OBS March Day 1 Highlights
by Nicolle Neulist
The first of two days of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March 2019 Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale has concluded.
144 hips actually sold on Day 1 of OBS March; 128 changed hands in the ring, and 16 did so post-sale. 61 did not sell, and 83 were declared out. The average price among the 144 hips that sold was $153,708; the median price was $83,500.
Two horses topped the million-dollar mark. The sale-topper was by Tapit and the second-highest seller was by Pioneer of the Nile; each was the only hip by their sire to change hands during Day 1.
The first of two seven-figure horses during the session came early. Hip 33, a Tapit colt out of multiple Grade 1 winner Artemis Agrotera, sold for $2 million to Lane’s End Bloodstock, as agent for a partnership of West Point Thoroughbreds, Robert Masiello, and Siena Farm. He was consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, Agent for Chester & Mary Broman. The colt had clocked a time of 10.1 seconds for one furlong on March 7, during the breeze show.
The colt’s dam, the Roman Ruler mare Artemis Agrotera, won the 2013 Frizette Stakes (G1) in her second career start. The next year, she emerged as one of the stars of the filly and mare sprint division when she defeated older horses including My Miss Aurelia and La Verdad in the Ballerina (G1). The colt’s second dam, Grade 2 placed Indy Glory, is a full sister to stallion Stephen Got Even.
The seven-figure barrier was crossed again when Hip 194, a Pioneer of the Nile colt out of Golden Artemis, sold for $1,200,000. Lawrence Best’s OXO Equine, no stranger to the top end of the Thoroughbred market, purchased the colt from the consignment of Hoby & Layna Kight. OXO Equine began buying horses at Keeneland September 2016, and had already gone past $1 million at public auction for twelve others before today. Among those purchases, three have gone on to win graded stakes: Cambier Parc, Instagrand, and Instilled Regard.
The Pioneerof the Nile colt OXO Equine purchased is a half-sister to My Conquestadory (Artie Schiller), winner of the 2013 Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. My Conquestadory’s first foal, Bourbon War (Tapit), most recently ran second in the 2019 Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Active Sires and Buyers
From a sire perspective, three stallions led the first day of OBS March in terms of number of horses sold, with four apiece: Carpe Diem ($190,000 average price), Justin Phillip ($171,250 average price), and The Factor ($105,000 average price).
Among buyers, West Point Thoroughbreds was particularly active. In addition to being part of the partnership behind the purchase of the sale-topper, West Point (through their agent, Lane’s End Bloodstock) purchased five two-year-olds outright, for an average of $154,000. Those five purchases made them the highest-volume buyer from the first day of OBS March. West Point also appeared on the ticket along with Martin Anthony for hip 226, an Include colt out of Homesick Angel (Divine Park), a mare from the family of multiple Grade 1-winning Include Me Out, herself a daughter of Include.
By total amount spent, the largest buyer was the partnership behind the $2 million sale topper. Second behind them was Narvick International as agent for HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. They purchased four horses for a total of $1,790,000, including both American Pharoah progeny who changed hands.
Eye on American Pharoah
2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, whose first crop will begin to race this year, had three two-year-olds go through the ring today; two sold. The average of the two that sold, $450,000, led all first-crop sires.
The first to be auctioned, a colt consigned by Bobby Dodd and cataloged as hip 39, was an RNA at $240,000. The colt is the first foal out of Avila Road, an unraced full sister to top stallion Quality Road.
The other two American Pharoah progeny to go through the ring today both sold to HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud. A filly from the de Meric Sales consignment out of 2012 Voodoo Dancer Stakes winner Flattermewithroses (Flatter) sold for $600,000. A colt out of Heart of Paradise (More Than Ready), the third-place finisher in the 2014 Sorrento Stakes (G2), sold for $300,000; he was consigned by Kings Equine.
Two other American Pharoah two-year-olds originally cataloged to sell today were declared out, a filly out of the Yonaguska mare Yong Musician (hip 5) and a colt out of the Freud mare Hessonite (hip 215).
Two American Pharoah two-year-olds are slated to go through the ring tomorrow.
Hip 295, a colt out of Loudly, breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat on March 8. Loudly has no foals of racing age yet, but is a War Front half-sister to Listed winners The Lady’s Groom and Marina De Chavon. Hip 319, a colt out of Mary’s Follies (More than Ready), breezed two furlongs in 21.1 seconds on March 8. This colt is a half-brother to Night Prowler, a multiple Grade 3 winner in the United States, and most recently 3rd in the 2019 Barbados Gold Cup.
Another American Pharoah originally slated to go through the ring tomorrow, a filly out of the Distorted Humor mare Visions of Annette (hip 557), has already been declared out.
The sale concludes Wednesday, March 13, with hips 289-577. The session begins at 10:30am EDT.