04/24/2006 11:00PM

Ocala sale opens on rise


The hot market for juveniles appeared to be having some trickle-down effect at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., which opened its four-day April juvenile sale Tuesday in Ocala, Fla.

The session ended with the sale of 187 lots for $6,322,500, with the gross receipts well up from last year, when 205 sold for $5,323,500. The opening-day average also rose, to $33,810, as compared with $25,968 last season.

The opening session's top lot was Hip No. 185, a $325,000 Touch Gold colt out of the Star de Naskra mare Star de Mint that Tom McCrocklin purchased on behalf of Robert and Lawana Low. The True South consignment sold the colt, whose dam is a half-sister to the 2003 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, Adoration. Hip No. 185 was one of a dozen horses to bring six-figure prices by that hour on opening day.

The OBS April sale's regional marketplace opened on the heels of the select juvenile sale season that ended on April 18 with the Keeneland 2-year-old auction. The select market routinely attracts major international buyers, and this year they pushed the 2-year-old sales to a world record when Coolmore Stud's agent, Demi O'Byrne, outbid Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's representative, John Ferguson, for a $16 million Forestry-Magical Masquerade colt. That beat the previous world record for a horse at auction, the $13.1 million that Robert Sangster paid for Seattle Dancer at the 1985 Keeneland July yearling sale.