Record-equaling $2 million Good Magic colt tops OBS March Sale

The $2 million sale-topping Good Magic colt in the ring at OBS. [Judit Seipert]

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Posted March 28, 2023 | By Michael Compton
Special to the Ocala Gazette

The start of spring marks the beginning of the 2-year-olds in training sale season in the Thoroughbred industry, and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. kicked off the juvenile sale year in promising fashion with five seven-figure horses sold during its annual March Sale.

Topping the three-day auction from March 20-22 was Hip 546, a son from the second crop of Good Magic consigned by Top Line Sales and purchased by Donato Lanni, agent for Zedan Racing Stables, for a record-equaling $2 million during the sale’s second session. The bay colt, who breezed an eighth of a mile in a blazing :09 3/5, the fastest time of the sale’s under tack preview, is produced from the Uncle Mo mare Hoopa and hails from the family of Grade 1 winner Hit the Road and graded stakes winner Wandering Star. The price equaled the previous March Sale record, which was set in 2019 by Chestertown, a son of Tapit.

For the entire auction, which attracted an international buying bench, 460 horses generated gross sales of $71,110,500 over three sessions compared with 374 head selling for $49,371,633 in two sessions a year ago. The average price was $154,588, compared with $132,008 last year. The median price of $75,000 was unchanged from last year, and the buy-back percentage (horses that failed to meet their reserves and did not sell) was 21.4%; it was 12.2% in 2022.

“I think it went very well,” said Tod Wojciechowski, director of sales at OBS. “We had five horses sell for $1 million or more, our average was up, and obviously gross was up but we had more horses. I’m always impressed by the number of international buyers that we have that come to the sale, and it keeps growing from year to year. We had buyers from Japan, the Middle East, and Europe, and we’re going to see the same thing in April (at the OBS Spring Sale).

“Fortunately, the pioneers that have been purchasing from us over the years have bought 2 year olds that have gone on and done really well at the racetrack,” he added. “When others see the success that people have had buying 2 year olds from Ocala, they jump on the bandwagon as well, and that bandwagon continues to grow. It’s a testament to the quality of horses that our consignors bring to the sale and what they are doing at the racetrack.”

The second-highest priced horse of the sale was Hip 215, named Saturday Dreams who sold to Maverick Racing (buying arm of WinStar Farm) and Siena Farms LLC for $1.2 million to top the sale’s first session. The dark bay or brown colt is from the second crop of Triple Crown winner Justify and is out of the graded stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Zinzay. Consigned by Ocala’s Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, the colt breezed an eighth in :10 flat at the under tack show, and he is a half-brother to stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Moon Over Miami.

Hip 489, a colt from the final crop of the brilliant Arrogate is headed to Japan after selling to Katsumi Yoshida for $1,050,000. Consigned by agent Tom McCrocklin, the New York-bred colt is out of the graded stakes-winning Bellamy Road mare Georgie’s Angel, making him a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Cave Rock. The colt was acquired by McCrocklin as a yearling last year for $700,000.

“He is a lovely, lovely horse, very athletic,” noted McCrocklin. “He is very sound mentally and physically, and he has not had a bad day since we’ve had him.”

Hip 433, a Kentucky-bred son of Twirling Candy sold for $1 million to Jeff Mackor, agent for Sean Flanagan. Consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, the gray or roan colt is out of the graded stakes-placed Divine Park mare Divine Dawn, and he breezed an eighth in :09 4/5.

Also fetching $1 million was Hip 558, a daughter of the stallion Munnings, who was bought by Lanni on behalf of Frank Fletcher Racing Operations during the sale’s third and final session. The fleet-footed filly, who is from the family of Grade 1 winner Chaposa Springs, breezed a quarter mile in :20 4/5 at the under tack preview for consignor McCrocklin. Lanni indicated that she will be trained by Bill Mott.

“She is an exceptional filly,” Lanni said after signing the ticket. “She worked great, came back great, and kept her weight. She is just a really cool, elegant filly.”

The top-selling Florida-bred of the sale was Hip 505, a son of Curlin who sold to Woodford, Talla, and West Point Thoroughbreds for $900,000. Consigned by Old South Farm, the colt is out of the Grade 1-winning Uncle Mo mare Gomo and was bred in the Sunshine State by Ocala’s Bridlewood Farm. The bay colt was originally sold to Hoby Kight for $250,000 as a yearling at the 2022 Keeneland September Sale.

The March Sale is often an indicator of what the sale audience—buyers and sellers—can anticipate for the remainder of the sale season in terms of prices and trends.

“The April (Spring Sale) has become its own monster,” Wojciechowski said. “It is the must-go-to 2 year old sale of the year. Even in light of some uncertainty in the financial markets, we saw good traffic and a lot of willing buyers here for the March Sale. Many of them didn’t get a horse bought and they will be back in April. I think it (the March Sale results) bodes well for the rest of the season. We continue to see the flight to the top, to the perceived highest-quality horses, and there is always a lot of money there for them. I think we will see more of a middle market as well in April, but you will continue to see the top-end be coveted.”

Next up on the OBS schedule is the Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, slated for April 25-28 with all sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. The under tack show for the spring sale runs from Sunday, April 16 through Saturday, April 22 with all sessions beginning at 8 a.m. A total of 1,221 juveniles have been cataloged for the four-day sale.

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