A brawny Macho Uno colt brought $150,000 Aug. 22 to become the first horse this year to bring a six-figure price during the open portion of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. August yearling sale in Central Florida. Marquez Brothers Stables of Hialeah, Fla., purchased the bay yearling from Beth Bayer, who consigned the colt for his breeder, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs operation.
The Florida-bred session-topper is the second foal out of the 9-year-old Mecke mare Secret of Mecca, who won twice and finished third in both the 2001 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) and the 2003 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I). Added-money winners in the colt's family include Daisy Dukes, Futurette, Greek Answer, Grecian Victory, Greek Sky, and Lawmaker.
"That was a pleasant surprise because Wednesday during the open sale you don't really ever have a quality colt like that," Bayer said. "He's a big strong colt, and everybody loved him. He was a big bright spot today."
The final numbers for the auction's second open session were 193 horses sold, a gross of $2,498,500, and an average price of $12,946. The median price was $7,500. Compared to last year, when 201 horses were sold, the gross declined 1.8%, from $2,545,500, but the average rose 2.6%, from $12,664. The median fell 6.3%, from $8,000.
"We're still close to last year; the results are similar to yesterday's," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "If we can keep this up over the next two days, we'll be real pleased with the way things have gone. We had a horse bring $150,000 on the third day of the sale, so when you bring a good horse into the sale ring, they're not going to slip through the cracks."
The buy-back /no bid rate was 29.6%.
"When I look at the results, I see that the sale is holding its own," said Steve Silver, the director of operations for Sez Who Thoroughbreds. "If you bring a horse up here that presents itself well, there's money for it. But for the most part, people are just trading dollars, getting rid of this one, buying that one. The buy-back rate is better (than last year), which usually is indicative of people letting their horses go."
Through the first three days of the sale, which began Monday with a select session, 578 horses were sold for a gross of $15,034,600 and an average of $26,011. Last year, 593 yearlings were sold for a gross of $15,916,600 and an average of $26,841.
The figures for the first two open sessions were 411 horses sold, a gross of $5,355,100, and an average of $13,029. In 2006, 417 yearlings were sold for a gross of $5,489,100 and an average of $13,163.
"The open sale, in my opinion, is as good as it's ever been,' said Florida pinhooker David McKathan. "It's not special, but it's as good as it's ever been."
The auction continues through Aug. 24 with two more open sessions. Selling begins each day at 11 a.m. (EDT).