By Brian DiDonato
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training will continue as scheduled, OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski told the TDN Tuesday. The decision comes as organizers and administrators for institutions and events around the world grapple with just how seriously to take the Coronavirus outbreak.
“We're monitoring the situation, but we are moving forward with the sale,” Wojciechowski said. “There have been no restrictions placed on us by a government agency–it's a fluid situation, but right now with the investment that's at stake for our consignors and other participants, we're going to continue to move forward.”
Wojciechowski continued, “Internationally, we still have buyers who are planning on being here from Japan and Korea. We've had multiple conversations with them–there are no restrictions on them traveling to the United States currently, and they know that… There's probably a lot of misinformation and unnecessary fear out there right now. We need to focus on facts and being diligent. Like someone said, it's a normal good hygiene practice to wash your hands frequently. We will have some additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility, but I think people who come here and who are attending events in general are obviously cognizant of what's going on and they'll practice safety measures of their own.”
Under-tack shows will be held this Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting at 8:00 a.m., while sale sessions will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 10:30 a.m.
OBS March will also be the first North American auction held after Monday's industry-shaking revelations that 27 individuals, including high-profile trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, have been indicted for alleged doping of racehorses.
“A lot of our industry organizations have spoken eloquently about the things that transpired [Monday],” Wojciechowski said. “While it is unfortunate, hopefully the industry looks at it as a good thing moving forward. I've actually had some people suggest that it may bode well for the market and that people will have a little more confidence to buy–that perhaps they'll be participating on a more level playing field.”