Montbrook Colt Sets New Record at OBSC Sale

A colt by Montbrook established a new record at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s selected 2-year-olds in training sale after garnering a sale-topping bid of $1.2 million at Calder Race Course Tuesday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher signed the ticket for the colt, which was the final horse to enter the ring, in the name of Irish agent Demi O'Byrne. Pletcher will condition the colt for owner Michael Tabor.

A homebred of Michael O'Farrell's Ocala Stud, the nearly jet-black colt is the second foal of racing age out of the winning Cutlass mare Cut Class Leanne.

O'Farrell said he was nervous of the colt's position at the end of the sale, but it proved to be unfounded. Nearly all of the buyers at the elite level remained in the pavilion to help establish the new record.

"He's a good looking horse with a lot of ability and the mind to go with it," O'Farrell said. "He has everything it takes to be a racehorse."

The Montbrook colt, along with a prolific shopping spree from Michael Gill, helped to push the overall sale totals near last year's record numbers. A total of 117 horses brought a gross of $12,733,000 for an average of $108,829. Last year, 114 horses sold for $13,041,000 and an average of $114,395.

"We're disappointed it went down a little, but we're not really surprised," said OBSC general manager Tom Ventura.

"This sale has been providing a steady stream of good horses...and knowing the horses we had, we were hoping we could match last year or bump up a little, but we wouldn't be surprised if it was down."

Gill, who is the leading owner at the current Gulfstream Park meeting, continued his Florida domination this winter with 32 purchases worth $2,904,000 to lead all buyers. His purchases included a colt by Silver Charm for $360,000.

A daughter of Polish Numbers was the highest-priced filly at the sale and brought the overall second-highest price with a final bid of $450,000.

Veterinarian Robert McMartin signed the ticket for prominent commercial buyer Eugene Melnyk. The filly is the third foal of racing age out of the winning Exclusive Era mare Biogio's Girl. She gained heightened demand after a sharp eighth of a mile breeze in :10 1/5 during the first under-tack show Jan. 27.

McMartin said Phil Hronec, manager of Melnyk's Winding Oaks Farm near Ocala, picked out the horse because of her action displayed during her swift breeze.

"Phil loved her," McMartin said. "So I came in and she vetted out wonderfully and Eugene decided that this was the one for today."
Ciaran Dunne, agent for Wavertree Stables, consigned the filly. She was bred in New York by Richard Saxton and was purchased for $57,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale by William Schettine.

A colt from the first crop of Seattle Slew stallion Doneraile Court also sold well after bringing a final price of $400,000 from agent John Ferguson.

Ferguson, who outlasted Pletcher and Gill in the bidding, signed the ticket for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Godolphin Racing. The dark bay or brown colt is out of the winning Copelan mare Future Guest. Ferguson said he will remain in Florida before joining up with Godolphin's North American string, which currently is wintering in Dubai.

The colt, which was consigned by Murray Smith was purchased for $60,000 by M.S.T. Stable at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.