$1.1 million Medaglia D'Oro filly is exclamation point at OBS
Agent Steve Young acquired the half-sister to three Graded winners
For four days this week, American horsemen focused their energy on the 861 horses offered at the Ocala Breeders' Sales April Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale. The enthusiasm this collection of juveniles attracted set records for aggregate sales, average price and median price at this auction for the second consecutive year.
Of the ones offered, 707 were sold for a total of $69.4 million, up 14 per cent from last year's record of $60.9m from 678 sold. The average price for this year was $98,203, up 9 per cent from a year ago, while the median rose to $55,000, which is up 16 per cent from the 2017 record.
Sixty-six horses sold for $250,000 or more compared with 60 that sold in this price range last year.
"We certainly set the bar pretty high last year and were not sure we could match strides with last year," said Tom Ventura, president of OBS. "But the consignors are what it is all about. We have to have the horses, and they have complete confidence in this market. They bring us the top horses - by Tapit, War Front, Medaglia D'Oro - and top physicals, like the $800,000 one by Kantharos, and by some of the promising young sires like Uncaptured and He's Had Enough.
"It was solid from the onset to the very end. The last ten horses through the ring all got sold, and the last horse brought $300,000. We are very proud of what we have accomplished with this sale," Ventura said.
As further proof of how committed buyers were to the entire catalogue, the top-selling horse didn't appear until 15 hips from the end - a $1.1m Medaglia D'Oro filly who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Stormello and two other Graded winners, My Best Brother and Gala Award. The filly was consigned by Randy Bradshaw for Jeff Weiss, the owner of Rosedown Racing. Weiss bought the filly at the 2017 Keeneland September Sale for $300,000 out of the Valkyre Stud consignment.
Agent Steve Young bought the Medaglia D'Oro filly for an undisclosed client.
"She is one of those rare horses that is hard to say what you like most about her," said Young, who was the sale's leading buyer with seven horses purchased for a total of $2.6m. "She is an imposing, beautiful filly. She is built like the really good Medaglia D'Oro fillies before her, and she is a tremendous-moving horse. She brought what she was supposed to bring."
Bradshaw said the filly has been special since she arrived at his farm in October.
"Just before we came to the sale, the last time I worked her, she had been good - but at that time she was really good," he said. "When I came (to OBS), I didn't want to do too much with her because she was really dialed in. We prepped her a sixteenth of a mile, but she ended up going an eighth in :10 1/5 and pulled up in :21, and we weren't trying to do that with her, to protect her."
When the under tack show came around, the filly worked the co-fastest eighth in :09 4/5.
"She has got it all," Bradshaw continued. "She has got a great mind. I could probably drop the shank and walk around her, and she wouldn't go anywhere. I have been around a lot of great horses, and she's one. Someone is going to have a lot of fun with her."
Consignors as a whole were extraordinarily pleased with the results of the sale.
"I have always been a big supporter of the OBS April sale. I think it is the best two-year-old in training sale in the country and have always said that. You actually have a top, a middle and a bottom that you don't have anywhere except the Fasig-Tipton sale in Maryland," said David McKathan, owner of Grassroots Training and Sales.
"As people have started bringing a higher quality horse here, it has become more of an international market. You have a broader range of buyers, and they are showing up because we are bringing better horses. The only problem I see with this sale is that they need to build more barns and sell more horses."
Day four proved to be a very strong session with the average jumping 17 per cent to $107,022 and the median rising 12 per cent to $57,000 compared with the same session of 2017.
Hip 1164, a son of Kantharos consigned by Ocala Stud, was purchased by Stonestreet Stables and e5 Racing for $800,000. The chestnut colt, who turned in a quarter in :20 4/5 at the April 21 under tack session, is out of Valid Concorde, by Concorde's Tune, a full-sister to stakes winner Rocky River.
Hip 955, a bay colt by Munnings consigned by Randy Miles, agent, went to Ed and Susie Orr for $700,000. The half brother to stakes placed Avarice out of Senate Caucus, by Siphon worked an eighth in :10 flat at the April 20 under tack session.
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