OBS Hoping Stronger Group of First-Year Sires Can Improve Yearling Sale Figures

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company will be trying to buck the downward trend seen at recent regional auctions when its August yearling sale kicks off on Monday in Central Florida. The first session is for select horses, and it will be followed by three open sessions.

Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales, believes the select session can improve on last year's figures even though auctions at Saratoga and Del Mar, which featured similar types of horses, suffered setbacks.

"There's a good reason for us to be hopeful," he said. "The first-year stallions this year are a stronger group as a whole compared to the last couple of years. They include horses like Yes It's True and Greenwood Lake, which were legitimate racehorses. We also have a solid group of yearlings (physically) for the first day."

As for the three open sessions, "it's just a matter of whether the demand is there for that many $15,000 horses," Ventura said.

During the 2002 edition of the auction, the gross revenue fell 4.9% for the select and open sessions combined while the average declined 8%. For the select session alone, the gross, median, and average were down 9.1%, 11.8%, and 8.6%, respectively. For the three open sessions, the gross and average dropped 14.2% and 6.4%, respectively, but the median rose 5%.

Selling begins each day at 11 a.m. (EDT). There are 1,276 yearlings catalogued, with 202 scheduled to be offered during the select session.