06/20/2002 11:00PM

College Honor may be special

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The OBS June sale of 2-year-olds in training, on Tuesday and Wednesday, was the best ever.

There were 440 horses cataloged, and after the outs and a relatively low buy-back rate of 24 percent (it was 31 percent a year ago), 241 were listed as sold for an average price of $18,961. Last year's June sale recorded 226 selling for an average of $16,857. The median price this year of $9,700 was within a few dollars of the 2001 median.

Farnsworth Farms was the leading consignor for the second straight year. Mike Sherman's team sold 34 2-year-olds for a gross of $941,700, including the sales topper and June sale record-maker College Honor, Hip No. 2, who went to William J. Condren for $310,000. The purchase made Condren the leading buyer at the two-day sale.

College Honor is a dark bay or brown colt from the first crop of the multiple graded stakes winner Double Honor (Gone West-Holiday Snow, by Storm Bird.) He was the hype horse of the sale when he breezed three furlongs in 33.40 seconds, galloped out in 46 and change, and pulled up in 1:02. Not only was it the swiftest time for the sales's under tack show, College Honor was a study in efficiency.

"He might be the best moving horse I have ever sold. I can't think of any horse that moved better or impressed us more," said Sherman.

Camptown Miss, dam of the sales topper, is a young winning and producing daughter of Carr de Naskra. Her first two foals to the races, both colts by Jeblar, are multiple winners. The next dam is the multiple stakes winner Passolyn (by Fast Passer), the dam of two blacktype earners.

Farnsworth Farms manager Bill Allen expressed satisfaction with the sales results. "Double Honor was our star," he said. "We sold 17 of them for an average of about $40,000. It helps when a freshman stud gets winners early. Double Honor has three so far, two here in America and another in Italy; so it looks like they can grass, too."

Hip No. 357 was the sale's second highest price. From the first crop of the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Grand Slam and out of a producing daughter of Turkoman, Prairie Slam, consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. zipped a quarter mile in 21.60 and galloped out in 34. Red Curtain, acting as agent for Frank Calabrese, won a bidding duel against Mike McMahon with a bid of $180,000 for the chestnut colt, who was a Keeneland Fall Sales buy-back at $35,000. Prairie Slam will go to Arlington Park and trainer Wayne Catalano.

Elusive Quality, yet another multiple graded stakes winner by Gone West, is also a debut stallion. And from his first crop is Hip No. 168, a bay colt who is a half-brother to the current graded stakes-placed Chamrousse. Consigned by Gabriel Dixon, the colt had equalled the fastest furlong workout of the sale - a furlong in 10.40. His final bid of $130,000 by Tony Gordon, agent for Alfred J. Hemlock, was the third best of the sale.

"It's been quite a year," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager. "We started with so much uncertainty - 9-11 and the questionable economy. And to get the kind of results we did, is a testament to the underlying economic strength of our industry."

The next Ocala sale will be the Aug. 19-22 yearling sale.