By Brian DiDonato
OCALA, FL–The 2-year-old sales season begins Tuesday with the two-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March sale at the newly renovated OBS complex.
A trio of under-tack sessions were held last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the first half of a 577-head catalog will go through the ring beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Two juveniles went a quarter in :20 2/5. During Friday's breeze show, a Woodford Thoroughbreds-consigned Super Saver filly (hip 305) achieved that feat (video). On Saturday, a filly by last year's runaway leading freshman sire by winners (hip 399) matched it without wearing blinkers. Named Angelcents, hip 399 is consigned by Blazing Meadows Farm LLC, Agent I.
“She did everything with ultimate class,” said Woodford's Director of Sales Beth Bayer Monday morning of hip 305. “She's been great around the barn, she was good pre-breeze and post-breeze and everything. The bonus is that she came back and vets perfect, so she's our superstar.”
As for overall traffic leading up to the sale, Bayer said, “There are enough buyers here. It seems like we're getting a lot of lookers, and it's across the board–not just at the top end. We need that.”
Among the more buzzed-about and best-bred offerings in the March sale is hip 33, a son of leading sire Tapit and the first foal out of MGISW Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler). The New York-bred is consigned by Becky Thomas on behalf of his breeders, Chester and Mary Broman. The grey breezed in :10 1/5. Click for ThoroStride video.
“Having trained Artemis, and her sisters and brothers, it's been really exciting. This colt, he's special,” Thomas said. “He's a very, very efficient mover. We took him out of company training a long time ago because he's aggressive and very forward… So far, he's jumping through a lot of hoops, so we're hoping he continues to jump.”
Polarization has been the main trend mostly every horse sale in recent years, and Thomas expects more of the same heading into 2-year-old season.
“I see the same thing–I think there are plenty of people here for some horses, but not for others. We're in a really polarized market and we don't make the market… If it's polarized at the yearling sales like it has been, it is for us too.”
Last year's topper was an $875,000 Scat Daddy filly consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds LLC and purchased by Phoenix Thoroughbreds III. Graduates from last year's auction to achieve recent racetrack success include GIII Robert B. Lewis S. one-two Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) and Gunmetal Gray (Exchange Rate) ($225,000); GIII Palm Beach S. winner A Thread of Blue (Hard Spun) ($430,000) and Pasadena S. romper Stubbins (Morning Line) ($130,000). Last term's GI Spinaway S. heroine Sippican Harbor (Orb) RNA'd here 12 months ago, while Shang Shang Shang (Shanghai Bobby) went for $200,000 out of the S B M Training & Sales consignment and would go on to annex Royal Ascot's G2 Norfolk S. for Breeze Easy LLC and trainer Wesley Ward.
After subsequent post-sale transactions were added to the 2018 OBS March statistics, 257 sales were recorded for gross receipts of $42,275,000. The average was $164,494–down by 12.4% compared to 2017's figure of $187,741–while the median rose to $105,000 from $95,000 (+10.5%).
For more information, visit www.obssales.com.