02/04/2005 12:00AM

First-crop sires well represented at OBS sale

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Confidence is always high for the first of Florida's five 2-year-olds in training sales. As usual, the first of these auctions is hosted by the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company. This year's sales begins at noon Eastern on Tuesday at Calder Race Course.

"We have 207 cataloged," said Tom Ventura, OBS sales director and general manager. "This is as good a looking group of horses we have cataloged in years, with many by newcomers to the stallion ranks. I don't have a crystal ball, but all the signs point to a strong sale."

The newcomers referred to by Ventura include the Florida residents Delaware Township, Exchange Rate, Songandaprayer, and Trippi - all with at least three 2-year-olds cataloged. Additional Florida stallions with freshmen crop representations are Austin Power, Put It Back, and Snuck In.

Delaware Township, a two-time Grade 1 stakes winner of slightly less than $1 million, was a sprinting son of Notebook. Speed was his racing game and he is expected to pass it along to his get. In 2004, 39 yearlings by Delaware Township were cataloged and 32 sold for an average of $94,634 and a median price of $72,817. He stands at Padua Stables for a fee of $6,500. There are five 2-year-olds by Delaware Township cataloged in this sale.

Padua Stables has another freshman sire in this sale in Exchange Rate, who stands for a fee of $7,500 and has three cataloged. Exchange Rate, himself a million-dollar- plus yearling, won the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap and the Risen Star Stakes. Last year, 27 of his yearlings went to market and 23 of them sold for an average of $47,848 and a median of $35,000.

Songandaprayer, owned by Randy Hartley and Dean DeRenzo and based at Walmac South, has a good bit of buzz going for him thanks to the success of his sire, Unbridled's Song. Songandaprayer was a stakes winner at 2, taking the Huntington at Aqueduct. He won Gulfstream Park's Grade 1 Fountain of Youth and placed in both the Grade 1 Blue Grass and the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup. He is bred to be quick and comes from the same family as Montbrook. There were 40 yearlings by Songandaprayer cataloged in 2004. Of this group, 33 sold for an average of $71,182 and a median of $60,000.

Rounding out the Florida freshmen stallions with three or more going to the OBS sale is Trippi. A son of End Sweep based at Ocala Stud, Trippi won five stakes and placed in two more in 12 tries. Chief among his wins was the Grade 1 Vosburgh Handicap, where he defeated Delaware Township. Trippi is a half-brother to three stakes winners and a fourth who was stakes placed. He stands for $7,500 and last year sent 48 yearlings to market. Of that group, 38 sold for an average of $60,994 and a median of $47,500.

The remaining Florida freshmen stallions with get cataloged are Austin Power, Put It Back, and Snuck In. Austin Power, standing at Lou-Roe Farm for $2,500, has a light racing record - he started twice in Japan and placed both times - with a compensating strong pedigree, as he is by Sunday Silence and out of the family that has produced Rahy, Singspiel, Saint Ballado, and Devil's Bag. Put It Back is a Grade 2 stakes-winning son of Honour and Glory standing at Bridlewood Farm for $3,500. His racing forte was speed and he has the family to back it up. Snuck In, at CloverLeaf Farms II, is a graded-stakes-winning son of Montbrook. Snuck In was a sprinter-miler and stands for a fee of $3,500.

The OBS conducts two under-tack shows. The first was held last Monday. The second is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Calder. Those who missed the first showing and those who cannot attend this Sunday's showing will be able to call up the video workouts on each at the viewing booths located in the Calder saddling paddock