09/25/2008 11:00PM

Fall sale an early indicator for these six

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The yearling market trend, since the Fasig-Tipton auction of mid July, has been somewhat bearish. The recently concluded Keeneland yearling sales confirmed a weak market. But, is this a short- or long-term trend?

As one wag put it: “In times of uncertainty when the option is to sell the boat or forgo horse buying, wives usually opt to keep the boat.”

The first test of what could be labeled the Thoroughbred futures market begins in Ocala, Fla., on Oct. 6 when the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company hosts its annual fall mixed sale. There are precisely 1,000 cataloged to the three-day sale. Weanlings are in the majority, 517 of them, followed by broodmares or broodmare prospects (460), concluding with 23 yearlings. There are 348 cataloged in the consignors preferred session, with the balance selling Oct. 7-8 in the open session. Sales time for all three sessions is 10:30 a.m.

Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and sales director, offers his outlook: “With over 500 weanlings in the catalog, the OBS fall mixed sale gives a first look at the 2008 crops. Especially of interest will be the first crops of young stallions, as buyers try to predict the next top sires in the pipeline. Astute buyers can take advantage of the current economic uncertainty to acquire future breeding stock and racing prospects at good values as the pendulum is presently swinging in their favor.”

There are six Florida resident stallions that won or placed in graded stakes with first crops going to market in this sale. They are Congrats (22 cataloged), Imperialism (10), Mass Media (6), Pomeroy (18), The Daddy (7), and With Distinction (37).

Hartley/De Renzo stands the Storm Cat stallion With Distinction for a fee of $7,500 live foal. Books of 100 or more are not uncommon for the Hartley/De Renzo operation, so it comes as no surprise that With Distinction covered 178 mares in his first season at stud, and the result of these covers is a first crop of 114, according to Jockey Club statistics. Of this crop of 114, there are 19 colts and 18 fillies cataloged to sell in the OBS fall mixed sale.

With Distinction was a sprinter-miler who made 29 starts at 3, at 4, and 5. He won six of these races, including the Grade 3 El Conejo Handicap.

Congrats stands at the Vinery. He is an 8-year-old stallion by A.P. Indy and is a full brother to the successful Claiborne sire Flatter. Congrats won 7 of 26 races from 2 through 6. He won the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap and placed in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup, earning just under $1 million.

Congrats entered stud at the now-defunct Cloverleaf II, where he was bred to 172 mares his first season. Of that 172 there are currently 107 registered yearlings, and 8 of his colts and 14 of his fillies are cataloged to the sale. The ’08 fee for Congrats was $12,500 live foal

Imperialism, who entered stud and stands at Manny Andrade’s Get Away Farm, home of Florida’s current third-ranked sire Double Honor, made 29 starts from 2 through 5. He won the Grade 2 San Rafael and the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien. Now 7, Imperialism finished second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and third in the Kentucky Derby. He entered stud with earnings of $899,772.

There are 42 yearlings in Imperialism’s first crop. A gray or roan son of Langfuhr out of the multiple stakes producer Bodhavista, Imperialism is coloring his get with his pigmentation. Of the 10 weanlings cataloged in the fall mixed sale, three fillies and two colts have gray or roan coats. Imperialism’s fee is $5,000 live foal.

Pomeroy was among the top sprinters of his age group. The now-7-year-old stallion won the Grade 1 King’s Bishop, Grade 1 Forego, and Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, earning $845,050. He is by Boundary, sire of Big Brown, and from an international black-type family.

Pomeroy stands at the Vinery for $10,000 live foal, and in 2007 150 mares were bred to him. According to the Jockey Club, there are 99 foals in his first crop.

Mass Media stands at Journeyman Stud for $5,000 live foal. He won the Grade 1 Forego as a 4-year-old. Mass Media is a 7-year-old by Touch Gold from the famed family of Sultry Sun, a graded-stakes-winning mare who produced the Grade 1 stakes winners Sultry Song ($1.6 million) and Solar Splendor ($1.3 million).

Mass Media was bred to 80 mares in ’07, and he is the sire of 45 registered foals.

The Daddy, winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby, won 3 of 4 lifetime starts. His Florida connections include his sire, Valid Expectations; his dam, who is by With Approval; and the next dam, who is by Royal and Regal. All of them stood in Florida.

The Daddy holds court at Martin Stables South for a fee of $5,000 live foal. His first crop has 50 registered foals.