08/18/2005 11:00PM

Pin-hookers set to open their wallets

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The Florida yearling market gets tested this coming week. The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company has cataloged 1,498 yearlings for its annual August sale, 284 more than last year. The added volume has extended the sale from the customary four days to five, August 22-26. Starting time for all sessions is 11 a.m.

A total of 281 will sell Monday, which is the selected session. The tail end of this opening session offers 41 selected yearlings from the dispersal of Farnsworth Farms. The remainder of the Farnsworth Farms yearling crop will be sold in the following four sessions.

The Kentucky and Saratoga 2005 yearling sale stats have indicated that there are no certain trends in the market. While some pin-hookers have been busy stocking up for the '06 2-year-olds in training sales, the prevailing belief is that they will be out in force at the OBS auction.

Nick de Meric was last year's leading buyer at this sale. He bought eight yearlings for his pin-hooking partnerships for $496,000. Murray Smith was next among the pin-hookers. She bought four yearlings for $445,000. Smith has been active at the recent Kentucky and Saratoga sales.

"I think the pin-hookers held back a little at those sales," she said. "But I don't think they'll be holding back at this one."

Smith made a few overall observations, saying that she thinks the market for the athletic-looking horse is as strong as it was last year, and that the middle market, the market that attracts the pin-hookers, will be solid at the Ocala sale.

Mike Mulligan of the Leprechaun syndicate has been buying yearlings at the recent sales for his pin-hooking operation.

"The middle of the market appears to be a bit soft," he said. "We're averaging about $80,000 per horse compared with $85,000 last year."

Plenty of Double Honors to choose from Farnsworth Farms' Double Honor has 18 yearlings selling at the selected session. A 10-year-old son of Gone West, Double Honor is vying with Ocala Stud's Montbrook to be Florida's leading sire. Right behind the top pair is another Farnsworth Farms' stallion, Suave Prospect. Montbrook is the sire of 11 yearlings in day one of the sale, and Suave Prospect is represented by 12.

Ocala Stud's hot-off-the-mark freshman sire Trippi has 14 cataloged to sell in the opening session. Leading freshman sire Songandaprayer is represented with six in the selected session. Last year's leading freshman sires Successful Appeal and Yes It's True, both now in Kentucky, have seven and 11 yearlings, respectively, on the first day.

At last year's sale, 16 yearlings brought bids of $100,000 or better, with a colt by Halo's Image topping the sale at $235,000. The sires who had offspring sell among the top 16 were Yes It's True (4), Songandaprayer (3), Halo's Image (2), and, with one each, Exchange Rate, Delaware Township, Montbrook, Salt Lake, Stormy Atlantic, Successful Appeal, and Tiznow.

Running advertisements

The two dominant 2-year-olds at Calder Race Course through mid-August are the unbeaten colt In Summation and the filly Running Lass. In Summation, owned by Waterford Farm and bred by Art Appleton, won the open division (Dr. Fager) of the Florida Stallion Stakes series this past week. In Summation is from the first crop of the Bridlewood Farm stallion Put It Back. There are 27 yearlings by Put It Back, a Grade 2-winning son of Honour and Glory, cataloged in the sale.

Running Stag, the millionaire son of Cozzene, has two crops racing, and his offspring have shown class and versatility. His daughter Running Lass, bred by Farnsworth Farms, won the filly division (Desert Vixen) of the Florida Stallion Stakes. There are seven yearlings by Running Stag in the upcoming sale.

Ocala horsemen killed

Pete Maloy, a popular and respected member of the Ocala horse community, was shot and killed on Aug. 12. Maloy, who in addition to his Thoroughbred industry endeavors supervised construction projects, was on the job south of Ocala when, the authorities say, a driver in a fit of road rage shot Maloy and co-worker Jeremy Evans. Evans, also well-known in the Ocala horse community, was severely wounded. Gary K. Monroe has been charged in the shootings.

Maloy, with wife, Carol, operated Hidden Hill Farm in Ocala. The farm is home to the stallion Marco Bay, sire of this year's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby winner Buzzards Bay. Maloy, who was 71, is survived by his widow and their two children.