Friday, April 23, 2010

OBS ends with upward trends; I tip (obvious) topper

With a huge price for a filly from an operation exiting the business -- and a flurry of activity late in the sale that remains unexplained -- the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. ended its four-day April auction of 2-year-olds in training on Thursday with positive trends in gross, average and median prices.

Hip 949, a chestnut filly already named Delightful Mary, consigned as part of the dispersal of Florida breeding and racing icon Hobeau Farm, brought by far the sale's highest price at $500,000. The filly -- who is by Limehouse and out of the French Deputy mare Deputy's Delight -- stopped the clock at 20 2/5 seconds for the co-fastest quarter-mile workout of the under-tack session and is a half-sister to millionaire Ohio Derby-G2 winner DELIGHTFUL KISS. Speed runs in the family, and Delightful Kiss carried that speed to a mile and an eighth in winning the Grade 3 All-American Stakes at Golden Gate fields in a record time of 1:49 2/5.

Trainer Mark Casse as agent signed the ticket on the half-million-dollar Hobeau belle. He told Thoroughbred Times that the filly gave the impression that the brilliant breeze was a matter of routine.

"I watched (the breeze show) from over on the backside and I was there when she pulled up," Casse said. "As she was walking back, I walked beside her and she didn't take a deep breath. She was just remarkable how at ease she was with everything. That impressed me a lot.

Enough that the price paid for her was nearly double that for a Pleasantly Perfect colt from Day 1 that had led the sale for three days at a tag of $260,000.

The sale-starter on Thursday, a Kentucky-bred Strong Contender colt already named Record Price, wasn't, bringing just $3,000; Raul Colon signed the ticket. But the 10.3-breezer consigned by Sequel Bloodstock (Becky Thomas), agent, has a chance to be a racehorse. His dam, Crystal Sweet (Holy Bull) was a minor stakes-placer overseas with a pair of wins at 2 for $56,398, and has produced one winner from three older foals, a Yankee Victor filly who has broken her maiden in the Dominican Republic. Second dam Memorable Mitch (Mehmet) was a stakes winner of $167,336 and the blacktype under third dam My Guest (Mister Gus), a half-sister to G1 winner CORRAGIOSO and Arlington-Washington Futurity winner T. V. COMMERCIAL, is considerable.

The four-day sale saw 739 juveniles change hands for $20,754,400, up 4.4 percent in gross revenues vs. 2009, when actually more horses were sold -- 799 head, for $19,879,800. The average price rose 12.9 percent, to $28,084 vs. $24,881. And the median price spiked by a stunning 33.3 percent, from $15,000 in 2009 to $20,000 in 2010.

I tipped 106 horses as my favored offerings (based on pedigree, catalog page and under-tack times and video) from the original catalog of 1,221, minus those that were withdrawn prior to the sale. (I mentioned a 107th, the fastest-worker of the sale, a filly by High Fly, and why I would take a pass.) Read the complete, running version of the tips here: Day 1 (18 horses); Day 2 (22); Day 3 (34); and Day 4 (33).

I followed up by reporting the sales results for those animals. This is our chance to wrap up Thursday's session. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday wraps are of course also still available.

Here's how Thursday's final 32 (plus 1) fared:

Hip 921: Bay colt by Wildcat Heir-Cup of Cheers, by Raise a Cup. I haven't counted, but certainly I tipped more Wildcat Heir foals than any other sire from this sale. This one had a "slow" breeze of 10.4 for an eighth, which led me to hope he would be inexpensive by Wildcat Heir's suddenly pricey standards -- his 2-year-olds this year have sold for an average or $72,895 -- even though the dam here was a nine-win stakes-placer who has produced a stakes winner from five winners out of nine older foals. I was right; this NY-bred only brought a top bid of $11,000. And it wasn't enough. ... $11,000 Not Sold.

Hip 925: Bay colt by War Front-Dance Club, by Montbrook. KY-bred first foal from a winning mare who was half to three stakes horses. Breezed 10.1 and looked the part. Morning-after reflection suggests perhaps we should have made both freshman sire and first-time mom prove themselves, but I liked that dirt-running War Front was by a sire who could get turf horses (Danzig) out of a mare from the Lord at War-line which is perhaps better-known as a grass sireline, and while Montbrook isn't the turfiest of lines, all three of this dam's stakes siblings earned some or all of that blacktype on the lawn. So the colt should have options; dirt, turf or even synthetic. Hopefully he likes at least one of them. ... $30,000 to Galloping Acres Farm.

Hip 934: Heir to Dare, bay filly by Wildcat Heir-Daringly, by Tactical Advantage.Thought she made 33-flat for 3f look easy (co-fastest of the day) and unraced dam has two winners from as many foals, including one who has earned $129K already. Reportedly has a "small opacity" in her eye that does not affect her vision. Sellers Blue River Bloodstock, agent, couldn't see parting with her. ... $62,000 Not Sold.

Hip 936: Bay colt by Gibson County-Darn That Girl, by Darn That Alarm. Hoped to abscond with this blazing-fast FL-bred (9 4/5 eighth) whose dam won at 2 and 3 for nearly $100K. No such luck; sellers McKathan Bros., agent, too sly for that. Could be worth at least this, even with a bone fragment report from the vet. ... $17,000 Not Sold.

Hip 940: Hard Rock Candy, chestnut filly by Wildcat Heir-D. D. Rocks, by Tactical Advantage. A Florida-bred fast-breezer (21.2) whose winning dam has one older foal that hasn't raced. Dam half to two stakes winners. Journeyman Stud (Brent & Crystal Fernung), agent, expected more, and I think should have gotten it. ... $32,000 Not Sold.

Hip 949: Delightful Mary, chestnut filly by Limehouse-Deputy's Delight, by French Deputy. Tale of the tape already told on this one. I'm not trying to pick sales-toppers, just racehorses. This Florida-bred sure seems to fit the bill. ... $500,000 to Mark Casse, agent.

Hip 957: Chestnut colt by Officer-Dial a Trick, by Phone Trick. Six-for-eight producing dam with three stakes horses -- EYE OF THE TIGER (G2), WILDWOOD FLOWER (G2-placed), and Expanse (stakes-producer) -- a big selling point. But this KY-bred made his own emphatic case with a 9.4 drill. Often tough to say about a horse who brought more than double the sale average price, but this dollar-figure might prove a bargain. ... $70,000 to Patrice Miller, EQB Inc., agent.

Hip 968: Dark bay or brown filly by Pleasantly Perfect-Dixie Talent by Dixie Union. Unraced dam with an unraced first foal (ouch) but KY-bred filly breezed 10-flat and also-unraced second dam produced four stakes horses including Longacres Mile-G3 hero NO GIVEAWAY. Looked the part, but at this price, she'd better. ... $40,000 to EQB for the Richter Family Trust.

Hip 970: Chestnut filly by Pure Prize-Doll Baby, by Citidancer. First foal out of stakes-placed dam was half to three stakes winners, including Black-Eyed Susan-G2 champion SWEET VENDETTA (Stephen Got Even). NY-bred filly breezed 10.2. Something on the X-rays or scopes? Crooked? Clinically insane? ... $17,000 Not Sold.

Hip 983: Wilddreamscometrue, chestnut filly by Wildcat Heir-Dream With Angels, by Saint Ballado. A 21.2 work by this Florida-bred is only half of her appeal. Full sister RICHIEGIRLGONEWILD recently became a G3 winner. ... $115,000 to Larry Rivelli, agent for Richard Ravin.

Hip 998: Bay filly by More Than Ready-Empty Portrait, by Coronado's Quest. Dam not much of a runner nor much of a producer yet. But she's out of G3 winner of 10 races Ileria (Stop the Music) who produced seven stakes horses by Broad Brush (6) and his son Concern (1). That group includes G1-winner and sire INCLUDE and G3-winner MAGIC BROAD. Not so much dying to own this 10.2-Kentucky-bred-breezer as I am lobbying to get her dam sent to Oklahoma where Concern now stands. But she sold nicely. ... $30,000 to Mike Pender.

Hip 1003: Bay filly by Concerto-Epistolary, by Deputy Minister. Breeze of 22.2 wasn't very gusty, dam has produced nine winners from 13 older foals, four of them stakes horses including G3-placed TEXTURIZER. I think this Florida-bred will take time to develop and will want a route of ground. Love this price, but wonder where she'll end up and how she'll be handled, a concern of mine with many of the bargain-bin horses. ... $5,000 to Angel Ubarri.

Hip 1015: Bay filly by Grand Slam-Explosive Scarlet, by Explodent. New York-bred status adds to the appeal of a filly by a top Kentucky sire who posted a 21.1. Dam a minor stakes winner of $117K and has produced 100 percent winners from six prior foals, including SWEET BABY JAMES (11 wins, $363K), R. Little Redhead (19 wins from ages 3 to 10, $392K) and Hollywood Park track record-equalling Tough Game (10 wins, $300K, 6f in 1:07 2/5). ... $30,000 to Funky Munky Stable LLC.

Hip 1035: Banshee Indian, bay filly by Indian Ocean-Feature Film, by Forest Wildcat. Filly from a sire of only five starts and an unraced dam ran as green as any horse in the breeze show -- and still clocked a rapid 21.1. Imagine if ran in a straight line? Gotta try to keep this Florida-bred who is inbred 3x3 to Storm Cat and 5x4 to Mr. Prospector sound (important with all horses, of course, but especially with signs of fragile lineage), but her second dam won 12 of 26 including a Grade 3 race, so this family isn't particularly made of porcelain. ... Interesting note to pedigree enthusiasts; sire's third dam, Oceana, was a full sister to Storm Bird, paternal great-grandsire of both parents. ... $37,000 to Ricky Griffith, agent.

Hip 1046: Bay filly by E Dubai-Fine Day, by Fantastic Light. Dirt-sprinting sire can get a turf horse, and I think this fleet-footed (9.4) KY-bred filly might be one of those. Imagine if she were even better on the lawn? Second dam a French-raced G3-placer who was a half-sister to MARQUETRY (G1 on dirt and turf), SPAIN LANE (Group 2 and 3 winner in France) and to the dam of FIVE STAR DAY (three graded wins). Not that much production or performance lately, but gosh, she looks like the exception. And this price is phenomenal. ...$20,000 to Neal Maharaj.

Hip 1048: Bay colt by Rahy-First Quarter, by Sky Classic. Almost passed on this KY-bred who breezed "only" 10.3 because of immediate family's hit-and-miss production record. But the hits are home runs, including his G3-placed dam. Second dam First Class Gal (Geiger Counter) was 2002 Canadian broodmare of the year and her half-sister earned the same status in 2005. And with his pensioning announced, we're running out of chances to buy a young Rahy. ...$25,000 to Jessica Campitelli.

Hip 1061: Sensationalmystery, bay filly by Macho Uno-Forest Mystery, by Running Stag. Macho Uno has been getting some very nice racehorses, and I haven't looked at all their catalog pages, but if they were as uninspiring as his progeny in this sale, then he's even better than I thought; and I rate him highly, as do his stats of a 1.92 AEI vs. 1.59 CI. He simply upgrades his mares. He'll get many more winners out of this sale than the one I tried to tip, which ended up being an out. ... Withdrawn.

Hip 1079: Dark bay or brown filly by Wildcat Heir-Gemley, by Big Stanley. Florida-bred another of her sire's fast-breezers (20.4) and comes from a racehorse family, if non-blacktype. ... $45,000 to Sarah McCord, agent.

Hip 1080: Bay colt by First Samurai-Gem Treck, by Java Gold. Dam has seven winners from nine older foals and from varying sirelines; four of those are blacktype-horses including BUDDY GOT EVEN ($145K). Second dam Tallahto (Nantallah) was thrice a G1 winner who produced G1 winner PRINCE TRUE, HIDDEN LIGHT (dam of ARTIE SCHILLER) and G2-placed Le Duc de Bar. KY-bred breezed 10.1, to boot. How, how, how did this colt go for less than the sale's median? ... $18,000 to KRA (KOID).

Hip 1082: Lime Rock Revenge, bay gelding by Limehouse-Genie's Flight, by Silver Hawk. Did this one attract less attention because he's already gelded, which means no stallion prospects, ever? Florida-bred by sire who produced $500K sales-topper and another $200K foal and out of a dam with 11 winners from 13 older foals, including $150K stakes winner SILVER ON SILVER; old-line second dam G3-placed half-sister to five-times Horse of the Year KELSO. Breezed a decent 10.2. No doubt Peggy S. Dellheim, agent, expected more. ...$16,000 Not Sold.

Hip 1093: Atlantic Goddess, bay filly by Stormy Atlantic-Godmother, by Show'em Slew. Another FL-bred with a 10.1 breeze is out of a G3-winning dam who earned $373K and was half to two more stakes winners. Sales filly a half-sister to G3-placer and from the close female family of listed winner STORMY BALLAD by this same sire. Good blacktype family. ...$35,000 to Brian Cleary, agent.

Hip 1109: Dark bay or brown filly by Royal Academy-Good Intentions, by Anet. Sired by a Breeders' Cup Mile-G1 winner who gets racehorses, especially on turf, and the first foal out of a juvenile turf stakes-winning mare. Second dam a full sister to $254K turf-sprinter RUNAWAY CHOICE; half-sister GUESS a sprint-stakes winner on dirt. Third dam a stakes winner and half to multiple-G1 millionaire WEKIVA SPRINGS. Florida-bred breezed 10.2 and should go better over grass. Buyer a former leading owner at Gulfstream, Woodbine and Fort Erie must know his horses. Does nobody else? Could prove to be the value of the sale. ... $5,000 to Bruno Schickedanz.

Hip 1114: Hot an Cool, dark bay or brown filly by Awesome Again-Gourmet Girl, by Cee's Tizzy. Daughter of multiple-G1 champion mare who hasn't remotely reproduced herself was consigned by agent Niall Brennan Stables, galloped instead of breezed, and then went home. ... Withdrawn.

Hip 1123: Gray or roan colt by Mizzen Mast-Gypsy, by Marfa. Stakes-placed dam threw five winners from six prior foals including G3-placer GAL ON THE GO (dam of dual-G3-winning SOCIAL QUEEN). Female family of a favorite of mine, PERFECT DRIFT. Not surprised the money wasn't enough to sway consigning agent Shadybrook Farm (Michael Yates). ... $32,000 Not Sold.

Hip 1145: Bay filly by Candy Ride-Hortense, by Hussonet. Southern-hemisphere pedigree on display, with Argentine sire over Chilean-bred, U.S. turf stakes-placed dam. Mama is full to Chilean G2-winner CONSERVATORIO. Slow 10.4 breeze by a former $5,000 yearling RNA, but Candy is proving pretty sweet in the breeding shed with G1 winners like Misremembered, Kentucky Derby hopeful Sidney's Candy, Capt. Candyman Can and Evita Argentina. This one headed south, too; South Korea. ... $19,000 to KRA (KOID).

Hip 1182: Soldier's Tune, gray or roan gelding by Concorde's Tune-Jessica Bush, by Lost Soldier. Already gelded for maximum-racehorse-focus. Unheralded sire gets some very good Florida-breds. This one cruised 47-flat for four furlongs, one of very few to show himself at that distance. Only older sib a winner at 2 and now 3. Darned close to a turnkey racehorse, while some of these still need lots of work and time. ... $28,000 to Joe Arboritanza, agent for Joe Raffa.

Hip 1184: Bay filly by Forest Camp-Jezebella, by Wild Again. Dam as modest as winners get, but has thrown a stakes horse of $237K in BALIAN and a second cheap winner by Johannesburg. Kentucky-bred produced probably the only sub-22 quarter I watched (21.4) in which the horse never felt the whip; hand-ride all the way. Maybe Palmarejo Thoroughbreds decided she was too good to sell. ... Withdrawn.

Hip 1187: Code Dancer, bay gelding by Omega Code-Jocey's Dance, by Seattle Dancer. Speedy 21.1 Florida-bred comes pre-gelded to save you the trouble. Most of his six winning older siblings did so in modest company, but ran on for awhile, showing durability the breed could use today. Second dam produced millionaire 21-race winner GRECIAN FLIGHT(Acorn S.-G1), 16-race winner GRECIAN COMEDY (granddam of BULLSBAY-G1), 16-time winner EVZONE, and unraced bangled, dam of Florida Oaks-G3 winner, Ashland S.-G1-placed ANKLET. Businesslike racetrack family. Darned right Indian Prairie Ranch should have been offered more. ... $13,000 Not Sold.

Hip 1194: Dark bay or brown filly by High Fly-Jovetta, by Elusive Quality. I de-tipped this one, declining to let her freakish 9 3/5 eighth persuade me to tout a filly by a young sire who has done very little out of a mare who made just one start and is from a family that generally wins but often not in high company and several haven't stuck around the track for long. I wish her luck, truly. She's forever handicapped with high expectations and the weight of that purchase price in two overstuffed saddlebags. ... $175,000 to Buzz Chace, agent.

Hip 1200: Bay colt by Desert Warrior-Karakorum Kiss, by Lord Carson. Colt's 10.1 breeze was the chilliest of hand-rides and he already has two winning siblings, one stakes-placed. Credentials sparse under the second dam, but the third dam was a 15-time winner with blacktype in Louisiana and dam of 14-time winner WESTERN TRADER. Our boy benefits from NY-bred status. ... $25,000 to Mighty White Stallion LLC.

Hip 1205: Dark bay or brown filly by Ghostzapper-Katy Kat, by Forest Wildcat. G3-placed, stakes-winning dam of $210K, has produced three moderate winners, and is a full sister to 2-year-old stakes winner YADDO CAT. Second dam stakes-placed and produced another G3-placer. Third dam half to Breeders' Cup Classic hero WILD AGAIN and produced all over everywhere, including Ak-Sar-Ben dual G3-winner LANCE ($284K), Borderland Derby winnerMR. DECATUR ($175K) and four-stakes Canadian winner BUILDING CODE ($132K), plus Australian stakes-placed Oakmont. Filly worked a fluid 10.3 without encouragement. ...$12,000 to George Santis & Nickajack/Rey De Oros.

Hip 1208: Rain Dance, dark bay or brown colt by Survivalist-Keetoowah, by Cherokee Run. Dam won three times for $48K and has no blacktype siblings, but 10.3 breeze was fluid if not fleet. Second dam by Apalachee won seven of 10 lifetime including several graded stakes, and while she produced no blacktype, she did throw seven of nine winners. Female family of TIME LIMIT, VICTORIANNA and WANNA RUNNER. Ontario-bred gets synthetic main track, and Victorianna set a record on Arlington's plastic. ... $27,000 to Bear Stables.

Hip 1220: Menil, bay filly by Johannesburg-Kreisleriana, by Seeking the Gold. Next-to-last in the catalog; sold after the still-not-detailed "incident" that delayed the sale for about 30 minutes and moved it out back to the walking ring. Breeze wasn't an outright dawdle (10.4) and I wouldn't care if it was. Dam didn't run for much and hasn't produced despite two shots with Giant's Causeway, though her second son only just started at 3. Second dam five times a champion in Ireland, Germany and across Europe and sired by a horse in Persian Bold whose get want a mile and a quarter or more. Back to Ireland with this line? ... $15,000 to Ricky Griffith, agent.

So of my 32 selections on the final day of the sale, 22 went on to sell for a total of $1.131 million, by far the most I "spent" over the four days of the sale. That's an average of $51,409. It isn't that I didn't tip any cheaper horses; just that some of the ones I liked at the lower end of the spectrum, the consigners liked even more and balked at the low bids offered. That and of course I tipped the sales-topper, who frankly brought much more even than I had expected.

For the sale, of the 106 horses I recommended, 75 actually changed hands, for a grand total of $3,286,900. That adds up to an average of $43,825, although minus the sales-topper the average would have been $37,770. I remain most confident, however, in a few of the real steals, particularly Bruno Schickedanz's Royal Academy filly, who thankfully, despite her price, I believe has fallen into good hands.

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