04/23/2010 12:00AM

Ocala auction up all around

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The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's spring 2-year-old sale ended Thursday night with gains across the board and a $500,000 Limehouse filly the sale-topper.

The four-day sale closed with 739 juveniles sold for a total of $20,754,400, up 4 percent from last year's gross for 801 horses. The average price increased 13 percent, from last year's figure of $24,864 to $28,084. The median did even better, improving by 33 percent from last season.

But buy-backs also ticked upward. Last year's buy-back rate was 24 percent, but this year's inched up to 26 percent.

The relatively low buy-back rate, as compared with juvenile-sale buy-back rates that often hover above 30 percent, especially impressed consignor Eddie Woods.

"It was a great sale," Woods said. "It was very active, a lot of people were there to buy horses, and it had a little feel to it that we haven't had in a while. We get a very cosmopolitan crowd that come to this sale, because they can buy horses at all levels. They can even chase some of the real good horses and not bang heads with the big powerhouses, because they rarely participate in this sale, even though some of the horses that come out of this sale will be as good as, if not better, than some horses from the bigger sales."

Mark Casse, agent, purchased the Limehouse filly at the Ocala, Fla., auction on Thursday. The chestnut filly is out of the French Deputy mare Deputy's Delight and is a half-sister to millionaire Grade 1-placed gelding Delightful Kiss, by Kissin Kris. Delightful Kiss also is a record-setting multiple graded winner. Cataloged as Hip No. 949, the filly had worked a quarter-mile in the April 16 under-tack session's co-fastest time of 20.40 seconds.

Craig Wheeler, agent, handled the sale on behalf of the late Jack Dreyfus's Hobeau Farm, which is dispersing.