01/18/2012 8:19PM

Ocala sale ends with strong increase in open session's business


The reformatted January mixed sale at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company in Ocala, Fla., ended Wednesday evening after strong across-the-board gains at its open session. Private sales of horses who initially failed to reach their reserves also boosted results from the Tuesday sessions.

The last of two days' selling ended Wednesday with 174 horses sold for $1,316,300, a 43-percent increase over 2011's total of $917,600 for 192 horses. The average price went up by 58 percent, from last year's $4,779 to $7,565, and the median climbed 70 percent, from $2,850 to $4,850. Meanwhile, the buy-back rate declined from 32 percent in 2011 to 26 percent this year.

A $90,000 yearling Congrats colt led the open session Wednesday. Bortolazzo Stable bought the chestnut colt, an April 24 foal out of the Royal Academy mare Summer School. He hails from the family of graded winner Mud Route and stakes winner Nursery Rhyme, and he is a half-brother to the winner Astute. Stroud's Lane Farm was the seller.

Hard Spun's 3-year-old daughter Lady Clara, third in the Jan. 7 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct, brought $240,000 from Hard Acre Farm as the sale-topper. She sold at Tuesday's consignor-preferred session. A dark bay or brown filly, she is out of stakes-winner Victorica and is a half-sister to group-placed stakes winner King Hesperus. Gayle Woods, agent, was the consignor.
The reformatted auction's opening session on Tuesday combined 110 consignor-preferred horses and a new 153-horse racing-age section.

Tuesday's preferred session sold 64 horses for $1,159,000, resulting in an average price of $18,109 and a $15,000 median. Buy-backs were 36 percent immediately after the final hammer. But by Wednesday at the end of the entire auction, private sales lifted those figures to 71 sold for $1,267,000, yielding an average of $17,845 and a $15,000 median. Private transactions also slashed the consignor-preferred buy-back rate to 28 percent by Wednesday evening.

The racing-age section, also on Tuesday, sold 71 horses for an aggregate $997,200, for a $14,045 average and $6,500 median. Buy-backs were 28 percent. But those figures improved after private sales by the auction's end on Wednesday, bringing the total number of consignor-preferred horses sold to 74, for a $1,033,200 gross, a $13,962 average, and a $6,500 median. Buy-backs dropped to 25 percent after private sales.

The reformatting to include the racing-age segment made year-to-year comparisons difficult. Last year's consignor-preferred session sold 117 horses for $1,458,400, an average price of $12,465, and a median price of $9,000. Buy-backs were 28 percent in 2011.