06/24/2005 12:00AM

OBS June sale fails to match 2004 numbers


The 2005 Ocala Breeders' Sales June sale of 2-year-olds in training statistically fell back to earth. The overall numbers for the sale, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, were down from those of 2004 but still finished on a par with the averages of the '02 and '03 June sales.

"Last year's numbers were a pleasant surprise," said Tom Ventura, the general manager and sales director of the OBS. "The averages, the medians jumped significantly, and the buy-back rate was unusually low. This year's results were more in line with the steady growth of previous years."

Consignors, perhaps bolstered by the knowledge that purses were on the increase at most racetracks, set their reserves and stuck to them. Of the 438 through the ring, 126 (29 percent) failed to meet their reserve. A year ago, 20 percent did not make their reserve.

Three 2-year-olds sold for six figures. The sale-topper came as the final offer in the first session. Hip No. 330, a chestnut colt by Maria's Mon out of stakes-winning Dixie Daylight, by Dixieland Band, went to Buzz Chace, agent, for New Yorker Marty Cunningham for $135,000. Gabriel Dixon was the agent for this sale and was also the agent when the colt was pin-hooked at the '04 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale for $33,000. The colt had breezed in a sharp 10.60 in the under-tack show.

The sale's leading buyer was Narvik International. Acting for its Korean clients, the Narvik team bought 48 lots for $443,700 averaging $9,243. The Koreans have been frequent buyers at these sales and their investments in the Florida market are now into the millions of dollars. Also among the quantity buyers were those from the Dominican Republic, who bought 16 lots for a gross of $70,800.

Mark and Tina Casse's Moonshadow Farm was the leading consignor. They sent 14 through the ring and got 12 sold for an average of $30,850. The top three consignors bucked the buy-back trend in that 50 of 56 of their 2-year-olds through the ring (89 percent) were sold.

First stakes winner for Put It Back

In Summation became the first stakes winner for his sire, Put It Back, on June 20 when he won in hand by 10 3/4 lengths in Calder Race Course's B L's Sweep Stakes.

In Summation was sold as a yearling for $80,000 at the OBS August yearling sale. The buyer was the Hartley-DeRenzo pin-hooking team and it resold the colt at the OBS March selected sale to J.E.B. Stable for $130,000.

Put It Back, a Bridlewood Farm freshman sire, is by Honour and Glory-Miss Shoplifter, by Exuberant. Placed twice in two starts at 2, Put It Back went 5 for 5 as a 3-year-old, winning the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes and the Best Turn Stakes. He stands at Bridlewood Farm for a fee of $3,500.

Hard Buck back to Brazil

CloverLeaf Farm II's Hard Buck has been repatriated to Brazil and will serve a 60-plus book on the Southern Hemisphere timetable.

"Just could not get the job done here," said CloverLeaf general manager Brent Fernung. "When you think about a horse like Hard Buck, you have to wonder what it takes to get breeders to patronize him.

"The horse retired sound, and with all he had going for him, I couldn't get 25 mares to him for $2,500 live foal."

Hard Buck, a son of Spend a Buck, was a Group 1 winner in Brazil, and was second to Pico Central at a mile in a Group 1 race there. In the U.S., he won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Breeders' Cup Handicap, and won races from a mile to 1 3/8 miles on turf. He went to Dubai last year and finished second in the Sheema Classic and then hopped over to England, finishing second in the Group 1 King George and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He retired at 6 with a record of 19 starts, 9 wins (7 stakes) and 5 seconds, earning $1,073,674.