06/13/2013 5:33PM

OBS June closes out juvenile sale season

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This week’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. auction of 2-year-olds and horses of racing age, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, concludes what has been a successful juvenile auction season. This spring’s results in the 2-year-old market have been a source for optimism among buyers and sellers alike heading into the normally more volatile yearling sales, with the Florida sales in particular performing well.

The OBS June sale is on an entirely different sales scene than the Sunshine State’s boutique sales of March, and even compared with OBS’s larger middle-market auction in April. Nevertheless, the June sale has long provided a crucial outlet for more modestly budgeted players in the bloodstock arena, and the 2013 edition arrives on the crest of a two-year turnaround that resulted in record numbers at last June’s auction.

A total of 421 juveniles sold last June at OBS for $10,563,100, a 48 percent increase from 2011 (13 horses of racing age also sold for $103,900 last June). The average price of $25,090 spiked 21 percent, and the median price of $15,000 rose 58 percent.

Following the 2008 recession, OBS June reported total revenue under $5 million in both 2009 and 2010, and OBS reduced the auction from its normal two days to one in 2010. The following year brought signs of life and a return to the two-day format, and 2012 confirmed the upward trend. This year’s catalog is bolstered by a late supplement and features 747 horses, a 3 percent increase from last year (99 had been withdrawn as of last Tuesday).

March’s boutique Fasig-Tipton Florida sale posted increases in average and median, and the OBS March select sale racked up record numbers in those same categories while also producing a record price of $1.8 million for a Street Sense colt. The OBS April sale shattered its 2012 records for total revenue, average, and median, with 39 juveniles selling for $200,000 or more during the four-day sale.

Such momentum has Florida consignors ready to test the stability of the lower market, where buyers from all corners of the industry will congregate in hopes of uncovering an as-yet-overlooked star in the making. Eisaman Equine led all consignors and consignor agents by gross sales last June, with 18 horses sold for $844,200, followed by Ciaran and Amy Dunne’s Wavertree Stables, Eddie Woods, Niall Brennan Stables, and Ocala Stud. All of those outfits, plus other mainstays such as Becky Thomas’s Sequel Bloodstock, Journeyman Bloodstock, and McKathan Bros., are well represented in this year’s sale.

While OBS June might offer consignors one last opportunity to put some of their stock through the auction ring after unsuccessful earlier attempts, the sale has produced its share of home runs, and one does not have to thumb too far back through the sale’s history for evidence.

Near the end of last year’s sale, Dennis O’Neill bid $62,000 for a son of young sire Into Mischief with the intent of filling out his brother Doug’s juvenile stable. By year’s end, Goldencents was a Grade 3 winner and firmly on a path that would take him to a Grade 1 score in the Santa Anita Derby and starts in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year.

Last year’s sale topper, a colt by Elusive Quality out of the Dixieland Band mare Gypsy Hollow, sold for $350,000 to set a record at the auction. Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables as agent, the colt was purchased by Hill ‘n’ Dale Bloodstock. Named Quality Plan, he finished fourth in his debut last month at Hollywood Park for owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert.

The OBS June sale sessions begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Three days of under-tack shows precede the sale from Friday, June 14, through Sunday, June 16, beginning at 7:30 a.m. each day.

To access a catalog, click here.

Six hips to watch at OBS June

Here are a half-dozen juveniles to watch based on their pedigrees.

Hip No. 38, dk. b. or br. c., Successful Appeal–Mrs. Greeley, by Mr. Greeley, consigned by Wavertree Stables, agent

The colt is a full brother to Grade 3 winner and 2005 Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument, who stands in Louisiana. The colt’s dam has also produced five other winners out of seven foals to race. Dual Grade 2 winner Carmandia is a close relative.

Hip No. 147, Quandry, dk. b. or br. f., Broken Vow–Rushen Heat, by Unusual Heat, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent

By Pin Oak Stud sire Broken Vow, the filly is out of the stakes-placed winning Unusual Heat mare Rushen Heat, a full sister to Grade 1 winners Unusual Suspect and Golden Doc A.

Hip No. 231, Star Academy, ch. c., Malibu Moon–Sultry Allure, by Forty Niner, consigned by Bobby Dodd, agent

By red-hot Spendthrift Farm stallion Malibu Moon, sire of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, the colt is out of the winning mare Sultry Allure, who has produced three winners from four foals to race, including Grade 1 winner and sire Mass Media. Sultry Allure is by Grade 2 winner Sultry Sun and is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winners and millionaires Sultry Song and Solar Splendor as well as Grade 3 winner Strategic Mission and multiple stakes winner El Sultry Sun.

Hip No. 242, b. f., Indian Charlie–Sweet Trip, by Carson City, consigned by Eisaman Equine, agent

This filly is out of the winning Carson City mare Sweet Trip, whose only winner, millionaire Rail Trip, set the track record for 1 1/4 miles of 2:00.75 on Hollywood Park’s synthetic surface in the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup. Sweet Trip is a half-sister to Whisperifyoudare, who is the dam of three stakes winners and is the second dam of last week’s Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice.

Hip No. 290, Reenergize, dk. b. or br. f., Bernstein–Voyage, by Rahy, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent

Reenergize’s dam, the unraced Voyage, is out of 2012 Broodmare of the Year finalist Matlacha Pass, whose son Point of Entry captured his fifth Grade 1 win last week in the Manhattan Handicap. Matlacha Pass also produced Grade 1 winner Pine Island, and is herself a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home and to Grade 2 winner and multiple graded stakes producer Country Hideaway.

Hip No. 414, ch. c., Montbrook–Catch the Ghost, by Silver Ghost, consigned by Ocala Stud

The colt is by the recently deceased Ocala Stud sire Montbrook and out of the winning mare Catch the Ghost, who has produced the stakes-winning Montbrook filly Phantom Income among her four winning foals. Catch the Ghost is a three-quarters-sister to Grade 1 winner and sire City Zip and is a half-sister to 2004 Horse of the Year and sire Ghostzapper. She is also a half-sister to Grade 3 winner City Wolf.

OBS June sale results (2-year-olds) 

Year Sold Total Average Median
2012 421 $10,563,100 $25,090 $15,000
2011 344 $7,141,700 $20,761 $9,500
2010 230 $4,912,100 $21,357 n/a
2009 284 $4,696,300 $16,536 n/a
2008 352 $7,720,700 $21,934 n/a 
2007 308 $6,794,900 $22,061 n/a
2006 245 $5,508,700 $22,484 n/a
2005 304 $5,677,800 $18,677 n/a
2004 314 $7,394,600 $23,550 n/a
2003 249 $4,584,500 $18,412 n/a