01/26/2015 2:46PM

OBS winter mixed sale offers wide variety for buyers

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The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. winter mixed sale has evolved over the past few years, and buyers have responded positively to the changes.

In 2012, the auction company added a horses-of-racing-age portion to its January sale, taking advantage of the adjacent Ocala Training Center and the popularity of its sales of 2-year-olds in training. The sale expanded quickly with the introduction of the new market segment, and OBS further bolstered it last year by moving its annual Day of Champions races from March to January.

OBS president Tom Ventura said the growth of the winter mixed sale’s racing-age market has helped improve catalog sizes and, in turn, has drawn eyes toward the traditional broodmare and yearling markets of breeding-stock auctions.

“I anticipate probably a similar market to what we had in October [at the OBS fall mixed sale] and hope that we’ve got the horses that fit everybody’s needs,” Ventura said. “There should be something for everyone.”

The two-day OBS winter mixed sale will be held Wednesday and Thursday, beginning with a consignor-preferred session on the first day, followed by the open and horses-of-racing-age sessions on the second. Both sessions will begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

An optional under-tack show will be held for horses of racing age at the Ocala Training Center on Monday at 10 a.m.

The catalog featured 511 entries through Jan. 20, marking a 37 percent decrease from last year’s renewal, which was held over three days.

“I’m hoping for a good sale,” said Matt Lyons of consignor Woodford Thoroughbreds. “Demand looked very good at the Keeneland [January] sale for mares and babies, and I think we’ve got a pretty nice group for OBS. Plus, the fact that the races are on and there’s quite a few racehorses there, hopefully there will be a lot of people there to shop.

“The overall market seems to be holding very strong globally, so I think that gives people in regional markets more confidence to get back in the game and start playing. We’re seeing quite a few Florida people at the Keeneland January sale, so I would think it’s going to continue, and hopefully it’ll be a good, steady sale.”

The OBS Day of Champions will be held in conjunction with the winter mixed sale for a second year Tuesday. The five-race card features one Quarter Horse race and four stakes for 3-year-old OBS graduates over the training center’s synthetic Safetrack surface.

“When we moved it, we thought it would be in a better position in conjunction with this sale than it was in March,” Ventura said about the race card. “With it earlier in the year, some of the horses get an opportunity to go around two turns to see where they fit. We’ve had some pretty good feedback on it so far.

“The guys that race horses also breed horses, so anything to get people here,” Ventura added. “Once they’re here, something might pique their interest, so we want to be in a position where they’re ready to buy.”

Last year’s OBS winter mixed sale brought across-the-board gains, with 461 horses sold over the consignor-select, open, and horses-of-racing-age sessions for revenue of $6,326,500, up 39 percent from the 2013 renewal. The average sale price rose 12 percent to $13,723, while the median finished 21 percent ahead of the previous auction at $8,500.

The sale was topped by Back to Class, a stakes-placed Montbrook filly purchased as a broodmare prospect by Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs for $85,000. She was consigned by Journeyman Bloodstock Services, agent, and is from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year Fanfreluche.

An In Summation colt topped the newly turned yearling portion of the sale, going to Ken and Sarah Ramsey for $75,000. Consigned by TdM Sales as agent, the colt is out of the unraced Jump Start mare Shocking Pink, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Imawildandcrazyguy.

A pair of offerings led the horses-of-racing-age session, each bringing $75,000. Stuart Simon, agent for Russ McLellan, bought Zensational Storm, an unraced 3-year-old Zensational colt out of the stakes-placed Storm Boot mare Storming Starlet. He was consigned by Paul Sharp as agent. Pushingonastring, a 5-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, sold to The Farm on 4 LLC off a two-length victory in an optional-claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs earlier that month. He was consigned by TdM Sales as agent.

To view the online catalog, click here.