03/16/2004 12:00AM

OBS March sale sees sharp gains


The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's two-day March select 2-year-old auction got off to a strong start Tuesday, with sharp gains in gross and average and several horses that brought $300,000 or more.

The Tuesday session's highest price was the $575,000 that the Narvick International agency bid for Hip No. 54, a Yankee Victor filly out of the Grade 3-placed Bet Twice mare Betamillion Bock. Niall Brennan, agent, consigned the session-topper. The Yankee Victor filly originally sold for $32,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale last year. She is a member of Yankee Victor's first crop.

Overall, the session sold 127 juveniles, 10 fewer than last year, for $11,028,000. That gross was up 15 percent from last year's $9,635,000 total. Average climbed, too, rising 24 percent to $86,835.

Some of the world's most extravagant Thoroughbred buyers were on hand at the auction in Ocala, Fla., and their bids produced some of the afternoon's high prices. John Ferguson, visiting the Ocala March sale for the first time on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, signed for a $425,000 son of Private Terms and Carley's Birthday (by Marfa) offered by Eisaman Equine, agent. James McIngvale paid $450,000 for Hip No. 191, a Chief Seattle-Helen's Pick colt from the Paul Sharp agency. And B. Wayne Hughes purchased a $350,000 Stephen Got Even-Class on Class (Jolie's Halo) colt sold by Mark and Tina Casse's Moonshadow Farm agency.

Other expensive horses that sold early Tuesday were Hip No. 76, a $300,000 Greenwood Lake-Champagne Sweep filly that Hughes bought from Robert Scanlon, agent; Hip No. 184, $275,000 Gilded Time-Halcyon Bird colt that Ferguson bought from Halcyon Hammock, agent for G. Ray Trisler; Hip No. 193, a $260,000 Salt Lake-Highland Crystal colt that Puglisi Stables acquired from Halcyon Hammock, agent; Hip No. 202, a $250,000 Afternoon Deelites-How 'Bout Chris colt that West Point Thoroughbreds purchased from M & H Training and Sales, agent; Hip No. 21, a $230,000 Mazel Trick-Adelaide filly that trainer Todd Pletcher, agent, bought from the Moonshadow Farm agency; Hip No. 153, a $230,000 Chief Seattle-Fill Stop colt that Barry Berkelhammer, agent, bought from Hartley/De Renzo, agent; and Hip No. 67, a $200,000 Dixie Union-Call to the Post filly that Anstu Stables acquired from Eddie Woods, agent.

The OBS March auction was to continue through Wednesday at the OBS facility in Ocala.

Buck Pond Farm buys Evansville Slew

Doug Arnold's Buck Pond Farm in Versailles, Ky., has purchased Evansville Slew.

The 12-year-old Slew City Slew horse previously stood as the property of a partnership at Walmac International in Lexington. His fee will remain at $3,500, but Buck Pond has changed the terms from Sept. 1 of year bred to stand-and-nurse.

Evansville Slew, whose multiple stakes wins included a Grade 2 win in the Arlington Futurity, is the sire of six racing-age crops. His best runners to date are Grade 2 winner March Magic, Grade 3 winner Rancour, and stakes winners Cowboy Stuff and Cherylville Slew. He has total progeny earnings of more than $5.7 million.

Arnold, who launched Doneraile Court's stud career before selling him last year to stand at Hill 'n' Dale Farm, said he spotted an opportunity in Evansville Slew's recent breeding history.

"The best and largest books he's had are the 2-year-olds, yearlings, and weanlings of 2004," he said. "He struck me as an investment that could grow over time."

Evansville Slew is out of the unraced Fappiano mare Shape Shifter.

A Lulu Ofa Menifee, 3-year-old filly, sold

Donna Moore and John McDonough have privately sold their 3-year-old filly A Lulu Ofa Menifee, impressive winner of her last two starts at Fair Grounds, to Roy and Gretchen Jackson.

Trained by Ronny Werner, A Lulu Ofa Menifee most recently won a March 5 optional claiming race at Fair Grounds by 8 1/2 lengths. In her previous start, she won a maiden special weight by three lengths. As a result of the sale, A Lulu Ofa Menifee will move to Barclay Tagg's barn.

The sale was brokered by Mauk Equine Brokerage, representing Moore and McDonough, and Mark Reid Bloodstock, acting on behalf of the Jacksons. The sale price was not disclosed.

* Gilded Lilly, the dam of 1992 champion juvenile and current sire Gilded Time, died Feb. 12 at Castleton Lyons in Lexington, Ky., the Thoroughbred Times reported Tuesday. The 25-year-old What a Pleasure mare was in foal to Tale of the Cat and died of a ruptured aorta.