Observations from the 2017 OBS March Sale

Congrats' daughter topped the sale
It was a quick turn-around from the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale to the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training but money still flew in Ocala this week.

Five horses sold for $1-million or more compared to two last year with a filly coming out as the most expensive hip for the second sale in a row following the Uncle Mo filly topping Fasig-Tipton’s 2-year-old sale. Here are some quick observations from this year’s OBS March sale and the stallions represented in it.

A.P. Indy Factor – A.P. Indy’s (Seattle Slew) time as a sire at the 2-year-old sales has long since passed but that doesn’t mean his presence wasn’t felt at OBS March. The 28-year-old pensioned stallion is the sire of Congrats, who had the $1.7-million sales topper here. He is also the grandsire of freshman sire Orb (Malibu Moon), who had the second most expensive horse at $1.25-million, and Tapit (Pulpit) who had the third most expensive at $1.1-million. On a smaller scale, he’s also part of the extended family of Hip 295, whose fourth dam is A.P. Indy’s granddam Lassie Dear (Buckpasser). That colt sold for $950,000 to be the sixth most expensive of the sale.

Colts vs. Fillies – It’s not a surprise that colts usually take over the top of the leaderboard at sales like this, but that was very obvious here. At the Fasig-Tipton sale a few weeks ago, the 11 horses to sell for the top 10 prices (two tied at $550,000) were fairly even with six colts and five fillies selling in that range but that wasn’t the case here. Only two fillies made it in the top 10 here BUT one of those was the sales topper and sold for nearly $500,000 more than the second highest priced horse (a colt) so it wasn’t a total win for the boys in that battle.

Forestry – Another sire we won’t see much of at sales like this is Forestry (Storm Cat), who stayed in South America after a shuttle season a few years ago. But while he may not have had any 2-year-olds in this sale, he did play a big part as a broodmare sire here. Two colts by his daughters sold for a combined $2.05-million to be the third and fourth most expensive horses sold.

OXO Equine LLC – Lawrence Best’s OXO Equine made a big splash at Fasig-Tipton early in the month when buying two of the three most expensive horses in that sale. This sale Best didn’t go to that level but he did buy the second and third most expensive horses in the sale. First appearing on the scene at Keeneland September last year, Best has spent $4.75-million on four 2-year-olds this year between the Fasig-Tipton and OBS 2-year-old sales.

Union Rags
Wide Variety of Sires – There have been complaints in recent years that the sire pool is fairly small when you’re looking for a sire to get you a big commercial horse but that wasn’t the case at this sale. The top 15 horses were sired by 13 different sires standing from fees of $20,000 (Congrats) to $300,000 (Tapit). Second-crop sire Union Rags (Dixie Union) and leading sire Tapit were the only two horses who had more than one horse (two each) sell for $775,000 or more at this sale.

Peter Miller – Peter Miller led all buyers by numbers with eight tickets signed over the two days. None of those purchases were bought for more than five figures with his most expensive being a $75,000 New Year’s Day (Street Cry) colt. His cheapest was a $22,000 Violence filly out of a stakes winning Lion Heart mare.

McKathan Bros – This consignor may be most known for their work breaking American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) but at this sale they get recognition for consigning the sale topper. Of the four they sent through the ring, two of them sold for a combined $1.95-million while the other two who didn't sell brought decent final bids at $140,000 and $145,000 respectively.

Eddie Woods – The consignor with the most horses in the top 15 was Eddie Woods, who sold three in that price range with one more in the top 20. Overall, the consignment sold 23 horses with only one RNAing and not finding a private buyer after going through the ring. The most expensive was a Pioneerof the Nile colt from the family of Grade 1 winner Outwork (Uncle Mo) and multiple graded stakes winner Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) who sold for $1-million to Robert and Lawana Low.

Missing Buyers – There was plenty of action at the sale but there were some missing names on the buyers’ end. Names like Al Shaqab Racing, Bob Baffert, China Horse Club, and M.V. Magnier didn’t sign tickets either alone or in partnership. WinStar Farm, which partnered up with some of the names listed last year to buy four horses and one on its own, only signed the ticket for one horse at this sale as well. But on the flip side of the coin, at least 184 buyers took home new horses at this year’s sale, showing that there is still a nice collection of owners ready to buy 2-year-olds.


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