By Brian DiDonato
Owner John Oxley purchased the top-priced offering for the second consecutive session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s newly positioned two-day October Yearling Sale Wednesday when trainer Mark Casse went to $170,000 on his behalf for a filly from the first crop of Uncaptured.
Bred in Florida by Wendy Christ and Kathie Haines out of Classy City Lady (Carson City), the grey–already named Catherinethegreat–was consigned to the sale as hip 545 by Turtle Pond Farm, Agent II. She is a half to recent Miss Gracie S. winner Katinka (Kantharos), and her second dam is SW Classy Place (Out of Place).
For Wednesday’s open session, 291 head changed hands for a combined $3,131,100 at an average of $10,760 and median of $5,000. The RNA rate was 23.4%, significantly lower than the 38% of offerings that were bought back during a larger two-day open catalog last year.
For the October sale as a whole, which also included a select session on Tuesday, gross receipts totaled $8,120,500. The average was $20,051.
In previous years, OBS conducted its yearling sale in August. Because of a significant difference in catalog size and session total from 2016’s August sale to this sale, direct comparisons would be inexact, but there were 13 yearlings at last year’s August sale who reached the six-figure mark compared to 11 this year from a smaller catalog this term (1047 in 2016 compared to 648 in 2017). The 2016 August average was $16,712.
Oxley, who purchased six youngsters at the sale for a combined $762,000 including Tuesday’s selected session-topping $275,000 Violence colt (click for more), campaigned Uncaptured (Lion Heart), a five-time stakes winner at two, including scores in the GIII Iroquois S. and GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Named Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old colt in Canada after that season, he added the second leg of that nation’s Triple Crown–the Prince of Wales S.–in 2013. The millionaire has taken up stud duties at the O’Farrell family’s Ocala Stud.
“I can remember Mr. Oxley and I having the conversation when we bought Uncaptured [for $290,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September sale], I said, ‘I just saw a horse we’ve got to have,'” recalled Casse Tuesday. “I looked at a bunch of Uncaptureds [at the sale], and I told him, ‘This is another one we have to have.’ She reminded me so much of him, plus I can see the Carson City in her as well–we had Pretty City Dancer (Tapit), a Grade I winner out of a Carson City mare. I just loved her. It was nice, Mr. Oxley of course owned Uncaptured and still owns a big portion of him and he wanted to also support the stallion.”
Three of the day’s top four lots were by Uncaptured and Casse has high expectations for him at stud.
“They’ve been selling very well,” Casse said. “He was a very good horse and a smart horse. He broke his maiden first out going 4 1/2 furlongs, and the Princes of Wales S. going 1 3/16 miles. He could do about anything… I think he’s got a chance to be a really good stallion.”
Count Casse among those have said they prefer this spot on the calendar for the OBS yearling sale.
“This is my first time here in a while,” he said. “Obviously, I think the change in the timing of the sale has been good–normally in August I would have no chance of being here. It’s been nice for us, and we’ve picked up some good horses, so we’re excited.”
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