Day 1 of the Ocala Breeders’ March 2YO Sale ended with a flourish after approximately five hours of enthusiastic bidding around the Florida sale-ring.
An Empire Maker filly named Ado was the last horse to change hands during the first of two sessions commanding $485,000. Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms director Donato Lanni purchased the bay filly for Frank Fletcher of Arkansas.
The session-topper is a Kentucky-bred half sister to 2006 Cradle Stakes winner Passport (Pulpit). Their dam Trip (Lord At War) captured two editions of the G3 Turfway Breeders’ Cup. “She’s an Empire Maker from a tremendous family,” Lanni said . “It’s a great pedigree and she worked nice in 10.20s. She checked every box.”
Florida based Robert and Mary Harris consigned Ado for the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm. “She is really a nice filly,” Robert Harris said. “She’s a Claiborne homebred and kind of sold herself.”
The second-most-expensive horse on the OBS March sale’s opening day was a $470,000 Montbrook – My Golden Quest colt that was bought by Toyomitsu Hirai of Japan.
Turnover reached $11.87 million for an average of $130,516 and the median price was $100,000. Compared to a year ago, there were major gains in the average (50.3%) and medium (75.4%). The clearance rate rose 4 points to 74%.
“The average and median reflected the depth of quality of the horses and the buy-back rate reflected the depth of our buyers,” Ocala director Todd Wojciechowski said. “We’re all hoping the market gets stronger and we’re pleased that it seems to be moving in the right direction.
“There obviously is some sense of the economy being better,” Wojciechowski added. “I think we had a real strong group of horses that showed well on the racetrack and showed well at the barn.”