08/08/2002 11:00PM

Franks reducing stock at OBS sale


The sales spotlight shifts to Florida next week for the four-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company auction, which has cataloged 1,322 yearlings.

The selected session Monday, Aug. 19, opens the sale with 216 horses cataloged. This group will immediately be followed by 88 yearlings bred by four-time Eclipse Award winner John Franks. The remaining 1,018 yearlings are apportioned over the next three sessions, all of which begin at 11 a.m.

"This is not a cull sale," said a spokesperson for Franks Farms, South. "It's a reduction. Mr. Franks feels that he has too many horses and the numbers are becoming unwieldy. We plan to sell 88 yearlings along with foals and broodmares at the OBS October mixed sale. We'll close out the reduction by selling 2-year-olds in training next year.

"We've tried to make this a random reduction. That is, there are some top-class prospects among the sales horses, as you will see when you look at the catalog.

"Let me repeat: Mr. Franks is not getting out of the business. When we get through selling, the inventory reduction will come in around a third of the horses that Mr. Franks has currently."

As for the John Franks record, the Louisiana oil magnate has bred more than 150 stakes winners. As an owner he has won over $100 million in purses. He was won Florida breeder of the year on several occasions and is the leading owner of Florida-bred winners for the past two years. Franks currently ranks among the top five breeders in earnings and his stable is among the top five in races won.

Franks stands a formidable array of stallions including the millionaires Kissin Kris and Precocity. The young stallion Lost Soldier is near the top of second-season stallions and currently is Florida's leading second-season sire.

There are four colts and a filly by Lost Soldier in the Franks yearling consignment. No. 237 is a bay colt who traces to the famous old Wheatley Stable stakes winner and producer Fashion Verdict. The other three colts, Nos. 243, 267, and 279, are each out of black-type earners and/or producers. No. 258 is a filly out of a 100 percent producer, by Herat, and is inbred to Northern Dancer.

Florida is a bit short on millionaire stallions with first crops to race in 2003. Franks Farm's Precocity is the exception. There are 11 yearlings by this stallion in the farm's consignment. Precocity is a Grade 1 stakes-winning grandson of Hoist the Flag, and was as durable as he was effective over five campaigns, banking $1,835,798.

Kissin Kris, a Franks stallion, became millionaire Grade 1 stakes winner in the Franks colors. He is the sire of Kiss a Native, who is a millionaire in his own right. Kissin Kris will be represented by eight yearlings in the consignment.

"Having a consignment like this from one of the leading breeders and stable owners certainly adds to sales appeal," observed Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "There's a good mix of proven producers, successful sires, and promising stallions."

* Montbrook, the Ocala Stud resident, is Florida's leading sire of stakes winners thus far in 2002. Five of his get have won a total of eight stakes. On the money-won roster he ranks second to his neighbor Notebook with $2 million in earnings. Notebook leads with $2.1 million.

There are 26 yearlings Montbrook cataloged in the sale. Notebook is represented with 10 in the catalog.