Action Heats Up at OBS Wednesday

Wednesday's session topper at OBS Spring | Judit Seipert

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

OCALA, FL – With a pair of seven-figure colts leading the way, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds produced a day of strong bidding Wednesday in Florida. During the session, 177 juveniles grossed $25,829,000 for an average of $145,927 and a median of $80,000. Through two sessions, 347 horses have sold for $48,388,000. The two-day average of $139,447 jumped 36% from last year's corresponding figure, while the median of $75,000 soared up 50%.

The cumulative buy-back rate is 19.5%. With the subsequent inclusion of post-sale transactions, it was 13.3% a year ago.

A colt by Medaglia d'Oro became the auction's second seven-figure juvenile when selling for $1,750,000 to Jed and Tim Cohen's Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal. The session-topping youngster capped a big day for de Meric Sales, which is the leading consignor with 19 sold for $6,374,000 at the auction's half-way mark.

Japanese trainer Mitsu Nakauchida made the day's second seven-figure purchase when acquiring a colt from the first crop of Mendelssohn for $1.3 million from the Scanlon Training and Sales consignment. Some 30 hips earlier, Nakauchida had purchased a colt by Mendelossohn's half-brother Into Mischief for $825,000 from de Meric Sales to be the session's leading buyer.

While Dave Scanlon enjoyed top-level success, he said he also saw activity at lower levels of the market.

“The trade is pretty good,” Scanlon said. “It's always good for the top horses. You always get rewarded for those. The ones that were lesser, you have to hustle a little bit, but it's been good.”

Buyers, meanwhile, were facing a competitive marketplace in Ocala.

“I am finding it very challenging quite frankly,” bloodstock agent David Ingordo said. “There are a lot of horses who are very, very nice and they are costing a nice price. We came here to buy and we've had mixed success because of the prices. We are disciplined, but we are not cheap buyers. We do set limits and some of these are going right by. There are lot of horses who are maybe not vetting and stuff. The market is good. If you bring a nice horse, you get a nice price. There is some value there too. We bought a nice filly earlier for $67,000 that we valued higher, so there are still some diamonds in the rough.”

Bloodstock agent Chad Schumer, whose five purchases so far at the sale are topped by a $535,000 colt by Goldencents, agreed he was forced to pay a premium for the horses he was looking to buy.

“I think the market is strong,” Schumer said. “I have heard a lot of people kind of complain about the market, but there hasn't been a single horse that I've bought that wasn't many bids over the reserve. I am selling tomorrow, so I might feel differently. But I think it's been a very good market. There is tremendous demand for these horses and it seems to be coming from all over.”

Kirk Wycoff of Three Diamonds Farm had a pinhooking score with a Curlin filly selling for $600,000 late in the day, but said things on the buying end were difficult.

“The horses it feels like we could spend $100,000 to $200,000 for before the pandemic are now $200,000 to $400,000,” he said. “I know the numbers don't necessarily say the market has doubled, but the quality horses have gone up considerably. It is good for the business. We have our regulatory situation kind of under control, so it is a good time to be in horse racing.”

The OBS Spring sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning each day at 10:30 a.m.


Well-Related Medaglia d'Oro Colt Headed to California

A Medaglia d'Oro half-brother to champion sprinter Drefong (Gio Ponti) (Hip 401) proved quite popular in Ocala Wednesday, summoning $1.75 million from Jed Cohen's Red Baron's Barn and his son Tim Cohen's Rancho Temescal. The colt will join the California-based stable of trainer Mark Glatt. Spendthrift Farm was the underbidder.

“It was certainly a little more than we wanted to go, but Jeff [Mullins], Mark [Glatt], Joe [Miller] and I all agreed he was a standout colt,” Tim Cohen said. “I talked to my dad and said we found a special one. I didn't tell him how far we had to go, but we will find out soon.”

He added, “For such a big colt to go that quickly [:10 1/5] without being asked was significant for us. These guys took good, hard looks on our behalf. It was a special opportunity and we are grateful to do it.”

Sandra Fubini's Machmer Hall purchased Hip 401's unraced dam Eltimaas (Ghostzapper) for $77,000 in foal to Mizzen Mast at the 2013 KEENOV sale, the same year she produced three-time Grade I winner Drefong, who now stands stud in Japan. The half-sister to champion Action This Day's 2017 filly by Candy Ride (Arg) brought $675,000 at the OBS March Sale and her 2019 Curlin colt summoned $425,000 at last year's April sale.

Bred by Machmer Hall in partnership with Fubini's daughter and son-in-law, Carrie and Craig Brogden, Hip 401 was purchased by de Meric Sales for $325,000 at Keeneland September with Brogden staying in for a small piece.

“He has been unbelievable since day one,” Tristan de Meric said. “We have just been lucky to have him on the farm. From the first day in the round pen, you could see he was going to be a nice one. He stayed together and just kept getting better every day.”

He added, “Carrie kept a small piece and we partnered up with a few of our good friends, Hubert Guy, Tami Bobo and Gus King. We were lucky it all came together. You never expect that kind of price, but the way it was coming together and with the people who were on him, we weren't shocked to see him hit $1 million.”

Hip 401's sale was the start of a stellar day for the de Merics, who also sold an $825,000 Into Mischief colt (Hip 466) and an $800,000 Curlin colt (Hip 503). —@CDeBernardisTDN


Scanlon Scores With Another Maryland Buy

The Fasig-Tipton October Sale has been good to consignor David Scanlon in the past. He purchased GISW Army Mule for (Friesian Fire) for just $35,000 at that auction and pinhooked him for $825,000 at EASMAY. He scored with another Fasig October buy Wednesday when a Mendelssohn colt (Hip 490) he purchased for $235,000 brought $1.3 million from Japanese trainer Mitsu Nakauchida, who was acting on behalf of an undisclosed client.

“We were up there in Maryland and we have done really good buying out of that sale,” Scanlon said. “We bought Army Mule out of that sale. You get good value there. The day before I was on another Mendelssohn because I really think the sire is going to be a hit, and we didn't get him. I thought this horse had a great demeanor and a beautiful frame. My partner Gabriel Duignan pointed him out too and said he liked him. We called our other partner Bruno DeBerdt and we all got together and bought him. It was a stretch. I usually don't pay that for a pinhook. I'm usually about $100,000 guy, but we decided to take a chance. We loved him.”

As for how the colt has matured since, Scanlon said, “All year we saw something special in him. He matured the way he hoped and got better than we ever imagined.”

Bred by Marcus Stables, the :10 1/5 breezer is out of the unraced Malibu Moon mare Grace is Gone, who is a half-sister to SP Retro (Giant's Causeway). Their dam is GISP Grace Anatomy (Aldebaran).

“He breezed really nicely,” said Nakauchida, who was sporting a Scanlin Training & Sales hat. “His action was very big and dynamic. Physically, he is strong and beautiful. “He will go to Japan and will be under my care. Hopefully, we will win a few races and, if we get lucky, hopefully you will see him in the international stakes.” —@CDeBernardisTDN


Into Mischief Colt to Japan

A colt by Into Mischief (hip 466) will be heading to Japan after selling for $825,000 to the bid of Japanese trainer Mitsu Nakauchida, acting on behalf of an undisclosed client, at OBS Wednesday. The colt, who worked a furlong in :10 flat at last week's under tack show, was consigned by de Meric Sales. He was purchased by Mickey Gonzalez's Golden Star Farm for $385,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

“I liked his breeze. He has plenty of speed,” Nakauchida said of the colt's appeal. “I saw him at the barn and he's very athletic and he is light. He will go well in Japan.”

Hip 466 is out of Game for More (More Than Ready) and is a half-brother to multiple graded winner Isotherm (Lonhro {Aus}) and Grade I placed Gio Game (Gio Ponti) and Giant Game (Giant's Causeway).

The colt was Nakauchida's first purchase of the sale, but the trainer was quick to double up when taking home a Mendelssohn colt for $1.3 million. @JessMartiniTDN


Curlin Colt for Lund Petersen

A colt by Curlin (hip 503) will be joining Michael Lund Petersen's racing stable after selling for $800,000 Wednesday in Ocala. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, bidding alongside trainer Bob Baffert, made the winning bid.

“He was just a fast-looking Curlin,” Lanni said of the juvenile who worked a furlong last week in :10 flat. “The mare could really run and he went fast and looks the part. So we just hope we get lucky.”

The gray colt is out of multiple Grade I winner Hard Not to Like (Hard Spun) and was bred by Dattt Farm, which purchased the mare for $2.2 million at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. The juvenile RNA'd for $285,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. He was consigned to the OBS sale by de Meric Sales.


Nyquist Filly Well Received in Ocala

With a Shadwell pedigree behind her, Hip 506, a daughter of Nyquist, was well liked at OBS Wednesday, hammering for $700,000 to the Green family's D.J. Stable, which did its bidding online.

“We bought her privately from Shadwell in September,” Barry Eisaman said. “They were inviting people to the farm because they were selling some of their yearlings. We liked her body, pedigree and mind. She has done nothing but fulfill every dream we could have had for her. She's just a wonderful prospect. She's fast. She's calm under fire. She's just a good filly.”

Hip 506 is out of Hasilah (Hard Spun), who is a daughter of MG1SW Sierra Madre (Fr) (Baillamont). That mare has also produced European champion Aljabr (Storm Cat) and the dam of GSWs Derbaas (Seeking the Gold) and Chiefdom (The Factor). The gray breezed in :10 flat during the under-tack show last week. —@CDeBernardisTDN


Lehigh Bloodstock Hits Another Homerun at OBS

Lehigh Bloodstock, a pinhooking partnership comprised of Three Diamonds Farm and Wavertree's Ciaran Dunne, was behind the $1.2-million More Than Ready colt–a $120,000 KEESEP buy–who topped the OBS March Sale. They hit another homerun in Ocala Wednesday when a Curlin filly (Hip 602) they purchased for $135,000 at Keeneland September brought $600,000 from bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who was acting on behalf of Spry Family Farm.

“We buy 50 yearlings and race 25 and sell 25,” Three Diamonds' Kirk Wycoff said. “We love Curlin. A friend of ours knows the mare and the mare is very fast. We thought the filly would be fast and she was.”

As for the prices, he said, “You never know what to expect. This is a very good horse sale. We were happy to get anything over $500,000 and we would have been happy to race her at less than that.”

The chestnut filly is out of MSP Jumby Bay (City Zip), who was purchased by breeder Don Alberto Corporation for $510,000 at the 2019 KEENOV sale with this filly in utero. She is a half-sister to GSP Royal Obsession (Tapit), a $1-million FTSAUG yearling in 2014 turned $1.15-million KEENOV buy a year later and was purchased by Don Alberto at the 2017 KEENOV sale for $1.8 million in foal to Curlin.

“She's a Curlin filly. Curlin needs no introduction,” said Ingordo, who did his bidding alongside the filly's new trainer, his wife Cherie DeVeaux. “She had a beautiful breeze [:20 4/5]. I've been lucky buying off Ciaran in the past. She was for somebody who wants to buy a nice filly, develop her and hopefully have one for the broodmare band in the future.”



Colt Makes Cents to Schumer

Chad Schumer, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client, went to $535,000 to acquire a colt by Goldencents (hip 546) from the Eddie Woods consignment. Woods's Quarter Pole Enterprises pinhooking partnership purchased the youngster for $150,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. The colt's half-sister Just One Time (Not This Time) won the Apr. 9 GI Madison S. and days later he worked a furlong in a bullet :9 4/5.

Schumer was familiar with the pedigree before bidding Wednesday.

“I actually bought the mare Ida Clark (Speightstown) carrying Just One Time,” Schumer said. “We bought her inexpensively, $45,000 [at 2017 Keeneland November sale], for a client. He sold her, unfortunately, but he kept Just One Time and he just won the Grade I with her. The colt was in the sale, it's an amazing pedigree, he was a stunning individual and obviously it was a fantastic breeze.”

Ida Clark resold for $60,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January sale.

The colt was one that jumped through all of the proverbial hoops, according to Schumer.

“Typically, with all due respect to the stallion, they can be small and they can be light,” Schumer said. “They are great runners, but they are usually not sales horses. This horse was a proper sales horse. He is big, strong, with a tremendous walk. He was very correct and he vetted perfectly. I think when you jump through all the hoops and you have a bullet work, you kind of have to expect to pay.” @JessMartiniTDN


Longoria Has a Good Day

Pinhooker Jessie Longoria continued a series of pinhooking scores in Ocala when selling a colt by Race Day (hip 373) for $475,000 to the partnership of WinStar's Maverick Racing, Siena Farms and CMNWLTH Wednesday at OBS. Longoria had purchased the youngster in partnership with Greg James for $42,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale, months before his sire had a pair of colts in the expected Kentucky Derby field.

“He looked good, he looked just like he did now,” Longoria said of the yearling purchase. “But Race Day was cold as water. Nobody wanted them. When I bought him, my friend said, 'What are you thinking? You know that horse is really cold.' It made me feel bad. But I liked the horse and I've always had a habit of buying horses like that that my intuition tells me is the right kind. I went with my gut and it panned out.”

Hip 373 turned in a quarter-mile work in :21 flat during last week's under-tack show.

“I knew he was going to do very well,” Longoria said of Wednesday's result. “Everybody who looked at him loved the horse. He has one hell of a mind and that's what you have to have to get through all the pressure and stress. He's a happy horse. He galloped out huge.”

Race Day will be represented on the First Saturday in May by GI Curlin Florida Derby winner White Abarrio and GI Arkansas Derby runner-up Barber Road.

During Tuesday's first session of the OBS Spring sale, Longoria sold a colt by Mor Spirit (hip 218) for $230,000 to Exline-Border Racing. The juvenile had been purchased by Longoria for $62,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton July sale.

“I had a new client who approached me and this was our first horse,” Longoria explained.

At the OBS March sale, Longoria and James sold a filly by Shackleford (hip 544) for $300,000 to Hideyuki Mori. The bay had been purchased for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October sale.

“I usually end up with six to eight [yearlings] every year,” Longoria said. “I like to keep my numbers down. I like to be hands on and I do a lot of work myself. So with six to eight with better pedigrees, I can invest more and get better quality. I think when you have more pedigree, if your horses don't work the greatest, you still get people to come look. Without pedigrees, if your horses don't perform top notch, you don't have anybody come look. If you buy something with pedigree, and especially if they work fast, you get everybody on them. It kind of gives you a guarantee.” @JessMartiniTDN

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