08/15/2002 11:00PM

Trends bode well for OBS sale

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Guarded optimism is the outlook for the four-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's yearling auction. The selected session starts the sale Monday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m. with 216 cataloged. It is immediately followed by 88 yearlings selling as phase one of the Franks Farm planned reduction of Thoroughbred inventory. The open portion of this sale, Tuesday through Thursday, has 1,106 yearlings cataloged and has an 11 a.m. starting time.

"Judging from what happened at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sales and this past week's New York-bred and California yearling sales," says OBS sales director Tom Ventura, "I would have to say that I am reasonably optimistic that our yearling sales will be solid as well."

The 304 cataloged for the selected-Franks Farms consignments include 229 Florida-breds, 72 Kentucky-breds, and nine New York-breds. The only first-crop stallion among the Florida-breds to bring millionaire, graded stakes-winning status to the sale is the Franks Farm resident Precocity.

Precocity, himself an alumni of the 1995 OBS August yearling sale, won multiple graded stakes including the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap. Middle distance was his forte and he retired after his 5 year-old campaign with $1.8 million in earnings. He is from the Ribot line through Hoist the Flag and the tail-female sires Bold Reasoning and Mr. Prospector. There are eight yearlings by Precocity in the Franks Farms consignment and another two in open session.

Florida's current leading sires are Notebook with three stakes winners who have won six stakes and $2.2 million; Fortunate Prospect, with two stakes winners who have won eight stakes and $2 million; and Montbrook, with five stakes winners of eight stakes and progeny earnings of $2 million.

There are 10 yearlings by Notebook cataloged throughout the sale. Fortunate Prospect is more or less typed as a 2 year-old in training sire, so it is no surprise that only four of his get are cataloged in the open sessions. Montbrook, however, is well represented with 12 of his yearlings cataloged for the selected session and 14 more in the open sessions.

There are four Florida freshman sires with four or more juvenile winners. They are Lucky Lionel with 10 starters, four winners, and one stakes-placed runner; Concerto, 12 starters, four winners, and one stakes-placed freshman; Double Honor, eight runners, four winners, and one stakes-placed runner; and Northern Afleet, seven runners and four winners. Double Honor's reported winner in Italy gives him a turf dimension.

There are 14 yearlings by Lucky Lionel cataloged; six by Concerto; 17 by Double Honor; and three by Northern Afleet.

Florida's current top three juvenile sires, by money won, at the sale are Tactical Advantage, who has 16 yearlings cataloged; Mecke with nine; and Suave Prospect with 10. Florida's leading second-season sires are Lost Soldier, who stands at Franks Farm, Outflanker, and Suave Prospect. Lost Soldier, with 13 in the sale, is the first of the second-season group to sire the winners of a million or more in 2002. Outflanker has 11 in the sale.

The OBS August yearling averages have been steady over the past two years. In August 2001 the selected session listed 194 sold for an average of $42,330. The opening sessions listed 771 sold for an average of $9,638.