01/30/2004 1:00AM

First crop for Yes It's True on sale at OBS


The industry's oldest 2-year-olds in training sale takes place on Tuesday at Calder Race Course, starting at noon Eastern. The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company has cataloged 204 2-year-olds, mostly bred in Florida or Kentucky, three more than the 2003 sale.

Six Florida sires will be sending members of their first crop to the sale, with Yes It's True of Padua Stables heading the list with eight, followed by Straight Man of Signature Stallions with six. The remaining Florida stallions with newcomers are Dance Master (Padua Stud), Sweetsouthernsaint (Ocala Stud), Tiger Ridge (Hartley-DeRenzo Walmac South), and Untuttable (Stonehedge Farm South).

Slew Gin Fizz (Ocala Stud) also has 2-year-olds in the sale. He began serving mares in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in 2001 and his initial American crop gets to the races this year.

The Bold Ruler line survives mainly through Seattle Slew and his descendants. There are exceptions and one of these leads to Yes It's True, who earned slightly more than $1 million in a three-year campaign that saw him win 10 stakes, including the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash. He placed in five more stakes, including the Grade 1 Futurity and Grade 2 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity.

Yes It's True was well received in the 2003 yearling markets, where 29 of his offspring sold for an average of $57,593, or nearly six times his stud fee ($10,000). His highest-priced yearling was for a filly out of the mare Safety Deposit who sold for $170,000. Two yearling colts sold for more than $150,000.

Straight Man had fleet feet, winning 5 of 15 races at 3 and 4, including the Grade 2 Winnercomm Handicap at Churchill Downs. He was also second in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes.

Straight Man also has Bold Ruler blood, through his maternal grandsire, Cornish Prince. By the late Saint Ballado, Straight Man, like Yes It's True, has been bred to more than 100 mares since entering stud. Last year, 45 of his offspring went through the yearling auctions, averaging $30,441 or six times his stud fee ($5,000). A filly sold at the July yearling sales went for $160,000 and a colt sold at the September sales brought a bid of $155,000.

"We are anticipating a solid sale," said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and sales director. "The economics of the horse industry have been strong lately. OBS had a strong mixed sale just two weeks ago. Looking over the catalog and the individuals, I have to think this year's group of 2-year-olds is even stronger than the sales 2-year-olds that OBS sold at Calder last year."

The OBS set a sale record in 2003 when the last horse through the sales ring, a bay colt by Montbrook consigned by Ocala Stud, brought $1.2 million. Demi O'Byrne bought the sales topper as agent for Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor.

Named Chapel Royal, the colt went on to win two graded stakes and finish second to Silver Wagon, also an alumnus of the 2003 OBS sale at Calder, in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes. Chapel Royal was third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and earned nearly $500,000 as a 2-year-old.

"Twelve of the horses who sold last year are stakes winners," said Ventura. "That's roughly 10 percent of the 2003 group."

In addition to Chapel Royal and Silver Wagon, other graded stakes winners from last year's sale are Ruler's Court, the runaway winner of the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita, and Pink Champagne, winner of the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine.

The second of two under-tack shows starts at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The first under-tack show was held last Monday. Video reviews for both shows will be available at the Calder paddock viewing area.