01/23/2004 12:00AM

Good numbers at winter mixed sale

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Tom Ventura, general manager and director of sales for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., anticipated a good winter mixed sale - and he got it. The two-day consignors' preferred part of the annual OBS January mixed sale, held Jan. 19 and 20, generated robust statistics in just about every category.

The gross of $5.78 million for 290 lots was well above last year's $3.19 million for 198 lots. The overall average jumped by 23.6 percent to $19,925. The buy-back rate slipped from roughly one out of three last year to one out of four this year.

"The sale was strong all around," Ventura said. "The yearlings sold very well, averaging better than $20,000."

About half of the horses through the sales ring were yearlings, and 12 of them made the top 20 buyers' list.

The sale-topper in the yearling category was a colt by Flame Thrower out of the Regal Remark mare Remarkably Easy, a stakes winner and black-type producer. The colt, Hip No. 267, went for $120,000 to Donato Lanni, agent. Flame Thrower entered stud at Cloverleaf Farm II for the 2002 breeding season and had a first book of 74 mares.

George Steinbrenner went to a sale-topping $300,000 for the 11-year-old broodmare Silk Appeal, by Valid Appeal. She is due to foal in February to Florida's leading sire, Montbrook.

Silk Appeal is the dam of multiple stakes winner Silk Concord, who has earned $271,184, and Silk Concorde's younger brother Concorde's Appeal, a stakes-placed winner of $105,788.

"We were happy with this mare," Steinbrenner said, "and we certainly like the covering sire, Montbrook."

Immediately following the sale of Silk Appeal came Valid Silk, a younger full sister. Both horses were consigned by Kelly Mitchell, agent, for Einar P. Robsham. Valid Silk is also due in February, to the Ocala Stud stallion Trippi, whose first crop are yearlings. Valid Silk went to Ocala Stud for $95,000.

Irish Acres Farm's reduction of 34 racing and breeding prospects came at the end of the second consignors' preferred session. Thirty-two lots from the consignment sold for an average of $9,891. Colorful Tour, a 5-year-old multiple stakes winner of nearly $500,000, was expected to head the consignment but was withdrawn before the auction.

Auction raises funds for charity

Florida Thoroughbred Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, held its annual fund-raising auction of no-guarantee Thoroughbred seasons after the Jan. 19 sales session.

No-guarantee seasons usually trade at about 60 percent of the guaranteed-live-foal fee. However, Montbrook is booked solid for 2004 at Ocala Stud, so it came as little surprise that the bidding went to $21,000 for an advertised $20,000 service.

Trippi, syndicated at Ocala Stud, proved popular as well. A son of End Sweep, Trippi stands for $7,500, but a no-guarantee season to him brought $8,200.

Among the Adena Springs South offerings, Red Bullet ($30,000 live foal) brought a $16,000 bid, and Macho Uno ($15,000 live foal) fetched $9,500.

Rising Hill plans annual stallion show

Jim and Sheila DiMare's Rising Hill Farm will hold its annual stallion show on Jan. 31. Among the farm's 12 stallions, to be paraded from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is newcomer Deputy Wild Cat, a half-brother to Grade 1 winner War Chant and to graded winner Double Cat. Deputy Wild Cat is also a full brother to the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Ministers Wild Cat. Their dam is Hollywood Wildcat, the champion 3-year-old filly of 1993.

After the parade, there will be a drawing for a free stallion season. The DiMares are asking that those who plan to attend the stallion show call the farm to RSVP so that proper preparations can be made.