By Jessica Martini
OCALA, FL – The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds opened with a workmanlike session Tuesday as four horses sold for over $200,000, led by a filly by Bolt d'Oro who attracted a final bid of $290,000 from bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Greg and Caroline Bentley.
In all, 184 sold Tuesday for a gross of $7,107,500. The average of $38,628 slipped 2.4% from last year's opening session, but the median of $25,500 was up 27.5% from the 2021 sales record-tying figure of $20,000.
With 90 horses reported not sold, Tuesday's buy-back rate was 33.1%. At the close of business after last year's first session, the buy-back rate was 26.7%. It fell to 18.3% with the inclusion of post-sale transactions.
“It's been competitive all year,” Lanni said of the juvenile market. “It's been a very, very tough year. I love coming to June–not for the weather–but this is a typical June sale. They are out there, you just have to try to find them. There is a horse here for everybody. A horse at every level. You just have to get through them all.”
Seven horses topped the $200,000 mark at the 2021 opening session, led by a $425,000 daughter of Practical Joke. During the session, 196 horses grossed $7,756,400 for an average of $39,573 and a median of $20,000.
Tuesday's opening session of the June sale missed a break-out horse when hip 112, a daughter of Into Mischief, RNA'd for $625,000.
The June sale continues through Thursday with bidding beginning each day at 10 a.m.
A Bolt for Runnymede
Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni had been shopping all season long for a filly to purchase for Gregory and Caroline Bentley's Runnymede Farm and the Pennyslvania-based operation finally got on the board Tuesday in Ocala, purchasing a filly by freshman sensation Bolt d'Oro (hip 191) for $290,000 from the Niall Brennan consignment.
“We have been trying really hard all year to buy fillies for them,” Lanni said. “Good fillies are hard to find and they bring a lot. We have struck out all year trying to buy a filly for them.”
“This was a good filly,” Lanni said. “Bolt d'Oro made it easy for me to sell it to them. And she's got pedigree. But more importantly, she worked extremely well and she galloped out very well. She came back well. Typically when you do all of those things, it's going to cost a lot.”
The Bentleys, who have been involved in racing since the mid-1990s, won the 2014 GI Arlington Million with Hardest Core (Hard Spun) and were represented in the 2019 GI Preakness S. by multiple stakes winner Alwaysmining (Stay Thirsty). Greg Bentley is CEO of his family's software company, Bentley Systems.
Hip 191 was purchased by Ryston Stables for $75,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Candy Ride Filly Heads West
“Some things just speak for themselves–the page, obviously, and how she breezed,” Justin Border, who did his bidding sitting alongside bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, said of the filly's appeal. “But, really, it's about her mind and how she comported herself all throughout the process. It seems like she was brought up right from the farm and from an excellent breeder. We can tell she's been brought up the right way. We're excited to take her out to California where she can do big things for us.”
“Her breeze was very flashy, but at the same time, you could tell she was doing it well within herself, which is something we always look for,” Border said. “A lot of horses have flashy breezes on a surface they'll never run on again the rest of their lives. We're much more interested in how they do it, and she did it the right way. She checked all the boxes for us.”
Bred by Paul Pompa, Jr., the bay sold for $12,000 as part of the late owner/breeder's dispersal at the 2021 Keeneland January sale. She sold to Joseph Klausa's Thoro Ventures for $75,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale and was consigned Tuesday by Juan Centeno's All Dreams Equine.
“She has a very good mind,” Centeno said. “She is lovely and has an excellent pedigree. Everything came together and she performed well. And she was well-received at the barn. You are always nervous and excited at the same time at these sales. But I am very happy for the owner.”
Adios Charlie Filly for FSS Series
A speedy filly by Adios Charlie (hip 116) topped early returns at the OBS June sale when selling for $235,000 to the bid of Michael Sucher's Champion Equine. Consigned by Ocala Stud and bred by the O'Farrells, the bay 2-year-old worked a quarter-mile in a bullet :21 flat. She is out of stakes-placed Miss Melinda (Malibu Moon), a daughter of group-placed Black Escort (Southern Halo).
“She had all the metrics: breeze time, gallop out, vetted perfectly, and she is a beautiful physical horse,” Sucher's advisor Tom McCrocklin said. “Kind of all the things you hear all the time.”
The filly will join the South Florida barn of trainer David Braddy and will have a specific target this summer.
“He is kind of obsessed with winning the Florida Stallion Stakes and she is eligible for that series,” McCrocklin said of Sucher's plans for the filly. “He bought a really nice colt in April. He lives in South Florida and he's very bullish on trying to win those races.”
In addition to his Florida racing stable, Sucher is also an active pinhooker and breeding.
“Pinhooking, racing and breeding,” McCrocklin said of Sucher's Thoroughbred interests. “He owns a lot of mares, too, mostly in Kentucky. He keeps his mares with Martha Jane Mulholland in Kentucky and he bought a lot of broodmares over the last couple of years. So he's evenly distributed between breeding, he will sell some, he will pinhook, and he races as well. He's a great guy, loves the game and I am glad we have him in it.”