By Jessica Martini
OCALA, FL – Steady trade continued through the second session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company June Sale of 2-Year-Olds Thursday in Central Florida, with a filly by Nyquist bringing the day's top bid when selling for $420,000 to Gary Hartunian's Rockingham Ranch. The session-topping juvenile was consigned by Eddie Woods.
“It was another good day,” OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski said at the close of business Thursday. “We carried a lot of the momentum that we had yesterday into today and I think it will carry on through tomorrow.”
With two sessions in the books, OBS has sold 380 head for $15,776,500. The two-day average is $41,517 and the median is $18,000. With 106 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 21.8%.
Through two sessions of the pandemic-delayed 2020 sale, 336 head had sold for $9,395,600 for an average of $27,963 and a median of $13,000. At the close of the day, the buy-back rate was 28.3%.
In 2019, 429 juveniles had sold through two session for a gross of $13,839,200. The average was $32,259 and the median was $17,000. The buy-back rate at the end of the second session in 2019 was 25.4%.
Sellers had concerns that the middle and lower end of the market would be weaker without the presence of Korean buyers, but Wojciechowski said the domestic bench had stepped up, not just at the June sale, but throughout the spring.
“I think there has been strength throughout the market,” he said. “Particularly on an overall scale for the 2-year-old season, we were missing a big part of our buying bench in the Koreans. I went on the record in March that I thought we could pick up the slack and I got a few sideways looks, but I think domestically, we've done a great job of picking up the slack and filling the hole that the Koreans left in the market. Hopefully, they will be back next year. But I still think one thing that has impressed at this sale and throughout the season is the depth that we've had in the market.”
Consignors still felt the absence of the Korean buyers, who are not only traditionally prolific buyers in the middle and lower market, but also tend to force other buyers to bid higher.
“There is money for the right horses, but if you don't have the horse, it's over,” Woods said. “There is no one for the rest. We are missing our Koreans for the mopping up. And I suppose there are only so many horses that can get bought anyway.”
Still, competition for the perceived quality lots was still strong as the juvenile sales season marched towards its conclusion.
“This is our fifth [purchase],” Lloyd said after signing the ticket on the session topper. “But yesterday we got outrun four out of five times. It's very competitive. The ones that look good and perform well, they are going to get sold. The market is strong and it's going to continue to get stronger. We are through COVID and the purses in New York and Kentucky and Arkansas are so huge.”
The OBS June sale concludes with a final session Friday with bidding beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Nyquist Filly to Rockingham Ranch
“We loved this filly,” Lloyd said. “She is a beautiful filly. Eddie is a good friend of mine. He was telling me about her and how he gave her the time off. And when you give a young horse time off like that and they come around like that, this is what you get. She goes from here to the races. We're very excited.”
“I loved the length of her stride,” Lloyd said of the juvenile. “She's a scopey filly. You can see that she hit a growing spell.”
Lloyd, who did his bidding from the back of the pavilion while on the phone with Hartunian, had to outlast Donato Lanni, who was doing his bidding out back. Lloyd admitted he had often come out on the losing side of bidding battles with the well-backed Lanni.
“In September, we were the direct underbidder five times,” Lloyd said of bidding against Lanni. “And then, seven other times when I quit at $250,000, they lapped me…$500,000, $510,000. Twelve horses that I landed on, Donato bought.”
Woods's pinhooking partnership Quarter Pole Enterprises purchased the chestnut filly for $200,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
“She was in the Fasig [Gulfstream] catalogue, but she just wasn't hitting right,” Woods explained. “I turned her out for five weeks and brought her back. I didn't want to bring her to Timonium because she's too big, so we had no option but to come here. But it worked out. She was always going to be a nice filly regardless of where we went. We are really happy with how it turned out.”
Another Imprecation for Roden
Bloodstock agent Alistair Roden, who purchased subsequent multiple graded stakes winner Anothertwistafate (Scat Daddy) and multiple graded placed Ajourneytofreedom (Hard Spun) from the OBS sales ring, purchased a third juvenile out of the mare Imprecation (First Defence) when he went to $350,000 to acquire a filly by Dialed In (hip 418) on behalf of Peter Redekop Thursday in Ocala.
“I know the family very well,” Roden said with a smile after signing the ticket on the filly, who was consigned by Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables on behalf of breeder Bryant Prentice. “When I first saw her, I thought she was like Ajourneytofreedom, but the more I looked at her, she was more like Anothertwistafate. She's large and well-balanced, a fancy-looking filly. The family seems to really improve. They all seem to be that type of a family, they are not wow horses in the springtime, but they seem to get better.”
Roden purchased Anothertwistafate for Redekop for $360,000 at the 2018 OBS June sale, just a week after Scat Daddy's Justify completed his Triple Crown sweep in the GI Belmont S. The handsome colt won the 2020 GIII Longacres Mile H. and this year's GII San Gabriel S. Ajourneytofreedom was purchased for $180,000 at the 2019 OBS April sale just as his half-brother was making a push towards that year's Classics.
“I didn't see her at Gulfstream,” Roden said. “I saw the breeze and it wasn't the best of breezes, but Ciaran told me what his theory was. He's a good guy and we like buying off of him and his whole team over there. The breeze here was pheneomonal. We are happy to get her.”
Of the filly's experience at Gulfstream, Dunne said, “It was probably trainer/consignor error. We were very high on the filly earlier in the year, but she was immature mentally and physically. And in hindsight, I should have just waited and gone to April with her. She was a filly who always needed to go a quarter, she was very keen and anxious to please. In Miami, she was a little bit frenzied. Whereas here, going a quarter, she had the time to level out and smooth out. The farther she went here, the better she got.”
The dark bay filly's dam Imprecation is a daughter of group winner Media Nox (GB) (Lycius) and is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Nebraska Tornado (Storm Cat), group winner Burning Sun (Danzig) and group-placed Mirabilis (Lear Fan).
Prentice purchased the mare for $223,246 at the 2013 Tattersalls December sale.
“It's a beautiful family,” Dunne said. “It's a family that has been good to us as sellers and to Mr. Prentice as a breeder. We sold Anothertwistafate in June, so maybe that's where that family has to go, June instead of Gulfstream.”
Of similarities between the siblings, Dunne said, “I think she is a mare who really throws to a stallion. Anothertwistafate was as pretty a horse as we ever had. Tall and elegant, he had that long Scat Daddy look to him. This filly here, you can really see the Dialed In and a little bit of Mineshaft. So I think she's a mare who really throws to the stallion. And the Hard Spun was different to the two of them again. But all of them are really good training horses. Hopefully she is as successful as her two brothers. If she is, it's a wonderful pedigree.”
Glassmans Strike for Hard Spun Colt
Karl and Cathi Glassman struck midway through Thursday's second session of the OBS June sale to acquire a colt by Hard Spun (hip 506) for $335,000 from the Eisaman Equine consignment. The bay colt will be trained by Maryland-based conditioner Brittany Russell.
“I trust everything that Barry Eisaman does,” Karl Glassman said when asked about the juvenile's appeal. “So Barry's background had a lot to do with it.”
The bay colt, who worked a furlong in :10 3/5 during last week's under-tack show, is out of the unraced Lovisa (Speightstown), a half-sister to stakes winner High Noon Rider (Distorted Humor) and stakes winner and group-placed Poupee Flash (Elusive Quality). His third dam is Chimes of Freedom (Private Account), who produced champion Aldebaran and Grade I winner Good Journey.
“The Hard Spuns are just good, durable horses, so I know that he's not going to be real precocious,” Glassman said. “Genetically, he looks like he should be a two-turn runner. We are patient. The horse's welfare is what is most important to us. and I know Barry and Shari have done a great job taking care of him.”
The Eisamans purchased the colt for $100,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
Glassman is chairman and chief executive officer of the Missouri-based Leggett & Platt, a diversified manufacturer of various components and products.
The couple, who split their time between Florida and Missouri, have campaigned stakes winner April Gaze (High Cotton) and stakes placed Restofthestory (Jess's Dream).
Of their current racing stable, Glassman said, “Brad Cox has three, Eddie Plesa has nine and now Brittany will have four.”