Under the banner of his East Hickman Racing, owner William Heiligbrodt purchased the two top-priced offerings at the 2017 OBS Winter Mixed Sale, going to $110,000 for a daughter of Shanghai Bobby–Yankee Victoria (Yankee Victor) and $90,000 for an Into Mischief filly out of Maren’s Melody (Unbridled’s Song). The Texan was forced to go a little deeper, but succeeded in landing the priciest lot during Wednesday’s renewal of the sale, going to $200,000 through agent Susan Montanye for hip 30, a filly from the third crop by boom sire Violence from the consignment of Gem Racing Inc.
Despite a preferred portion of the catalogue that was about a third larger than last year, the turnover of $3,567,000 was well more than double that of 2017, while the average of $24,772 and median price of $14,000 represented strong gains of 42.1% and 40%, respectively.
“I thought the went very well,” said OBS’s Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “I’ve always said that when our consignors bring us good stock, the buyers reward them and that’s how it played out today. There was good activity at all levels. We saw a rise in the median and that’s a good thing.”
One especially pleasing statistic was the buyback rate of 31.1%, which compared very favorably to last year’s 43.5%. “There’s a liveliness to the stock market and the economy and I thought the quality of horses was higher,” Wojciechowski reasoned.
Lot 30 was bred in Florida by Georg and Sharon Maharg’s Maharg Management from the mare Carphonic (Lion Heart), winner during her racing days of the 2009 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies for trainer William White and Gem Racing Inc, who consigned Wednesday’s top lot. Lot 30 is the second foal from the mare, whose now 3-year-old daughter Sauce On Side (Violence) broke her maiden at Santa Anita Jan. 5 and was runner-up in her first start against winners 15 days later. Montanye, who operates SBM Training and Sales, had a high opinion of the March foal from the start.
“I went through and gave [Mr. Heiligbrodt] a list of my top five horses and we evaluated all of them, went over the notes and at the end of the day she was my top pick of the sale,” Montanye commented. “She’s a big strong filly with very good bone, a great walk and a very good mind. She’s extremely well built, she had all the right angles to her and I loved everything about her. She is the kind that looks like she could go very fast, but at the same time, it looks like she’ll stretch out and go long. She looks like an Oaks-type filly.”
The Winter Mixed Sale was off to a fast start when hip 5, a filly by More Than Ready, fetched $170,000 from de Meric Sales, and with that in mind, Montanye knew that the horse that she had assessed to be superior to that filly would not come cheaply.
“I thought this filly was going to definitely be the top horse in the sale,” she said. “The More Than Ready was a beautiful filly as well, and when we saw what she made and comparing the two horses, we thought we might have to stretch a little.”
Montanye said her purchased would be sent to the farm “to be a horse again” and that a decision about her future will come at a later date.
Carrie Brogden elected to retain hip 5 when she was led out unsold on a bid of $55,000 at the Keeneland November sale two months ago, and the decision was validated Wednesday.
“She grew a lot [over the last two months],” Brogden said. “We sent her to Michelle Redding and she just blossomed, she really grew up. When I saw her when I got here, I was blown away with how much she improved. We’ve had a lot of luck with the de Merics. We’re thrilled, the reserve was very low, but she had 12 scopes and she was very well received.”
Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield agency consigned the session’s top broodmare in the form of hip 21, the 9-year-old Hard Hat (Hard Spun), who was purchased by Gainesway for $62,000. A half-sister to Grade I winner Albert the Great (Go For Gin), the bay was offered in foal to Broken Vow, the sire of the mare’s 2015 produce–a filly–who realized $145,000 as a weanling at that year’s Keeneland November sale. Hard Hat’s current 4-year-old daughter Honey Jade (Harlan’s Holiday) is now a three-time winner from five starts on the dirt in Japan, including an impressive last-to-first victory at Kyoto Jan. 8. Among the underbidders on hip 21 was Chris Knehr’s Catalyst Bloodstock, which sold Hard Hat carrying the aforementioned Broken Vow filly ($60,000 ’14 KEENOV) and Honey Jade as a yearling at FTKJUL in 2015.
Trainer Eddie Plesa paid $110,000 for the 3-year-old filly Bring Joy (Twirling Candy) to top the horses-of-racing-age section of the Winter Mixed Sale. The former $100,000 Keeneland September yearling, a half-sister to SW Courtside (Cindago), was consigned by Eisaman Equine, agent, and worked three-eighths of a mile in :32 4/5 during an under-tack preview Jan. 22.
The Winter Mixed Sale continues with an open session Thursday beginning at 10:30 a.m. For full results visit www.obssales.com.