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Figures soar at strong OBS March opener

A DAUGHTER OF former Juddmonte stallion Empire Maker was the headline act of a buoyant first session of the OBS March Selected Two-year-olds in Training Sale in Florida on Tuesday, selling for $485,000 to Frank Fletcher Racing.

The Claiborne Farm homebred, offered on behalf of the Kentucky operation by Harris Training Center, was one of ninehorses to sell for $250,000 or more compared to seven in 2011. With 91 horses - 74 per cent of those offered - selling for a total of $11,877,000, the average rose by 50 per cent to $130,516. The median recorded an even greater gain, leaping by 75 per cent to $100,000.

Agent Donato Lanni signed the ticket on behalf of Fletcher for the session-topping filly, who was the last horse through the ring and has already been named Ado. She hails from a noted Claiborne family as a daughter of Grade 3 winner Trip, who is also the dam of Listed winner Passport. Further back it is the family of top American sprinter Zensational.

The filly breezed a furlong in :10 1/5 during the under tack show last week.

The dearest colt of the day arrived early in the session when Toyomitsu Hirai of Eishin Farm went to $470,000 for lot 58, a son of prominent Florida stallion Montbrook. Consigned by Ocala Stud, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Coronado's Quest mare My Golden Quest and a half-brother to a minor winner.

Hirai's purchase maintained the strong activity seen at the American breeze-ups this season by Japanese buyers; at the Barretts March Sale in California last week, Japanese buyers walked away with 16 horses including four of the top ten lots.

"It was a great horse sale," Todd Wojciechowski, the director of sales for OBS, told the Blood-Horse. "The average and median reflected the depth of quality of the horses and the buy-back rate reflected the depth of our buyers. We're all hoping the market gets stronger and continues to get stronger, and we're pleased that it seems to be moving in the right direction."




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