The OBS August Yearling Sale, which gets rolling with today’s select session at 1 p.m., boasts graduates that continue to win some of the world’s most important stakes races
The OBS August Yearling Sale has a history bursting with stakes winners at the highest levels dating back to the likes of Groovy and Florida-bred classic winner Silver Charm. Graduates of the sale have won major races across the country, in Dubai and at Royal Ascot, escalating the August Sale from its regional roots to a global marketplace.
This year’s renewal kicks off today with a selected session at 1 p.m. OBS set the later start to afford horsemen additional travel time to Ocala following weekend stakes races and to provide a longer inspection period prior to the sale. The select session is followed by two open sessions on Wednesday and Thursday that begin at 10:30 a.m. A total of 751 yearlings have been cataloged for the entire sale with 188 head offered in the opening select session.
The August Yearling Sale follows on the heels of a record-setting juvenile sale season for OBS.
“The juvenile sales went very well,” said Tom Ventura, OBS president. “Success like that certainly helps the pinhookers. Since a portion of these yearlings will go to pinhookers, I expect they will be active this week.”
OBS officials admit it’s tough to clearly assess the yearling market based on initial offerings this season, including the high profile Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale. That sale, held, Aug. 6-7, saw gross prices decline 2.7 percent to $32 million. Average was off 6.3 percent to $299,065 and the median fell 10 percent to $225,000. Horses sold rose 3.9 percent to 107, while the buy-back rate went up to 34 percent from 22 percent a year ago.
“It is hard to gauge the market based on what we’ve seen so far,” said Ventura. “At worst, the market has leveled out and stabilized. Our numbers with this sale are inching forward. We have to have a little better sale than last August.”
Topping last year’s OBS August select session was a filly by Midnight Lute purchased for $110,000 by SGV Thoroughbreds. Woodford Thoroughbreds, agent for CloverLeaf Farms, consigned the session topper. Leading the way in the open session was a colt by Lemon Drop Kid consigned by Beth Bayer, agent, and purchased by Sallusto/Albina, agent for $105,000.
Nick de Meric, agent, led all buyers at the 2011 select session, taking five head for $275,000. EQB Inc., Patrice Miller, agent, was next with four purchases at $247,000. Adena Springs bought five for $204,000 in the select session and halted 14 for $256,000 to lead all buyers in last year’s open session.
All told, last year’s select session saw 114 horses gross $4,278,000 and average $37,526. The open session grossed $4,603,800 and averaged $11,201 on 411 head sold.
Graduates of the 2011 August Sale are already making their marks on the racetrack. Last year’s graduates are off to promising starts, scoring in early maiden races at Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Calder, Betfair Hollywood Park, Saratoga and Woodbine. August graduate Candy Coded Kisses notched a victory in the recent Desert Vixen Stakes, first leg of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series at Calder.
Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stables, Ciaglia Racing LLC & Rob Dyrdek’s Weemissfrankie, winner of her first three starts, two in grade one company, is on the cover of this year’s select catalog. With earnings of more than $500,000 to her credit, she was sold by Summerfield, agent, at the 2010 August Yearling Sale.
“The select session has a slightly larger book this year,” said Ventura. “In both sessions we have a good mix of pedigree and individuals, as well as some high profile sires. I think when prospective buyers evaluate these horses they will be pleased.”
Some of the leading sires represented in the select session include Giant’s Causeway, Empire Maker, War Front and Kitten’s Joy, along with Candy Ride (ARG), Elusive Quality, Pulpit, Hard Spun, Congrats and Afleet Alex.
Fashionable young sires represented with yearlings include Curlin, Pioneerof the Nile, Colonel John, Majestic Warrior, Tiz Wonderful, Dunkirk, Old Fashioned, Cowboy Cal, Midnight Lute and Kodiak Kowboy.
Florida sires also are plentiful in the select offering. Journeyman Stud’s Wildcat Heir, Awesome of Course, Teuflesberg, Exclusive Quality and Cowtown Cat, Stonewall Farm Ocala’s Leroidesanimaux, A.P. Warrior and Value Plus, Ocala Stud’s High Cotton and Montbrook, Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds’ With Distinction, Bridlewood Farm’s Put It Back, Get Away Farm’s Two Step Salsa and Vinery’s Pomeroy are among the Florida stallions represented with yearlings.
Featured on the cover of this year’s open sale is Florida-bred Jeranimo, the 21st millionaire from the OBS August Sale following his victory in the Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) at Betfair Hollywood Park. Sold by On Course Sales, agent, at the 2007 OBS August Sale, B.J. Wright’s Jeranimo is one of 122 August graduates who have won or placed in 230 stakes races since the beginning of 2011, according to OBS.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that the momentum from our juvenile sales will carry over into this sale,” said Tod Wojciechowski, OBS director of sales. “We have a good book, the buyers are here and we’re excited about the sale.”
Conformation photographs of most of the selected yearlings may be viewed on the OBS website at obssales.com. The sale will be streamed live via the OBS website and also via The Blood-Horse and Daily Racing Form websites. The catalog can be downloaded for iPad use. For more information and to obtain the application, go to http://www.equineline.com/SalesCatalogApp/.
Photo by Cindy Mikell