01/09/2004 1:00AM

Expectations high, catalog strong for OBS mixed auction

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The first Florida sale of the new year begins next Monday when the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company conducts its annual winter mixed auction, Jan. 19-22.

"The financial markets and the economy are getting stronger," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and sales director, "and these factors should have a positive effect on the horse business. Our sales have been improving quality-wise and this is among the best catalogs OBS has offered."

The OBS has cataloged 1,090 lots with 440 of them in the consignors preferred sessions on Monday and Tuesday. There also are 42 head that make up the reduction of Irish Acres Farm breeding and racing stock.

There are 510 yearlings and about the same number of broodmares being offered in the four sessions. The balance of the sales horses are a mix of racehorses and racing and breeding prospects. Among the horses being offered as racing prospects is the Irish Acres Farm multiple stakes winner Colorful Tour and his yearling full sister.

The starting time for each of the four sessions is 11 a.m.

More stallion showings

Ocala stallion showings continue through January. The Signature Stallions showing is set for next Saturday from 11-3 p.m.

Signature stallions include Cohiba, Dollar Bill, Mongoose, Middlesex Drive, Straight Man, Texas Glitter, The Silver Move, and Unbridled Time.

"We'll be serving snacks, showing the horses, have a raffle or two for some stallion seasons, and some other stuff," said Adam Staple of Signature Stallions.

Bridlewood Farm will have its annual stallion showing next Sunday from 1-4 p.m., and this is by invitation only (a phone call gets most an invitation). During the Bridlewood Farm parade of stallions, a lottery will be held to award free seasons. The Bridlewood stallions include Forbidden Apple, Frosty the Snowman, Lightnin N Thunder, Personal First, Put It Back, Skip Trial, Vicksburg, and Wild Event.

The Clover Leaf Farm II and Rising Hill Farm stallion showing will take place the following week.

Big year for Double Honor

Farnsworth Farms' second-crop stallion Double Honor (Gone West-Holiday Snow, by Storm Bird) piled up the statistics the last two months of 2003.

Double Honor won two Florida titles for the 2003 campaign. He was the leading sire of 2-year-old winners with 26 winners from 43 starters, and he was the leading second-crop sire with 69 winners from 95 starters, three stakes winners, and accumulated earnings of $2.2 million.

"You know how I like my stallions to have speed genes," said Mike Sherman of Farnsworth Farms. "I thought Double Honor would fill this requirement when I bought him as a stallion prospect. The bonus I am getting is that Double Honor's get look like they have turf genes, too. Actually, since he is out of a Storm Bird mare, I should have considered his turf potential sooner than I did."

Sherman was referring to the 4-year-old filly All the Honor, who is 3 for 3 on the turf. She was bred by Lori Fackler and Sheila Kagan and races for Thorobeam Stable. Eddie Plesa Jr. is her trainer.

All the Honor's latest victory came in the Auld Lang Syne Stakes at Calder on the last day of 2003.

Ocala Stud's Concerto was the runnerup to Double Honor for leading second-season sire in Florida. The son of Chief's Crown had 54 starters and 42 of them won, including four stakes winners. Progeny earnings came in at $1.8 million. Hidden Point Farm's Family Calling, by Mr. Prospector, was Florida's leading freshman sire with 19 winners from 42 starters.