05/01/2013 5:11PM

DRF Breeding Hot Sires: OBS sale puts young stallions in spotlight

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Two Step SalsaSerita Holt courtesy of Get Away FarmTwo Step Salsa

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training concluded its four-day run April 25 by obliterating the previous year’s record-setting results in gross, average, and median. A total of 39 juveniles each sold for $200,000 or more, up from 21 in 2012, continuing the strong upper-market trend that buoyed activity at the boutique 2-year-old sales earlier this spring.

With a much larger catalog of 1,195 horses, the OBS spring auction also drew a host of middle-market buyers willing to take a chance on progeny from younger, less established stallions. When the last horse cleared the sales ring, several of these up-and-comers had made a strong impression, including two first-crop sires – WinStar Farm’s Colonel John and Get Away Farm’s Two Step Salsa – as well as Darley second-crop sire Street Boss.

Colonel John, a WinStar homebred 8-year-old son of Tiznow whose racing career included one of the most exciting wins in Travers Stakes history in 2008, finished the OBS spring sale with six juveniles sold from nine offered, with total receipts of $900,000 and an average of $150,000.

His group was led by a filly out of the Smart Strike mare More Oats Please and from the family of Apple Blossom winner Miss Baja who sold for $300,000 to Conquest Stables. The filly was consigned by Scanlon Training Center as agent. Right behind her was a $290,000 colt purchased by agent Steve Young. The horse is out of the Dixieland Band mare Always Ready, who is a half-sister to top international sire More Than Ready.

Colonel John, who stands for $15,000 in 2013, entered the juvenile-auction season off a solid debut at the yearling sales last summer and fall, where his first crop averaged more than $83,000 and included 17 six-figure horses. He had two six-figure juveniles sell at the OBS March select auction and one at Keeneland’s April sale, but the young stallion boosted his profile at Ocala’s larger spring sale just before the 2-year-old racing calendar rolls out in full over the summer.

Seven 2-year-olds by Darley’s Grade 1 winner and multiple track record-setter Street Boss sold from nine offered at the OBS spring sale, for a total of $904,000 and an average of $129,143. His top price, a filly out of Sigatoo, by Black Minnaloushe, sold for $250,000 to Rockingham Racing, agent. The filly, consigned by de Meric Sales as agent, is from the family of English and Irish champion and leading sire El Gran Senor and Grade 2 winner and sire Strong Hope.

She initially sold for $2,000 as a weanling at the 2011 Keeneland November sale, and then brought $10,000 as a yearling at last fall’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale, before becoming Street Boss’s highest-priced juvenile this sales season.

Three other Street Boss juveniles brought six-figure prices during the OBS spring auction, including a $190,000 colt out of the Valid Appeal mare Credential bought by Ahmed Zayat and pinhooked by Greg and Karen Dodd’s Southern Chase Farm, which paid $60,000 for him as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale.

The 9-year-old son of Darley’s stalwart sire Street Cry also was represented by two six-figure juveniles at the Barretts March sale and one six-figure juvenile apiece at the OBS March and Fasig-Tipton Florida auctions. In addition, his 3-year-old Capo Bastone, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year, served notice that he is rounding back into his best form with a fast-closing, runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Derby Trial on April 27.

One of the brightest new stars at the hugely successful OBS sale turned out to be Florida-based freshman sire Two Step Salsa, as 11 of his 12 juveniles offered at the auction not only made it to the ring but left with new owners, and the remaining hip sold privately for a perfect strike rate. His horses brought a total of $894,500 for a solid $74,542 average, and they touched every market level, ranging from $8,500 to the sale’s fourth-highest price at $420,000.

That colt, a Florida-bred out of the stakes-placed Pioneering mare Homesteader, was purchased by Conquest from Barry and Shari Eisaman’s successful Ocala-area pinhooking operation, which paid $20,000 for him as a yearling at last August’s OBS sale. Two Step Salsa also had a $120,000 colt named Dance With Fate who was bought by Joseph Ciaglia Jr., and had three more juveniles sell for $60,000 to $75,000.

An 8-year-old son of Petionville, Two Step Salsa was retired to Manuel Andrade’s Get Away Farm in Lowell, Fla., for the 2010 breeding season after winning half of his dozen career starts and earning $1,104,040. He excelled on the West Coast for owner-breeder Jeff Nielsen and trainer Julio Canani, winning the Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes at seven furlongs and the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed Handicap, both Grade 3 races, in back-to-back starts during Hollywood Park’s 2008 spring-summer meeting.

Two Step Salsa changed owners twice in quick succession following a third-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile that fall at Santa Anita, ending up with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin, which shipped him to Dubai for the winter. He rewarded his new connections with two wins in as many starts, including a memorable victory over Gayego in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on the World Cup undercard.

Andrade acquired a full interest in Two Step Salsa after his racing career concluded in 2009. The horse stands for an advertised fee of $5,000 this year.