02/13/2008 12:00AM

Ocala hits sale-record average price

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It didn't take long for the market to peak at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company February select 2-year-old auction Tuesday in Ocala, Fla. The first horse through the ring, a Silver Deputy filly consigned by the Eisaman Equine agency, brought the day's highest price of $520,000 at a session that set records for average and median prices.

Agent Buzz Chace signed the ticket for the dark bay filly on behalf of a partnership that includes Terry Finley's West Point Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbred owner Lewis Lakin, and Atlanta Toyota dealer John Williams. At the Feb. 3 under-tack preview showcasing the auction horses, she had the co-fastest eighth-mile time of 10 seconds.

Withdrawals whittled the catalog down from 172 to 124, and in the end 89 juveniles sold for gross revenue of $14,030,000. That was up 9 percent from last year, when the auction sold 96 horses for $12,831,000. The average price jumped 18 percent to $157,640, and the median increased 25 percent to $125,000. Both figures were records for the sale.

Buy-backs declined from last year's 30 percent to 28 percent.

The sale-topping Silver Deputy filly is out of the stakes-winning Ghazi mare Daisy Dukes. The mare already has produced a stakes winner, Surplus Singer, a Songandaprayer colt running in Japan. Eisaman Equine sold that colt to Motohide Aoki for $485,000 at the 2007 OBS March sale.

"I thought it was a great sale," said Chace. "There were a lot of nice horses there, and everybody looked like they came to shop. I thought the prices were fair.

"This filly could have gone for a little less, but she could have gone for a whole lot more," he said of his sale-topping purchase. "I thought she was going to be pretty expensive, so I thought, 'Why not put some people together to buy her?' "

Eight horses brought $400,000 or more at the session, and the upper-market focus was on fillies. The auction's second-highest-priced horse, a $500,000 Johannesburg-Border Dispute, was a filly bought by John McCormack Bloodstock. McCormack also signed for the day's highest-priced colt, a $475,000 Speightstown son of Unbridled Lady.

Coolmore Stud's agent, Demi O'Byrne, made one purchase, dropping $475,000 for Leprechaun Racing's Lion Heart-Coffee Springs filly. But Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley Stud, which had sponsored the OBS Day of Champions races at the facility the day before the auction, did not appear on the buyers' list.

But there were major buyers on hand, and they contributed to some of the session's higher-priced horses. Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables paid $450,000 for a chestnut colt by freshman sire Friends Lake out of Incredible Me. Leprechaun Racing, agent, consigned the colt.

Padua was one of the most prolific buyers Tuesday afternoon. The breeding and racing operation, which is relocating from Florida to Kentucky, bought 10 horses for a total of $2.38 million. In addition to the $450,000 Friends Lake colt, Padua's more expensive purchases included Hip No. 130, a $425,000 Montbrook-Unlimited Pleasure filly from Ocala Stud; Hip No. 76, a $360,000 Fusaichi Pegasus-Our Dear Ruth colt, from agent Nick De Meric; Hip No. 158, a $235,000 Harlan's Holiday-Boatman Road colt from Sequel Bloodstock; Hip No. 114, a $210,000 Harlan's Holiday-Spiral Dancer colt consigned by De Meric; and Hip No. 74, a $200,000 Repent-One to Five colt, from Niall Brennan, agent.

Ahmed Zayat, whose Halo Najib won the $150,000 Darley OBS Championship Stakes on Monday at OBS, also picked up a pair in the name of his Zayat Stables. They were Hip No. 17, a $220,000 Read the Footnotes-Fit Right In filly sold by Sequel Bloodstock and Hip No. 30, a $160,000 Malibu Moon-Hot Communicator colt consigned by De Meric.

The select juvenile sale season next moves to Calder Race Course in Miami, where Fasig-Tipton will host its select 2-year-old sale on Feb. 26.