06/12/2015 1:25PM

OBS June: Sale rounds out eventful juvenile season

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The 2-year-old portion of the auction calendar has been an active one in 2015, with myriad changes in format and venue, along with record performances.

The last stop on the major North American juvenile schedule is the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age, which takes place Tuesday through Friday, with sessions beginning each day at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

Business has been good at the central Florida auction house in 2015. The March sale of 2-year-olds in training expanded from its select format and closed with record gross receipts and competitive average and median prices after several years of record returns. The April sale of 2-year-olds in training extended its streak of record average and median prices and sold the highest-priced offering in OBS history, a $1.9 million Tapit filly.

The June sale last year posted a record-high in expenditures from a record number of entries. Last year’s median sale price also tied the auction’s record.

“So far, the 2-year-old market has been very good here this year, and we hope that we can pick up where we left off,” OBS president Tom Ventura said.

This year’s catalog includes 1,117 juveniles and 47 horses of racing age for a total of 1,164 entries, down 4 percent from a record 1,212 horses in 2014.

Ventura said the continued spike in interest for the June sale, both in entries and prices paid by buyers, reflects a shift in philosophy toward placing horses in the spot that best fits them instead of training to meet a spot on the calendar. Increasingly solid returns at the later “open” auctions have reinforced this trend.

“It’s been the trend in recent years,” Ventura said. “The horses have been placed by the consignors in terms of their readiness to perform, so there’s not a great distinction of ‘select’ vs. ‘open,’ although in March, there’s a higher concentration of select-type horses than you will see here in June.

“Even though it’s the last stop, it seems like the 2-year-old sale calendar has been pushed back. In years past, when we had a February sale, a March sale, and an April sale, then June had the perception of the horses that were left over. I think that perception has been long removed.”

Also boosting the auction’s profile was a run of graduates hitting big on the national stage, including two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents, who stood his first year at stud in 2015 at Spendthrift Farm, and Grade 2 winner Wildcat Red, who ran in last year’s Kentucky Derby.

The horses-of-racing-age portion makes up a small percentage of this year’s catalog but represents an ever-growing segment of the marketplace. The number of horses on offer is nearly double that of the 2013 session, when just eight horses changed hands after outs and buy-backs.

“It brings a little bit more of a mix to it,” Ventura said. “The number of horses in the racing-age section comparatively is smaller, but it’s just a little bit of variety that gives people some opportunities to buy horses that have some form on them and on the other side gives the sellers the opportunities to move horses along. It’s not a major focus of the sale, but it certainly adds more depth to the sale.”

The 2-year-old portion of last June’s sale moved 712 horses for record revenue of $22,539,500, up 54 percent from the previous year’s gross of $14,596,700. The average price fell 5 percent from $33,250 to $31,657, while the median held steady at a record $20,000.

Topping the juvenile portion of the sale was an Indian Charlie filly out of the winning Miswaki mare Greyciousness, making her a half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner and young sire The Factor. Sold to Bridlewood Farm for $500,000, she later was named Indian Goddess and has not started as of June 8.

Grade 3 winner Sarah Sis leads the way among the graduates of last year’s OBS June sale, taking the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park en route to a start in the Kentucky Oaks. The Sharp Humor filly sold to owner Joe Ragsdale for $20,000 at last year’s auction and has made $260,000 on the racetrack.

Other prominent OBS June alumni to go through the ring last year include the stakes winners Devine Aida, It’s Not Me, Arctic Ocean, Ackeret, Celestine, Charlie’s Brother, Concealedwithakiss, Supreme Justice, Golden Actor, Academy Bay, and Kingsport.

The horses-of-racing-age portion sold 26 horses for $262,000, up 205 percent from $86,000 from eight sold in 2013. The average price fell 6 percent from $10,750 to $10,077, while the median dipped 19 percent from $8,000 to $6,500.

Appealing Style, a then-4-year-old Successful Appeal colt, led the way, going to Young Stables for $40,000. The Oklahoma-bred has won once and hit the board in all four starts for his new owner while racing at Remington Park.

OBS JUNE 2-YEAR-OLDS AND HORSES OF RACING AGE SALE
WHEN:
June 16-19, 10:30 a.m. Eastern
WHERE: OBS Sales Complex, 1701 Southwest 60th Ave., Ocala, Fla. 34474
PHONE: (352) 237-2154
CATALOG: The 2-year-old portion of the sale cataloged 1,117 horses, down 5 percent from 1,178 last year, while the horses of racing age portion of the sale cataloged 47 horses, up 38 percent from 34 last year.
RECENT HISTORY: The 2014 2-year-old portion of the June sale posted mixed results while selling 712 horses for $22,539,500 (up 54 percent), an average price of $31,657 (down 5 percent), and a median price of $20,000 (no change). Bridlewood Farm bought an Indian Charlie filly out of Greyciousness, consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, for $500,000 to top the juvenile portion of the sale. The filly was later named Indian Goddess, and she is unraced through June 8.
The 2014 horses of racing age portion of the sale produced mixed results while selling 26 horses for $262,000 (up 205 percent), an average price of $10,077 (down 6 percent), and a median price of $6,500 (down 19 percent). Topping the horses of racing age portion of the sale was Appealing Style, a then-4-year-old son of Successful Appeal purchased by Young Stables for $40,000 out of the consignment of Woodside Ranch, agent.
INTERNET: Live streaming at www.obssales.com