OBS Yearling Sale's Open Portion Has Solid Opening; Northern Afleet Colt Brings $90,000

Afleet Command, a son of Northern Afleet, brought the top price of $90,000 Tuesday during the first of three open sessions of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August yearling sale. The auction began on Monday with a select session and the first phase of a major reduction by Louisiana oilman and multiple Eclipse Award-winner John Franks.

Bred in Florida by Janet Brickle, Afleet Command was consigned by Gold Crest Farm, agent. He was purchased by Florida-based pinhooker Hoby Kight, who plans to resell him next year. The colt was produced from the 15-year-old winning Joanie's Chief mare Kathcarn and is a half-brother to stakes-placed McAplin Road (by After Eight) and Blushing Ballerina (by Jimmy Barnie).

"He's a good-looking, 'catty' son of a gun, just a beautiful horse," Kight said. "I only wanted to pay about $50,000, but he's just the kind of horse that I want to buy this year--the kind that when you lead them out of the barn, it's the one that they (the buyers of 2-year-olds in training) want. You get them to the sale, they work fast, and they're real appealing to look at. I think Northern Afleet (whose first crop is racing this year) is going to be really hot."

The open portion of the auction got off to a solid start. OBS reported that 227 horses were sold for a gross of $2,287,700, an average of $10,078, and a median of $5,500. Compared to the same session a year ago, the number sold and gross were up by 26.1% and 16.2%, respectively. The average was down by 7.9%, and the median was the same. According to OBS, the buy-back rate slipped from 30% last year to 22.5% this year.

The auction runs through Thursday, with selling beginning each day at 11 a.m. (EDT).