Tom Ventura

Sales Companies Jointly Announce Strengthened Medication Policies

Enhanced medication policies will be in effect at all the major auctions in the U.S. beginning July 1, leading North American sales companies Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company and Ocala Breeders' Sales Company jointly announced Tuesday morning. The changes were made in an effort "to safeguard the welfare of the horse while creating greater clarity and consistency among the nation's three major U.S. Thoroughbred auction houses," according to the release, and are the result of meetings between the three companies begun last October at the behest of the Horseracing Integrity and...

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$1.2-Million Tapit Colt Paces OBS March Opener

by Jessica Martini & Christina Bossinakis The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale opened Tuesday with a solid session, and while the 2-year-old sales are usually all about speed, the day was topped by a colt by Tapit who galloped during last week's under-tack show. From the Lothenbach dispersal, the youngster sold for $1.2 million to the partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds and D. J. Stables. He was consigned by Tom McCrocklin. "I think it points to the fact that the under-tack show is one metric," said...

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Facing A Two-Year Suspension For Clenbuterol, Trainer Jeffrey Englehart Says They've Got The Wrong Guy

On the surface, the case against trainer Jeffrey Englehart seems pretty cut and dried. He had a horse test positive for Clenbuterol, the bronchodilator that is on the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit's (HIWU) list of banned substances. Trainers found using banned substances can be suspended for up to two years. But Englehart, who races at the NYRA tracks and at Finger Lakes, is adamant that he never gave the drug to the horse in question. "We don't use Clenbuterol. Period," Englehart said. So is there more to this story?...

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Woods Signs For Top Two At OBS October Finale

Under his Quarter Pole Enterprises banner, noted yearling-to-juvenile reseller Eddie Woods signed for the two top horses during Wednesday's second and final session of the OBS October Sale in Central Florida. The veteran horseman paid $250,000 for a colt by promising young sire Mitole about a third of the way through the session and hung around to the bitter end, when he gave $150,000 for a colt from the first crop of Global Campaign (Curlin). The topper was the most-expensive at the October Sale since 2018, when a colt by...

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Steady Results as $1.3-Million Into Mischief Colt Stars at OBS Finale

by Jessica Martini & Christina Bossinakis OCALA, FL - The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training completed its four-day run Friday with a  new record gross and average and a record-tying median in an auction which closely mirrored the 2022 renewal which set high-water marks for all of those metrics. Through four sessions, 698 horses grossed $90,805,000. A year ago, 705 horses grossed a record $90,723,000. The 2023 average of $129,907 was up fractionally from $128,685. The median remained unchanged at $65,000. "It was a great...

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Market Opens Strong at OBS

by Brian DiDonato and Steve Sherack With the end of the coronavirus pandemic seemingly in sight, and both buyers and sellers eager to return to some semblance of normalcy, the opener of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training featured borderline euphoric trade from start to finish. A total of 160 head changed hands Tuesday for gross receipts of $18,482,500 at an average of $115,516 and a median of $62,500. The RNA rate as of Tuesday evening stood at 20%. While exact year-to-year comparisons are somewhat...

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Things Looking Up As OBS March Kicks Off New Sales Season

OCALA, FL- Hardy attempts at optimism were made at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale, but an unmistakably ominous atmosphere hung over the grounds. Before the first hip had even reached the walking ring in Ocala, both Keeneland's April Sale and Fasig-Tipton's Gulfstream Sale had been canceled as the tentacles of the Coronavirus pandemic tightened their grip around the nation. There was an unforgettable discord between the then-normalcy of crowded local restaurants and stores while sporting event and festival cancellations seemed to happen between the start of each...

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Xcira Provides Online Bidding Options at Keeneland and OBS

With pandemic-induced travel restrictions and crowd-size limitations nipping at its heels, the Thoroughbred auction scene finally made its debut on the internet this year, first with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale in June and most recently with the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The company tasked with helping both OBS and Keeneland offer their buyers the opportunity to bid online was Xcira Global Technologies. Founded by Gary and Nancy Rabenold, the Florida-based company helps facilitate online auctions across the globe in industries as diverse as art, livestock and automobiles....

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OBS President Tom Ventura Joins TDN Writers' Room

As president of the sale company that conducted the final auction before the coronavirus pandemic shut down society as well as the first one after restrictions were lifted, OBS's Tom Ventura has had to learn on the fly. Wednesday, he joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland to offer his advice for the rest of the industry on keeping business going amidst COVID-19 and his impressions of the rebounding sale market. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Ventura said of the lessons...

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TDN Writers' Room with Tom Ventura

OBS President Tom Ventura joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss the results of the OBS sales that occurred in the midst of the Coronavirus, and what OBS learned as an organization while operating under the unprecedented conditions.

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In Advance of Horse Influx, Human COVID-19 Testing Begins in Kentucky

by T.D. Thornton & Bill Finley Even before their stabling areas officially begin readmitting horses next week, Churchill Downs and Keeneland are already working in tandem to provide on-site COVID-19 testing of backstretch workers and licensed personnel who will be involved when racing resumes at Churchill May 16. A negative result will be required to gain access to both racetracks. The mandate of swab testing for all Kentucky racetrack personnel exceeds the scope of recommendations published May 7 by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). Bob Elliston, Keeneland's vice president...

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OBS to Press On With March Sale

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company reiterated its decision to continue on with its March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, amid COVID-19 concerns which have prompted Keeneland to cancel its April 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale scheduled for Apr. 7 and Fasig-Tipton to cancel its Apr. 1 Gulfstream Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training. "We are moving forward with the sale," confirmed OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski Friday evening shortly after a meeting of shareholders. "We have been listening to...

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