06/14/2017 8:26PM

OBS June sale posts gains in average, median

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The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June 2-year-olds and horses of racing age sale rebounded in impressive fashion during its 2017 renewal, showing healthy growth in average and median sale prices after a down year in 2016.

A total of 428 juveniles and racing-age horses changed hands over the course of the two-day sale for revenues of $15,293,900, down 15 percent from last year’s four-day auction when 635 horses brought $18,077,400.

A decline in gross returns was expected, given the 2017 catalog was 37 percent smaller than its predecessor and the length of the auction was cut in half.

However, the smaller catalog retained its quality, with the average sale price increasing 26 percent to $35,733 from $28,468. The median sale price rose 46 percent to $19,000 from $13,000, while the buyback rate finished at an outstanding 19 percent, down from 24 percent last year.

At the top of the market, five horses sold for $250,000 or more, trailing the seven to do so last year. The number of six-figure transactions rose to 36 from 31.

The sale was topped by a First Dude colt who sold Tuesday to the David Dizney Racing Syndicate for $400,000.

The purchase was a quasi-buyback for Dizney, who bred the dark bay or brown colt, but bought him Tuesday on behalf of an ownership group in which he is the chief partner.

The Florida-bred colt is out of the winning Kris S. mare Natalie’s Moment, whose four winners from five runners include stakes-placed Sola Gratia. Natalie’s Moment also is the dam of Lady Natalie, who produced Grade 3 winner Code Warrior.

Further down the page is 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee, Grade 2/Group 2-placed Exiled Groom and Agnes Partner, and Grade 3/Group 3 winner Agnes Arashi.

The colt breezed a quarter-mile in 20 3/5 seconds over the Ocala Training Center’s all-weather Safetrack surface during the pre-sale under-tack show, tying for the second-fastest time at the distance.

Top Line Sales consigned the colt, as agent. He is the most expensive horse by First Dude ever sold at public auction.

First Dude, a son of Stephen Got Even, stands at Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla., which is owned by Donald Dizney, the father of David. The elder Dizney campaigned First Dude as a homebred. He was a Grade 1 winner and finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes. The Dizneys also bred and raced Natalie’s Moment.

Eddie Woods was the auction’s top consignor by gross, with 18 horses sold for a combined $1,599,500. His consignment handled two of the sale’s top five horses by price, led by a Twirling Candy colt that sold to Bradley Thoroughbreds, agent, for $310,000.

Trainer Linda Rice, acting as agent, was the leading buyer, with seven purchases totaling $1,190,000. Her biggest buy was the auction’s second-most expensive horse, a $320,000 Midnight Lute colt.

The juvenile portion of Wednesday’s session continued the upward momentum set Tuesday, with 207 horses sold for $7,646,400. That marked a 63 percent gain from last year’s second session, when 156 juveniles sold for $4,699,900.

Wednesday’s average sale price rose 23 percent to $36,939 from $30,128, the median grew 33 percent to $20,000 from $15,000, and the buyback rate fell to 21 percent from 23 percent.

Three juveniles sold for $250,000 or more, tying last year’s second session, while the 24 horses sold for six figures tripled last year’s comparable day of trade.

Wednesday’s session-topper was an Astrology filly who sold to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for $300,000.

The purchase was a homecoming for the filly, who was bred in Kentucky by Pope and sold for $50,000 at last year's OBS August yearling sale. The filly was picked up at that sale by Tom McCrocklin, as agent, who consigned the horse Wednesday.

The bay filly is the second foal out of the winning Giant's Causeway mare Dreamingly, whose first foal, the Majestic Warrior colt Dreams of Valor, is unplaced in two starts.

Pope bought Dreamingly for $600,000 at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale, and sold her in foal to Blame for $40,000 at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Further down the filly's page are 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Raven's Pass, European champion Rainbow View, Grade/Group 1 winners No Matter What and Panivino, Grade 2 winners E Dubai, Utley, Advice, and Bright Thought, and Grade 3 winners Just as Well, Winter View, Ascutney, Gigawatt, Polonius, and Barbados.

The filly breezed a quarter-mile in 20 4/5 during the under-tack show.

Woods finished Wednesday’s trade as the top consignor, with 10 horses sold for $547,000. K.O.I.D, the buying entity for the Korean Racing Authority, was the leading buyer, with 11 purchases totaling $745,000.