08/28/2014 8:48PM

OBS August: Yearling auction ends with declines


The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. August yearling sale concluded Thursday with declines in nearly every economic indicator, with trade especially depressed in the two-day open section.

OBS reported 662 horses sold during the three-day sale, which began on Tuesday with a select session and continued with open sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Overall sales totaled $14,183,300, according to figures provided by OBS on Thursday night, representing a 12 percent decline compared with overall numbers in 2013, when 650 horses brought revenues of $16,146,200. The overall average of $21,424 dropped 14 percent compared with last year’s figure of $24,840.

The opening select session posted a slight increase in gross revenues, but 15 and 17 percent drops in average and median, respectively, compared with the 2013 select session. Trade during the open sessions did not spark a turnaround. OBS reported 491 yearlings sold Wednesday and Thursday for revenues of $6,322,600, a 25 percent dip compared with $8,441,200 from 507 sold during the open sessions last year. The open-session average slipped 23 percent, from $16,649 to $12,877, and the median fell 38 percent, from $13,000 to $8,000. Both the average and median during last year’s open sessions set records for the OBS August sale.

The buyback rate during both the select and open sections of this year’s auction also rose, from 13 percent to 27 in the select session, and from 14 to 30 percent in the two open sessions. The 2014 OBS August sale did exhibit active bidding for top-end horses, as 20 horses sold for $100,000 or more from Tuesday to Thursday, compared with 12 in 2013.

The overall sale-topper was purchased during Tuesday’s select session, as George Bolton went to $230,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Big Drama. The Florida-bred chestnut colt, consigned by Beth Bayer, agent, is out of the stakes-winning Out of Place mare Doc’s Doll, who is the dam of stakes winner Gator Brew and stakes-placed Montessa G. Grade 3 winner Sweet Whiskey, who is entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga, is a notable family member.

The most expensive yearling of the open sessions, another son of Big Drama, was sold early during Thursday’s trading. Hal Queen bought the Florida-bred dark bay or brown colt, named Dangerous Bend, for $185,000. Consigned by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield, as agent, Dangerous Bend is out of the Illinois-bred Unreal Zeal mare Kickapoo Princess.

OBS reported declines of 26 percent in gross, 22 percent in average, and 29 percent in median for Thursday’s second open session, compared with the second open session in 2013.

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