Nyquist Colt Leads Measured OBS Session Thursday

Hip 891, Thursday's session topper | Judit Seipert

by Jessica Martini & Stefanie Grimm

OCALA, FL – Without a breakout horse and numerous outs, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training dutifully marched through its paces Thursday, with a colt by Nyquist attracting the session's highest price of $550,000 late in the day. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, bidding on behalf of Zedan Racing Stable, signed the ticket on the session topper for the third straight day.

From a catalogue of 302 horses, just 187 went through the ring Thursday and the session, which started at 10:30 a.m., proceeded at a brisk pace and was over before 4 p.m. For the session, 143 horses sold for $14,877,000. The session average was $104,035 and the median was $70,000.

“We had a high number of outs today,” said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “It was certainly the softest day of the sale we've had so far. But we still have tomorrow. Hopefully, we will be able to rebound and have a better day tomorrow.”

Through three of four sessions, 472 horses have grossed $61,608,500. The cumulative average of $130,526 is nearly identical to last year's figure at the same point, while the median of $75,000 is up 15.4% from a year ago.

“The market is obviously very spotty,” said Ciaran Dunne, whose Wavertree Stables consigned the session topper. “The traffic has probably been down from years past. The attendance today was pretty sparse. A lot of people got out of town. I am sure they can bid by phone and internet, but it's different when people are in attendance. They get caught up in the moment, maybe, whereas they can be more objective when they are away from the heat of the battle. We've had a decent day. It's very reminiscent of our March sale. It has been good, but it hasn't been great.”

Of the scarcity of buyers actually on the ground in Ocala Thursday, Wojciechowski said, “We always like to have people on site. Certainly, on-line bidding was more prevalent today it seemed.”

More than half the horses catalogued for Thursday's session worked during last Friday's session of the under-tack show, which was conducted a day after heavy rain hit the area and featured a head wind.

The conditions and resulting slower times were unlikely to influence buyers, according to Lanni.

“I know it was a slow day,” he said. “The track was definitely a little bit slower and there was a headwind, but there were some nice horses that worked that day. Every day here is different. I think people kind of know and adjust and handicap every day when horses work. I think that's something that comes into play and they know. Even though they went somewhat slower, I don't think it means a whole lot.”

The OBS Spring sale's final session begins Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Nyquist Colt Tops at OBS Thursday

A colt by Nyquist (hip 891), one of the final offerings of the day, topped Thursday's session of the OBS Spring sale when bringing a final bid of $550,000 from bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Amr Zedan's Zedan Racing Stable.

“He's a very good representation of the sire and we have done very well with Nyquist,” Lanni said. “The horse looked good working and he came back good. He is one that we loved and we are happy we got him.”

Ciaran Dunne | Photos by Z

The bay colt, who worked a furlong last week in :10 flat, is out of Grade I winner Acoma (Empire Maker). He was consigned by Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables and was purchased for $150,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale by the Red Wings pinhooking partnership of Dunne and Paul Reddam, who campaigned Nyquist.

“It seems like every sale I am sitting here talking about how great Nyquist is and between every sale, he does more to justify what you say about him,” Dunne said. “He was a beautiful horse. His work was fabulous and I thought he was well-received at the barn. We are maybe a hair disappointed in what he brought. I thought he could bring a little bit more. But he was well-bought and well sold. Hopefully, he goes to a good home.” @JessMartiniTDN

Strong Day for Grassroots

Grassroots Training and Sales had a strong sales day Thursday, bringing two of the top-priced colts on the day to auction and finishing the day as the third-highest consigner with a total of 11 hips sold for $1,477,000. A colt from the first crop of War of Will (hip 717) from the family of MGSW Pianist (More Than Ready) spent much of the afternoon as the highest-priced colt and was only edged out late in the day by one of the last hips through the ring. Purchased for just $25,000 as a yearling by Grassroots at Fasig-Tipton's October Yearling Sale, he brought a final bid of $400,000 from trainer Cherie DeVaux after breezing in :10. He was joined on the top-price list by another late in the day hip when a colt by Army Mule (hip 886), who also worked his eighth in :10, went for $350,000 to Lael Stable after having been purchased for $190,000 at Keeneland September last year. The pair of colts were two of five six-figure sales for Grassroots during Thursday's session. Their top filly, an Arizona-bred daughter of Spun to Run (hip 625), sold for $120,000 after working in :9.4. @SGrimmTDN

Woodford Buys Bolt d'Oro Filly

The day's highest-priced filly (hip 643) went the way of Woodford Thoroughbreds for $450,000 early in Thursday's third session of OBSAPR. By Bolt d'Oro, who also had an $800,000 colt sell during Wednesday's session, the filly worked her furlong in:10.

“I liked the stallion and I think he's held his own in a very competitive Kentucky stallion market,” said Will Walden. “And I'd say his fillies probably more than his colts have turned out to have been his more predominant runners. Physically, she's a long, scopey, racy-type filly that I think will stretch out and get two turns. She had a lot of quality. Every time I went back to the barn, she was the ultimate professional and I just fell in love with her.”

Will Walden (right) with Niall Brennan | Photos by Z

It was the filly's fourth time through the sales ring after she failed to meet her reserve as a yearling at both Fasig-Tipton's October and July yearling sales. But Walden noted that the filly could have value for Woodford well beyond her racing career.

“We'll see how her [racing] career goes. Her pedigree is a little light right now but she's got a sister that's racing at Oaklawn and Bolt d'Oro has been, by far, the best stallion the dam has visited so there should be more in the pipeline. But she's beautiful and I'd like to think that, in the future, she'd have beautiful babies.”

Hip 643 was one of two fillies going home to Woodford after they went for an Omaha Beach filly (hip 127) during Tuesday's opening session.

Walden continued: “We bought a [Omaha Beach filly] for $390,000 early in the week. We came to buy that Caracaro filly that Donato Lanni got [hip 199] for the Three Amigos and didn't even get a hand up so it's been competitive. Seems like the market has fluctuated. Tuesday started off soft, Wednesday was strong, Thursday was a little soft so hopefully the pattern holds and tomorrow's a strong day.” @SGrimmTDN

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