01/19/2018 2:46PM

OBS aims for gains in second year of revised format


Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. kicks off its 2018 auction calendar next week with its winter mixed sale, aiming to improve returns from its first year under a revised schedule for offerings in the mixed marketplace.

The two-day auction will take place Jan. 24-25 in Ocala, Fla., with both sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The opening day of trade will include the consignor-preferred session, followed immediately by a horses of racing age portion. An open session will follow the next day.

A pre-sale under-tack show for racing-age offerings will be held over the Ocala Training Center’s all-weather Safetrack surface on Monday, Jan. 22, beginning at 10 a.m. The auction’s assortment of unraced 2-year-olds are only allowed untimed gallops during the event.

This year’s edition has a 712-horse catalog, up 10 percent from the 2017 sale, which had 645 entries.

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Of the offerings in the upcoming sale, 374 are yearlings, comprising about 53 percent of the catalog. The young horses made up about 50 percent of last year’s catalog.

This year marks the second cycle of the OBS auction calendar in which the company’s mixed sale season is condensed from two sales to one. OBS previously hosted a mixed sale in October to complement its January sale, but the fall sale was canceled in 2016 to allow more time for the long-term renovation of the facility’s sale pavilion and its surroundings. In 2017, the October slot was replaced by the auction company’s yearling sale, which was previously held in August.

Last year’s edition of the OBS winter mixed sale finished with 326 horses sold for revenues of $2,937,700, down 37 percent from the 2016 edition, when 361 horses brought $4,697,600.

The average sale price declined 29 percent to $9,011 from $12,736, while the median dipped 28 percent to $4,350 from $6,000.

The 2017 renewal was led by a yearling Shanghai Bobby filly, who sold to East Hickman Bloodstock for $110,000. The still-unnamed half-sister to Whisper Light, a Group 2 winner in Trinidad and Tobago, is out of the stakes-placed Yankee Victor mare Yankee Victoria.

Leading the racing-age offerings was Lake Sebago, a Munnings mare who went to Douglas Arnold for $87,000. Out of the Borrego mare Aviva’s Pride, Lake Sebago was a multiple stakes winner in Maryland, and was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect. She was bred to Into Mischief later that year.

A pair of broodmares topped their segment of the traditional mixed sessions, each selling for $22,000.

Carol Ann Reitman bought Aerospace, an unraced half-sister to Grade 2 winner Istanford, by Invasor. The mare was offered in foal to Kantharos, had a filly the following April, and was bred back to Uncaptured.

Also hitting the mark was Starlet O’Hara, a stakes-placed daughter of Discreetly Mine who sold to H & E Ranch. She delivered a Khozan filly in April, and was bred to Tamarando for the 2018 foaling season.