04/23/2016 8:02AM

OBS sale posts record average, median prices

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The 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale continued its upward momentum in the juvenile marketplace, posting record average and median sale prices for the fifth straight year.

A total of 660 horses changed hands during the four-day auction for revenue of $52,279,500, down 2 percent from last year’s renewal, where 674 horses brought $53,291,900.

The average sale price rose 0.2 percent to a new high of $79,211 after finishing at $79,068 in 2015, while the median rose 4 percent from $45,000 to a record $47,000. The buyback rate finished at 23 percent, up from last year’s figure of 22 percent.

One horse sold for seven figures this year, the same as last year. Seven horses brought $500,000 or more, while nine hit that mark last year. Forty-one juveniles sold for $250,000 or more, one fewer than last year, while the number of six-figure horses rose to 172 from 155.

A Broken Vow colt topped the sale, going to Breeze Easy LLC for $1.2 million during the auction’s third session Thursday.

Bred in Florida by Hal Snowden Jr., the chestnut sale-topper is out of the multiple stakes-winning Silver Deputy mare Haddie Be Good, whose three foals to race are all winners, including stakes winner Story to Tell. He is from the family of Grade 1 winners Sam's Sister, Sweet Talker, Include Me Out, and Check the Label as well as Grade 3 winner Silver Medallion.

The colt became the most expensive foal out of Haddie Be Good, surpassing Story to Tell, by Bluegrass Cat, who brought $200,000 at the 2014 Barretts March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

The sale-topper was a $55,000 weanling purchase out of the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, then sold for $105,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale to Tom McCrocklin, as agent for Solana Beach Sales. McCrocklin consigned the colt as agent at the OBS spring sale.

The colt breezed two furlongs in 20 4/5 seconds over the Ocala Training Center's all-weather Safetrack surface during the presale under-tack show.

The colt is also notable for being the first seven-figure unraced horse (weanling, yearling, or 2-year-old) to sell at auction by Pin Oak Stud’s Broken Vow. A 19-year-old son of Unbridled, Broken Vow has had seven-figure broodmares and racing/broodmare prospects in the past, including Cotton Blossom, Bella Jolie, and Rosalind.

Broken Vow stands at Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Ky., for an advertised fee of $25,000. Prior to Thursday's transaction, his most expensive 2-year-old was Freedom Tower, who brought $950,000 at last year's OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training. 

Eddie Woods was the sale’s leading consignor by gross, moving 48 horses for a combined $3,573,500. The central Florida-based consignor’s group was led by a filly from the first crop of The Factor who sold to bloodstock agent Steven Young for $420,000.

Breeze Easy was the sale’s leading buyer, with seven horses purchased for a total of $1,940,000, led by the sale-topper.

Friday’s closing session ran closely to last year’s fourth day of trade to help the overall sale post its historic figures, with 163 horses selling for $13,999,000, an increase of 1 percent over last year’s fourth day.

The average sale price fell 1 percent from $86,694 to $85,883, while the median rose 16 percent from $43,000 to $50,000. The buyback rate finished at 17 percent, down from last year’s closing-session figure of 22 percent.

The third-to-last horse through the ring brought the session’s highest price, as trainer Linda Rice, acting as agent, went to $775,000 for a Quality Road filly. She was the sale’s most expensive filly and the third-most-expensive offering of the overall auction.

Bred in Kentucky by South American Thoroughbred and Racing, the dark bay or brown filly is out of the winning War Chant mare Over Andover, whose first foal to race is a winner. She is from the family of Grade 3 winner Called to Serve.

The filly was a $112,000 weanling purchase by Machmer Hall out of the 2014 Keeneland November sale, then finished under her reserve with a final bid of $130,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. She was one of three juveniles to tie for the fastest time at a quarter-mile during the under-tack show, stopping the clock in 20 2/5 seconds.

De Meric Sales was Friday’s leading consignor, with 16 horses sold for $1,110,500. Rice was the day’s leading buyer with the lone purchase of the session-topper.

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