Scat Daddy Colt Tops Strong OBS Opener | TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video

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By Jessica Martini

OCALA, Fl – With a colt from the final crop of Scat Daddy leading the way, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s June Sale of 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age got off to a strong start Wednesday in Central Florida.

In all, 171 horses sold Wednesday for a gross of $6,460,500. The average of $37,781 was up 15% from last year’s opening session, while the median rose 17.6% to $20,000. Twelve horses sold for $100,000 or more during the session, compared to 17 during last year’s opener to a two-day June sale.

“It was a good start to the sale,” said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “I thought it was a good day and a lot of horses changed hands. The average was up and the median was up. It is a little tough to compare the sales because we had a longer session last year–we catalogued 374 for the first day last year versus 300–so it’s a little hard to go day to day. But all in all, we were in good shape. And, while it’s hard to make that apples-to-apple comparisons between the sales, you’d rather see it this way than the other way.”

The buy-back rate was 21.6%. It was 22.9% at the close of business a year ago, but improved to 16.7% with the inclusion of post-sale transactions.

In the first session of the 2017 June sale, 221 horses sold for $7,260,000. The average was $32,851 and the median was $17,000.

Carlo Vaccarezza went to $650,000 to secure the session topper, a colt by Scat Daddy (hip 211) who was consigned by Top Line Sales on behalf of breeder Don Ming. The session topper was one of three to better last year’s top price of $320,000.

“I think it says that a good horse can sell here and sell well,” Wojciechowski said. “We try to let people know that the idea is, if a horse needs time, you give them time and when they round into form here in June, there is still plenty of money here to buy those types of horses.”

The OBS June sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Scat Daddy Colt to Vaccarezza

Just four days removed from Justify (Scat Daddy)’s historic Triple Crown sweep in the GI Belmont S., a colt by the late sire (hip 211) lit up the board at OBS when selling for $650,000 to Carlo Vaccarezza.

“I came down just to buy this horse,” Vaccarezza said. “I saw him and I loved him and Jimbo Gladwell told me he was doing really well. Scat Daddy is the flavor of the week and this is the last crop for Scat Daddy, so I figured we would just take a chance.”

Vaccarezza acknowledged Justify’s exploits might have helped push the colt’s price northward.

“It was probably $100,000 up from where it was supposed to go just because of Justify,” he said. “But I got lucky once with Little Mike and we’ll try to repeat that again.”

Vaccarezza’s homebred Little Mike (Spanish Steps) won the 2012 GI Breeders’ Cup Turf and GI Arlington Million and earned over $3.5 million during his racing career.

Asked if their was a ‘little’ in this colt’s future name, Vaccarezza said, “I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll call him Little Daddy–no we can’t call him Little Daddy because I have a Little Daddy, but we’ll call him some ‘Little.’”

Hip 211 is out of Satulah (Gone West), a daughter of graded stakes winner War Thief (Lord at War {Arg}) and a half-sister to graded stakes winner Boss Lafitte (Dynaformer). He was consigned by Top Line Sales on behalf of breeder Don Ming, who bought him back at $385,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

“We always liked him and we always had high expectations for him,” said the breeder’s son, Jacob Ming, who is also a member of the Top Line sales team. “We wanted $400,000 for him in September, but we thought we would be ok to take him home and take him to a 2-year-old sale and let him perform. We knew he was a good horse.”

The March foal has only gotten better since last fall, according to Ming.

“He is still looks like the same horse, but he’s matured a lot more,” Ming said. “It took him to June to grow up to his physical. He was a big horse and he needed more time to mature. Coming to this late sale really helped him.”

The juvenile worked a furlong in a co-fastest :9 4/5 last week.

“I was there when we breezed him,” Ming said. “I brought him up on the pony and it was exciting. It was something special. But I knew he was that fast the whole time. That’s why we brought him here. He’s an awesome horse and it’s good to see him go to a good home so we can see what he can do.”

Of the colt’s final price tag, Ming added, “We were thinking up to $450,000–$500,000, if we were lucky. But $650,000 was a plus, so we couldn’t be more happy with that.”

Cairo Prince Filly to Chus

Susan and Charles Chu, who campaigned sprint champion and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Drefong (Gio Ponti), acquired a filly from the first crop of graded stakes winner Cairo Prince for $375,000 during Wednesday’s first session of the OBS June sale. The juvenile worked the fastest quarter-mile (:20 2/5) during last week’s under-tack preview and was consigned by Andro and Tracey Price’s Price Thoroughbreds.

“That was right in the ballpark,” Andro Price said of the filly’s final price. “We had a lot of positive interest in the filly and she presented herself well. We are very happy today. I have to thank my team who helped me here with this filly and my partners who were patient with me and with her and gave her the time to get her here. And of course, my wife who rode her so well in the breeze show.”

Out of Motel Lass (Bates Motel), the May 29 foal (hip 61) is a half-sister to stakes winners Stormin’ Lyon (Storm Boot) and Quick Flip (Speightstown).

“You can’t find much wrong with her,” Price said. “She’s a lovely filly who is still growing. We targeted this sale with her because she is a late foal and we thought we’d give her the time. I think she is going to finish off to be a beautiful, fantastic 3-year-old and I think we’ll be hearing good things from her.”

Price Thoroughbreds purchased the filly for $130,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale. After last Thursday’s breeze, Price admitted that was above his usual target price for a yearling. But after Wednesday’s sale, the consignor agreed that it would likely be more of the same at this fall’s yearling sales.

“I don’t think we have any other choice, but to do that [spend more],” he said. “The market really wants these upper-end horses and that’s what we are going to have to do.”

Uncle Mo Colt Heads West

A colt by Uncle Mo, who turned in the fastest three-furlong work of :32 2/5 during last week’s under-tack show, brought a final bid of $370,000 from bloodstock agent Marette Farrell during Wednesday’s first session of the OBS June Sale and will head west to the California barn of trainer Peter Eurton. Farrell was bidding on behalf of Exline-Border Racing LLC of Ryan Exline and Justin Border. The partnership was co-owner of champion Champagne Room (Broken Vow) and multiple graded stakes winner Giant Expectations (Frost Giant).

“We thought his mechanics were phenomenal,” Farrell said of the juvenile. “He’s a big, two-turn horse. We knew he wasn’t perfect in front, but we thought that Peter Eurton is such a good horseman and a trainer who really zones in on his horses every day, so we thought it was a good fit.”

Farrell said the colt’s workout time was not as important as how the work was accomplished. She credited Tescha Von Bluecher with flagging the colt’s impressive gallop-out.

“It wasn’t so much about the time, but it was that he is such a big horse and the time opened our eyes to the fact that he did it so easily,” she said. “More importantly for us was the gallop out–he floated around the turn. And he had no oxygen debt after he finished, so obviously he’s got a huge heart capacity. Tescha Von Bluecher always sits back there all the time and she really liked his gallop out.”

The bay colt (hip 41) is out of Mississippi Queen (Artie Schiller), a half-sister to Grade I winner Asi Siempre (El Prado {Ire}). He was purchased in utero for $360,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale by Blandford Stud and was bred by Paget Bloodstock. He was consigned to the OBS sale by Gayle Woods.

The colt was offset in a knee and Woods admitted that conformation flaw affected his final price Wednesday.

“The reserve was $299,000 and they carried on a little bit past there,” Woods said. “I think he is worth more than that, but he was discounted because of the knee. But he’s a special, special horse. He has so much class and he never puts a foot wrong. He’s a giant, I’ve called him my gentle giant all year.”

Sam Elliott Busy for St Lucia Turf Club

Sam Elliott, formerly director of racing at Parx and now chief executive officer at the Saint Lucia Turf Club, kept up a frenetic pace of buying Wednesday in Ocala as he attempts to increase the Thoroughbred population on the Carribean island ahead of its track opening in February. Flanked by the China Horse Club’s Michael Wallace and Mick Flanagan, Elliott signed the ticket on 16 juveniles for a total of $136,500 and an average of $8,531.

“We’ve gotten a nice mix of colts and fillies,” Elliott said. “I have Michael Wallace and Mick Flanagan with me–it’s more their job to pick out who they like. We are looking for durablity and obviously we have to keep the cost factor down. We’re going to turn them out now and then we are going to ship them to St. Lucia by plane. So it’s not just the cost of getting them, but getting them there as well.”

Elliott said the horses will ship to St. Lucia in the fall and the new track is expected to open in early 2019.

“The plan is to have these horses down there at the end of September,” he said. “So we are going to turn them out for the rest of June and July. They are going to be out for a while. Then we will put them back in training. Opening day of the new track is Feb. 10. Hopefully they will all be ready to go then.”

While the Royal St. Lucia Turf Club currently owns all of the June acquisitions, the group hopes to attract local owners.

“The idea is to sell them down there,” Elliott said. “Even though there is no racing down there, there is an equine culture. There are quite a few horses down there and I’ve spoken to people already who have interest in purchasing horses. One of our jobs will be to identify them and maybe we’ll put partnerships together down there. And then figure it out from there. It’s a work in progress. Racing is new there, but there is an awful lot of racing around us–Martinique, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. So hopefully out of that group, we’ll put something together. The plan is not to hold on to them, but to sell them.”

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