New York-breds conclude solid run at OBS March

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

By Sarah Mace

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company went full steam ahead through uncharted waters this week, holding its two-day March sale of 2-year-olds in training on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17-18, against the backdrop of turbulent financial markets and the spreading COVID-19 virus. Despite uncertainties for all aspects of our industry and daily life that run the gamut from A to Z, connections of the top New York-bred offerings were rewarded by strong buyer interest in the top lots.

The top-selling New York-bred of the auction was purchased in Tuesday’s opening session when Larry Best’s OXO Equine LLC went to $330,000 for Hip 167, a dark bay / brown Chester and Mary Broman-bred Medaglia d’ Oro filly who is a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint heroine Bar of Gold (read more). The quartet of six-figure sellers on Tuesday, was joined by an additional trio on Wednesday, including a filly by New York-based sire Big Brown (Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions).


Sequel Bloodstock consigned both the top New York-bred colt and filly on Wednesday. The New York-bred topper was Hip 417, a bay colt by Ghostzapper with a strong pedigree who was purchased by C. Clement, Nick Esler Agent, for $200,000. A speedy youngster, the bay posted a :9 4/5 furlong in the under tack show. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

Bred by Kathleen Schweizer and Daniel Burke, the Ghostzapper juvenile is the first foal out of Smoke Signals, a Kentucky-bred multiple winner and stakes-placed runner by Street Sense whom Burke purchased for $250,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale.

The colt’s second dam is the accomplished runner Unspoken Word (Catienus), a multiple stakes winner and Grade 1 La Brea Stakes runner up. His third dam, stakes winner Silent Emotion is also the dam of graded winner Emotional Kitten. In 2019 Smoke Signals produced a filly by Kitten’s Joy and was bred to Nyquist.


The top-selling New York-bred filly was Hip 670, a dark bay / brown juvenile from the second crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah who was purchased by Gary Contessa, Agent, for $180,000. Bred by Sequel, her consignor, she clocked a furlong in:10 1/5 in the under tack show. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

The filly is out of the unraced Kentucky-bred Corey’s Holiday, by Harlan’s Holiday, who last changed hands via public auction when purchased by Sallusto & Albina for $155,000 at the 2016 OBS spring sale of 2-year-olds.

Corey’s Holiday is also a full-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and New York-bred fan favorite Notacatbutallama, who was bred by Happy Hill Farm, campaigned by Repole Stable and retired with $789,359 in earnings. The filly’s second dam also produced stakes-placed producer Jazzminegem.


The third six-figure earner and top-selling New York-sired juvenile of the concluding session was Hip 368, a daughter of Big Brown. Consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent XII, she went to Joe DiRico, Nick Esler, Agent, for $115,000 after posting a furlong breeze in :10 2/5 in the under tack show. [UNDER TACK VIDEO]

The Big Brown filly is a second generation New Yorker. Breeder William C. Schettine campaigned her dam Rosa Salvaje who was bred in the state by New Dawn Stud. She went on to become a Saratoga stakes winner on turf for trainer Lisa Lewis and earned over $200,000. The filly’s second dam, Navarro Rose, is a CA-bred stakes-placed runner. Rosa Salvaje has already produced a winner from two foals to start and has a yearling filly by Mastery. She was not bred in 2019.


Of 43 New York-bred juveniles offered over two days, 27 changed hands (including four private sales to date) for a buyback rate of 37.2%. The New York-bred average and median came in at $71,519 and $40,000 respectively.

For the entire sale, which (understandably) saw a decline across-the-board, the average price was $95,885 compared with $144,603 in 2019 while the median price was $50,000 compared with $80,000 a year ago. The buyback percentage was 39.6%; it was 23.9% in 2019.

OBS director of sales Tod Wojciechowski said an announcement about OBS’s 2-year-old sales schedule going forward would likely come next week. “We’ll get together early next week. There’s still a lot of news on the horizon, and still a lot of things in turmoil in the world… We’ve been asked quite a bit. For right now, our answer is that the April sale is on the books, but certainly we have to look at everything that’s going on and try to come up with a plan that works well for everyone.”

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