of the prominent buyers seen earlier this year at select auctions in South Florida and California. They include Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager John Ferguson, New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, J.B. and Kevin McKathan, and representatives of New Mexico track operator Stan Fulton.
A colt from the first crop of Chief Seattle was among the standouts Sunday during the final session of works for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March sale of 2-year-olds in training. He turned in the fastest work at an eighth of a mile, covering the distance in :10 1/5. He galloped out three-eighths in :35, according to New York horseman Aron Yagoda, an unofficial clocker.The colt is out of stakes-placed Miss Virginia, a 10-year-old daughter of Magic Prospect. His consignor is Robert and Saronda Smith's Wesfield Sales, which purchased him for $22,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.The fastest quarter-mile workers were colts by Southern Halo and Yes It's True, who both were clocked in :21. The son of Southern Halo galloped out a half mile in :46 3/5 while the Yes It's True colt finished up in :47 2/5, according to Yagoda. The Southern Halo colt is out of the 6-year-old unraced Storm Cat mare User Cat. His second dam is European champion User Friendly (by Slip Anchor). Robert Scanlon, agent, is his consignor. The colt has never been offered before at public auction. He previously had worked an eighth in :10 2/5.The Yes It's True colt is a member of his sire's first crop and is out of the 8-year-old Septieme Ciel mare Proud Ciel, who is half-sister to grade III winner Mr. Impatience. His consignors, Dr. Barry and Shari Eisaman of Eisaman Equine, purchased him for $47,000 at the 2003 OBS August yearling sale. He previously had worked an eighth in :10 2/5.A colt from the first crop of Precise End turned in the fastest work at three-eighths of a mile, stopping the clock in :33 4/5. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:03 1/5, according to Yagoda.The colt is out of the 10-year-old winning Rubiano mare Since Time Began, who is a half-sister to grade III winner Remember Sheikh and added-money winner Memory Tap. The colt's consignor is Ricky Leppala, who bought him for $25,000 at least year's OBS August yearling sale. Previously, the colt had worked a quarter in :22 1/5.In a scary incident, a Stephen Got Even -- Miss Popularity colt dumped his rider and crashed into the track's outside rail while running loose. The colt fell, but got up and cantered off the track. He suffered only superficial injuries, according to his consignor, Terry Oliver.