By Jessica Martini
The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company will bring the curtain down on the 2019 juvenile sales season with its three-day June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age, which begins Wednesday in Central Florida.
“I expect we’ll see a lot of things that we’ve seen already this year,” OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski said of expectations for the June market. “I don’t think we’re going to establish any new trends, but I think a lot of what we’ve seen so far this year will continue forward.”
OBS opened the juvenile sales season with a strong renewal of its March sale and the June sale comes in the wake of a record-setting edition of the company’s April sale, which produced its highest-ever gross, average and median and featured three seven-figure transactions.
“We’ve been very happy with the 2-year-old season,” Wojciechowski said. “We’ve been fortunate that consignors have brought us a lot of good horses. And buyers come here and they have confidence they can buy a runner. All you have to do is look at our success on Belmont day when we won three Grade Is.”
Those winners were OBS April graduate Mitole (Eskendereya) in the GI Metropolitan H., OBS April graduate Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) in the GI Ogden Phipps S. and OBS August RNA World of Trouble (Kantharos) in the GI Jaipur Invitational H.
The strength of the April market may have a trickle down effect on June, Wojciechowski agreed.
“I think so,” he said. “We are seeing people on the grounds that we didn’t see in April or people that got shut out in April.”
The five-session under-tack preview of the June sale was delayed slightly by rain and lightning during both weekend sessions.
“We had to do some dancing around some rain showers over the weekend, but looking at the weather forecast beginning Saturday morning, there was a question mark about whether we’d be able to get our two days in. We just got fortunate and we only had to encounter a little bit of rain and our consignors and horses forged through in great fashion. I think, all in all, it was a very successful breeze show.”
During the preview, three horses shared the :20 3/5 quarter-mile bullet time and 11 shared the fastest furlong time of :9 4/5. A pair of juveniles shared the bullet three-furlong time of :32 3/5.
Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables, which was the leading consignor at last year’s June sale, sent out a pair of bullet workers. The consignor said he had no problem sending a horse through the ring at the late-season auction.
“You can’t hide a good horse,” he said. “If his work and his gallop-out, and everything measures up to everything they want nowadays, there will be a multitude of people to buy him. We’ve never been afraid to go to any sale.”
Using his quarter-mile bullet worker by Daredevil as an example, Dunne said, “With him, no he wasn’t slated to go here, but when he had his setback, instead of pushing the envelope, we didn’t have any hesitancy to backing up and coming here.”
At the 2018 June sale, a colt by Scat Daddy attracted top price of $650,000. The dark bay was one of 11 to sell for $200,000 or more during the auction. In all, 530 juveniles sold for a total of $17,231,000. The average was $32,511 and the median was $15,000.
The June sales continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.