10/18/2002 12:00AM

Koreans give mixed sale a boost

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The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed sale, Oct. 7-11, ended with some promising numbers.

The gross receipts were about even with last year. At this sale in 2001, 838 head were reported sold for $6,210,700. This year, 746 sold for $6,194,700.

"This was a good sale," said Brent Fernung, manager of Cloverleaf Farm, co-owner of Journeyman Bloodstock, and one of the sale's leading consignors. "If you had the merchandise, you got the money. I was very pleased with the sales of the horses from our consignment."

The leading buyer at the sale, C&C International, represents the Korean Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. Jim Bang, the group's spokesperson, said, "We were here last year and we'll be coming back again."

The Koreans bought from all segments of the market. They bought the sales topper, Fully Approved, Hip No. 210, who is an 8-year-old multiple allowance winner and earner of $222,257. He is by With Approval. And they bought a bay weanling colt, Hip No. 16, by Kissin Kris, for $1,100 from the Franks Farm reduction. In all, 33 horses at an aggregate cost of $380,900 will be heading to Korea.

The weanling market was stronger than the broodmare market. A total of 268 weanlings were listed as sold for an average of $9,459 and a median price of $4,700. The OBS sold 396 broodmares for an average of $3,287 and a median of $3,700.

Seven of the 20 highest prices were for weanlings. Kentucky-based Exploit, with an advertised fee of $30,000, is the sire of Hip No. 202, a half-brother to stakes winner and Grade 3 stakes placed Musical Gambler ($314,670). The weanling sales topper at $78,000, he was sold to dissolve a partnership and went to one of the partners of Red Storm Stable.

Padua Stable's millionaire sprinter Yes It's True was represented by seven weanlings from his first crop. They averaged $39,000. Yes It's True entered stud last year with a fee of $7,500 live foal. The fee was raised to $10,000 for this year's breeding season.

Tom Ventura, general manager of the OBS and its director of sales, summed up his impressions: "I think we had a good sale. There was a demand for decent individuals with respectable pedigrees. The weanlings sold very well. The buy-back rate was even with last year. The only place the market seems to be hurting is at the very top."

Double boost for Montbrook

The winners of the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes and the Shocker T. Handicap, both run last Saturday as part of Calder Race Course's Festival of the Sun program, moved Ocala Stud's Montbrook into a virtual tie with his neighbor Notebook for Florida leading sire honors. Both stallions are closing in on the $3 million mark this year. Montbrook's boost came from Trust N Luck's $240,000 win in the In Reality and from the Castlebrook's $60,000 winner's share of the Shocker T.

The title of Florida's leading freshman sire is still to be won. Concerto, Northern Afleet, Stormy Atlantic, Lucky Lionel, Semoran, and Double Honor are currently in the thick of it.

Concerto, who stands at Ocala Stud, has eight winners and leads in money won with over $400,000. Farnsworth Farms's Double Honor leads in the most winners category with 10. Lucky Lionel (Adena Springs South) has nine winners. Northern Afleet, standing at Double Diamond Farm, has eight winners, as does fellow Double Diamond stallion Semoran, and Stormy Atlantic, at Bridlewood Farm. Stormy Atlantic's winners include three stakes winners, and he leads all other Florida juvenile sires in this category.

Ersoff disperses breeding stock

Stan Ersoff, past president of both the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has sold his Triple E Farm and placed his stallions Absent Russian, Pass the Line, and Youmadeyourpoint on the block. He also has 18 weanlings, 11 yearlings, and 25 mares - mostly in foal to one of the stallions mentioned above - for sale.

"Time to pack it in," said Ersoff. "I am not getting out of the racing business, only the breeding end of it. It just became too much responsibility for me."