10/09/2007 11:00PM

$40K topper at OBS open session

EmailAfter posting gains and a six-figure topper at its consignor-preferred sessions, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed auction ended its first open day Wednesday in Ocala, Fla., with a $40,000 session topper.

That was the price Marion Montanari paid to acquire the 6-year-old broodmare Amazer from Padua Stables (Janie Roper, agent). The stakes-placed daughter of Quaker Ridge was carrying an Exchange Rate foal. She is a half-sister to another stakes-placed runner, Mighty David.

The Wednesday session sold 144 horses for $1,004,400, resulting in a $6,975 average. The 2007 gross was more than double the gross at last year's first open session, which sold 108 horses for $487,300. The 2007 average also was up by 55 percent over last year's figure of $4,511.

A $185,000 weanling colt by Closing Argument topped the two consignor-preferred sessions that ended Tuesday evening. Tuesday's session sold 129 horses for $3,270,200, down from the $4,403,400 grossed last year for a larger group of 201 horses. But average price increased 16 percent, from $21,907 to $25,350, and the $17,000 median was up 70 percent from last year's figure of $10,000. The buyback rate, however, was high at 47 percent versus 34 percent in 2006.

The session-topping Closing Argument colt went to Buzz Chace, agent, who purchased him on behalf of the L & F Stable pinhooking venture of Terry Finley and Lewis Lakin. Beth Bayer, agent, sold the colt.

The OBS fall mixed sale's open sessions were to continue through Friday at the OBS facility in Ocala. Sessions begin daily at 11 a.m.