Brave new world: OBS picks up thread of 2020 juvenile sales season

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

By Sarah Mace

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s picked up the thread of the 2020 juvenile sales season Tuesday with the opening session of the four-day Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training. Originally set for late April, the auction was rescheduled to June 9-12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-March OBS just managed to pull off the only other juvenile sale of the season. At that time, the immanent shutdown of most U.S. commerce, dramatic losses on Wall Street and the risks of travel took their toll on the auction results, with all major indicators declining by more than a third.

When the bloodstock market returned Tuesday it was anybody’s guess as to what business would look like. New health and safety protocols were in place and provisions were added for online bidding for the benefit of those unable or unwilling to attend in person. According to OBS, the online bidding attracted over 100 registered users. After a few glitches early on in the sale, the auctioneer, internet bidders and operator of the platform managed to get in synch.

As it turned out, OBS put up solid numbers for the day. The average came in at $91,477, compared to $92,446 a year ago. The median was $50,000 compared to the 2019 median of $55,000. The buyback rate increased to 30.7% from 21.3%. Several six-figure horses were purchased digitally.

OBS president Tom Ventura told, “I didn’t have expectations on what the numbers would be like. We had nothing to gauge it on, so I didn’t have a good feel to where I could project with any kind of confidence. With what happened today, and I hope it continues the next three days, we will be very happy if we land in this spot where our average is close to what we did last year.”

The New York-bred cohort, as we have come to expect in recent years, had individuals who sold for top-tier prices. While the New York-bred average of $64,778 did not keep pace with the overall session average, the $50,000 median matched that of the general population. New York-breds did, however, experience an elevated buyback rate. Only nine individuals sold of 19 offered (including one private sale) for a 52.6% RNA percentage.

The New York-bred standouts from session one, both colts, were led by Hip 200, a dark bay/brown colt by Twirling Candy who was purchased by for $180,000.

Bred by Dr. Jerry Bilinski, Hip 200 is out of stakes winner and veteran broodmare Nice Boots Baby, who has produced seven winners from eight foals to start, including stakes winner and multiple graded stakes performer Orinoquia (Whywhywhy), who has gone on to become a stakes producer in her own right. Bilinski purchased Nice Boots Baby at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for $40,000.

A graduate of the Fasig-Tipton preferred New York-bred yearling sale, where he was hammered down to Blue Collar Stable for $100,000, Hip 200 was consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, Agent V at OBS, and turned in a speedy quarter-mile breeze in :21 flat. (VIDEO)

August Dawn Farm, the nom de course of retired NFL coach Bill Parcells, went to $120,000 to secure a chestnut New York-bred colt by Taylor Made Stallions’ freshman sire Mshawish.

Bred by Taylor Brothers Properties LLC and consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent XIV, Hip 186 went to Blue Gill Hill as a yearling for $100,000 at the 2019 New York-bred preferred yearling sale in Saratoga. For the OBS sale, he breezed a quarter in :21 2/5 in the Under Tack Show. (VIDEO)

The colt’s dam is Nadadora, a Kentucky-bred multiple winner by Carson City who brought $225,000 as a yearling in 2006 and last changed hands at public auction in 2016 when purchased by Grey Flight for $42,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer horses of racing age sale.

She has already produced four winners from five foals to start, led by Olympic Runner by Gio Ponti, a stakes winner on dirt in Canada and her first foal, multiple graded stakes performer Sammy Mandeville by Rock Hard Ten. The colt’s extended female family includes sire Belong to Me.

The spring sale resumes with session two on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

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