For the session, OBS reported 127 horses sold for $3,578,500, to average $28,177. The median was $22,000. The buy-back rate was 51.2%.
"It is difficult to compare this year with last year because of the change in sale format," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales. "I thought it was a tough sale. The broodmare market was especially tough. I thought we had a lot of nice broodmares in foal to nice stallions on the grounds but they did not do as well as the weanlings."
The sale saw 20 hips sell for more than $50,000. Of the 20, 15 were weanlings.
Under the change in sale format, OBS is guaranteed a $1,000 commission, but if the horse fails to sell for more than $10,000 the commission is doubled to $2,000.
”The reasoning behind that is the consignor preferred was the quality wasn't consistent and there were horses being entered that really were not justifying the $1,000 minimum commission," Ventura said. "In an effort to force the consignors to be careful about entries we set up the new standard. We picked the $10,000 number because it was half of $20,000. We were trying to improve the quality by doing this. Therefore the average had to go up if we had any effect on the entries and we did because last year we had three days of consignor preferred and this year we have two days."
Compared to last year, the number of horses sold decreased 41.2%, from 216, while the gross fell 26.5%. The average increased 25% and the median jumped 73%. The 2006 buy-back rate was 30%.
The opening-day session and first of two consignor-preferred sessions of the five-day sale was topped by a chestnut son of Wildcat Heir, named Future Covenant, purchased for $120,000 by trainer Ben Perkins Jr. from the consignment of Joanne Crowe's Crowe's Nest Farm.
Wildcat Heir, who was a grade I winner trained by Perkins, stands at Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla. His 2007 fee was $8,000 and his first crop of foals are weanlings of 2007.
"He has been an attractive colt since the day he was born," said Crowe, who bred in the colt in partnership with her husband, Don. "I expect him to keep maturing and be a very good racehorse."
Crowe purchased the dam of Future Covenant, Unbridled Treasure (by Unbridled's Song), for $14,000 at the 2007 OBS winter mixed sale from the consignment of Moreau Bloodstock International, agent, while she was carrying the session-topping colt. "The mare had a lot of excellence," Crowe said. "She just stood out."
Unbridled Treasure is a half-sister to Irish group I winner Saoirse Abu (Mr. Greeley), winner of the Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) and the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I).
Unbridled Treasure is still owned by Crowes and is in foal to D'Wildcat.