08/16/2007 11:00PM

16 first-crop sires at yearling sale

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The annual Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. yearling auction begins Monday with 248 yearlings cataloged for its selected sale. The open sale has 1,260 cataloged to be sold in four consecutive sessions beginning Tuesday and ending Friday. Sales time for all the sessions is 11 a.m.

There are 16 stallions who stand in Florida with first crops represented at this sale, including the Grade 1 millionaires Peace Rules (Vinery) and Burning Roma (Hidden Point Farm). Also among the first-crop stallions is Belmont Stakes winner Sarava. Sarava was relocated to Martin Stables South after Cloverleaf II shut down. He will stand at Martin Stables South in 2008.

The distinction of most yearlings cataloged by a first-crop stallion goes to Bridlewood Farm's Black Mambo with four in the selected segment and 32 more in the open sessions. Elusive Quality has two sons with first crops selling at these sales - Omega Code, a Grade 3 stakes winner with 11 in the selected session and 24 more in the open sessions, and Gimmeawink, a six-time stakes winner with two in the selected and 14 more in the open sessions.

Among the Florida sires cataloged who have first crops at the races and who have had youngsters win stakes are Full Mandate (A.P. Indy), who has 39 yearlings cataloged, Macho Uno (Holy Bull) with 11 cataloged, and Trust N Luck (Montbrook) with seven.

There have been three major yearling auctions. Fasig-Tipton held its annual July sale in Lexington, Ky., and its selected and open sales at Saratoga. The number of yearlings sold was up at Lexington, but the tally for both the average and the median was down moderately from 2006. More yearlings also were sold in both Saratoga auctions. However, the averages and the medians dipped from last year's levels.

"Based on last season's 2-year-old sales market and the recent results of the yearling sales, I would expect the results of our sale to be within 10 percentage points of last year's numbers," said OBS sales director and general manager Tom Ventura who attended all three Fasig-Tipton yearling auctions.

"This sale has an excellent record of producing quality runners and it has attracted interest from overseas buyers from Italy, Ireland, and the U.K. Those interested in selected sales caliber yearlings, can see conformation photos of these yearlings on our website."

Two horsemen mourned

Gerald R. Sutton, usually called "GR" by friends and colleagues, died this past week at age 84. Sutton raised both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at his farm, which he called Sutton Place. Through the 1970s and 80s, Sutton sponsored an annual informal race meet each spring at Sutton Place where Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds were "tested" before starting or resuming an official career.

Sutton also was in the construction business and is credited with developing about 200 farms in the Ocala area.

Wayne Blackwell, owner of Wile-a-Way Farms, also died this week at the age of 70. Blackwell is survived by sons Sam and Troy and their children. Like Sutton, Blackwell was in the contracting business. His mares, usually numbering between eight and 10, were employed to restock his stable. Blackwell was successful breeding for the races and among his better known homebreds was Sam's Sunny Hour, a multiple stakes winner who retired to stand at Wile-a-Way Farms.