01/21/2016 11:16AM

Preferred session kicks off two-day OBS mixed sale


The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. winter mixed sale, based in a region known for developing young talent for the races, sees the catalog for its 2016 renewal highlighted by horses that will one day race and ones already on the track.

The two-day sale will be held in Ocala, Fla., on Wednesday and Thursday, with each session beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. A 229-horse consignor preferred session makes up the first day of selling, with the second day featuring an open session immediately followed by the horses of racing age portion.

An optional under-tack show for horses of racing age will be held at the Ocala Training Center on Monday at 10 a.m.

“We’re looking forward to a good sale,” said Tod Wojciechowski, director of sales at OBS. “We have a good catalog of yearlings, as well as broodmares, and the racing age section continues to do well. I think we’ll draw a good buyer base.”

This year’s catalog comprises 637 offerings over the two days, marking a 25 percent increase over last year’s book of 509.

The sale’s 340 yearlings make up 53 percent of the 2016 catalog, up marginally over the 51 percent last year.

“It has continued to grow over the years,” Wojciechowski, said about the sale’s yearling market. “In the past years, the weanlings in the October sale were kind of a big deal, and it seems as though there has been a little bit of a change there. We’ve seen a growth in the short-yearling market in January. We see a number of people coming down from Kentucky to look at the quality horses that we have and, I would dare say, try to warm up for a few days.”

Wojciechowski also noted that the Day of Champions card, to be held at the Ocala Training Center on Tuesday, also has been helpful in drawing some high-profile horsemen. The series of races, open to OBS graduates, was moved from its spot adjacent to the March 2-year-olds in training sale in 2014.

“That draws a little added attention,” he said. “A number of the trainers and owners that come in for the races stick around, and they might purchase a weanling, a mare, or a racing-age horse, so that’s been a good addition.”

At last year’s sale, 341 horses sold for total revenues of $4,846,800, down 23.4 percent from the 2014 edition when 461 sold for $6,326,500. The average sale price rose 3.5 percent from $13,723 to $14,213, while the median sale price was down in all three sessions.

A yearling filly from the first crop of The Factor topped the sale, going to George Bolton and Peter Leidel for $190,000 to be the sale’s only six-figure horse.

Bred in Louisiana by Summer Grove Farm and Terry Gabriel, the still-unnamed filly is out of the winning Cobra King mare Viva Vega, whose six winners from seven foals to race includes Grade 3-placed stakes winner Southern Dude. Kim Harrison consigned the filly as agent.

The broodmare category was led by Pyrite Final, a Formal Dinner mare in foal to Kantharos who was purchased by Harris Training Center for $80,000. The unplaced mare is the dam of two winners from as many runners, including the stakes-placed Morgans Harbour. Boutte Sales, as agent, consigned Pyrite Final, who later produced a filly by Kantharos and was bred back to Algorithms.

Euro Exchange, a then-unraced Exchange Rate gelding, topped the horses of racing portion, purchased by Jim Stackpoole for $90,000. He raced six times in Florida, placing in five of those starts.

Notable recent OBS January graduates include Grade 3 winners X Y Jet and Distinctiv Passion, and Sunshine Millions Classic winner Sr. Quisqueyano.

To view the online catalog, click here.