02/01/2002 12:00AM

OBS 2-year-olds sale no longer just for statebreds


In 1963, Issie Sherman of Farnsworth Farms signed a sales ticket on behalf of Louis E. Wolfson of Harbor View Farm. The venue was Hialeah Park, the horse was consigned by Ocala Stud, and the $26,000 purchase was for the future Horse of the Year, Roman Brother - the first national champion sold as a 2-year-old in training.

Back then, the Hialeah sale of 2-year-olds in training was restricted to Florida-breds. Since moving the site of the 2-year-old sales to Calder Race Course that restriction has been gradually modified. This year's OBS sale on Tuesday lists 81 Florida-breds in a catalog of 205.

"I think this year's catalog is as good as we have ever had," said Tom Ventura, general manager and director of sales. "The pinhookers raised their average to about $55,000. Our sire power has never been stronger and we have maintained our standards for selecting the well-made, athletic type horse."

Ventura said 52 horses from last year's sale have won or placed in stakes.

While the sale's sire roster reads like an industry "Who's Who," only three resident Florida stallions with first crops going to the races made the stallion sales' cut: Concerto (4), Double Honor (1), and Northern Afleet (1).

Concerto, standing at Ocala Stud, is a chestnut horse by Chief's Crow-Undeniably, by In Reality who was bred and raced by George M. Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stud. He was precocious, winning three of his six juvenile starts. He won five stakes as a 3-year-old, including the Grade 2 Jim Beam. As a 4-year-old, he won or placed in three stakes, including the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup. He is a full brother to stakes winner Wondertross, and a half-brother to stakes winner Illusioned. Concerto is represented in this sale with three colts and a filly.

D ouble Honor of Farnsworth Farms is by Gone West-Holiday Snow, by Storm Bird. He did all of his running at 2 and won the Grade 2 Sapling Stakes, was second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special and the Grade 2 Bashford Manor, and third in the Grade 3 Norfolk Stakes. The Norfolk was his first effort around two turns and it indicated middle distances were within his capacity.

Double Honor's lone representative at this sale is a half-sister to stakes winner Gadir and is from the family of the successful sire Kipper Kelly.

Northern Afleet of Double Diamond Farm is by Afleet-Nuryette, by Nureyev. As his pedigree suggests, Northern Afleet was a sprinter-miler. Through a full campaign of three years, he won three graded stakes and placed in four more.

Northern Afleet's colt in this sale is out of the winning Maggy Hawk, by Hawkster and she is a daughter of Qualique, winner of the Grade 1 Demoiselle Stakes.