10/06/2005 11:00PM

Dispersals boost fall mixed sale


The annual Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed sale gets under way Monday and continues through Friday. The consignors' preferred catalog has 962 lots and goes through Wednesday. The open sessions, Hips No. 963 to 1,519, sell on Thursday and Friday. Featured in this year's auction is phase two of the Farnsworth Farms dispersal and the continuing dispersal of Four Horsemen's Ranch's breeding and racing stock.

Farnsworth Farms has consigned 164 broodmares to this sale. There are 66 broodmares believed to be in foal to the farm's resident sire Double Honor and 49 believed in foal to farm sire Suave Prospect. Nine mares are believed to be in foal to Line in the Sand, who was exported to Thailand earlier this year. All three stallions, Double Honor, Suave Prospect, and Line in the Sand, are in the race to become Florida's leading sire by progeny earnings for 2005.

Suave Prospect, like former Florida stallion Robyn Dancer, is headed to Coleman Farms in New Mexico where he will stand for $6,500 for the 2006 season.

"Suave Prospect will do very well in New Mexico, just as he has done in Florida," said Farnsworth Farms owner Mike Sherman. "This leaves us with Adcat and Double Honor, and we're listening to offers."

Both Four Horsemen's Ranch, which has consigned 28 broodmares to this sale, and Farnsworth Farms have reserved their weanlings to sell as yearlings at the '06 January mixed sale.

"By postponing the sale of the weanlings a few months, it gives the later foals a chance to develop," said Jeff Schwietert of Four Horsemen's Ranch, echoing the rationale of Sherman and Farnsworth Farms for not including its weanlings in the October sale.

Two highlights of the Four Horsemen's Ranch dispersal are the half-sisters Rabba Jabba Doo (Hip No. 342) and Enduring Legacy (343). Both mares are half-sisters to four stakes winners, including Star Over the Bay, a Grade 1 winner who died earlier this year from an injury when competing in Singapore. Rabba Jabba Doo, by Rajab, the senior of the pair, is believed in foal to Northern Afleet, while the younger half-sister, by Saint Ballado, is cataloged as in foal to the '04 Eclipse sprint champion Speightstown.

Songandaprayer's influence felt

The nation's leading first-crop sire, Songandaprayer, has relocated to Kentucky, but not before covering a full book this past year in Florida. Fourteen mares believed in foal to him have been cataloged to the mixed sale. Summerfield Sales (Frances and Barbara Vanlangendonck) is the agent for seven of these mares pregnant by Songandaprayer.

Put It Back, the Bridlewood Farm stallion who is represented in his first crop by In Summation, the unbeaten stakes winner and favorite for the Oct. 15 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course, did not have a buzz going for him at last year's fall mixed sale. While the stallion's '04 yearling average was 16 times his stud fee, mares in foal to him averaged less than twice that $3,500 fee. Those low averages are undoubtedly a thing of the past. Now among the more successful first-crop sires, Put It Back, a son of Honour and Glory, has eight weanlings and 11 mares in the sale, and the buzz is there.

Lady Shirl top class all around

The Oct. 1 Breeders' Cup Preview Day at Belmont gave Irish Acres Farm's Noel Hickey a good dose of nostalgia. Shakespeare, who won the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Invitational Turf Cup, is out of Lady Shirl, the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner whom Hickey bred and raced. Lady Shirl won the 1991 renewal of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational, also renewed Oct. 1.

"Ah," recalled Hickey, "not only was Lady Shirl a top-class racemare, now she is a top-class producer."

Hickey has no members of Lady Shirl's family in stud. He does, however, have several daughters of the late That's a Nice, sire of Lady Shirl. Hickey sold Lady Shirl privately in 1993 for an offer he says he could not refuse.

"Turns out she was a good sale and a good buy," he said.