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Preview of OBS Sales Featuring WPT President Terry Finley

February 13, 2009 · By · Share

Buyers expecting value as two-year-old sales get underway

by Pete Denk

Juvenile sale season begins on Friday with the under-tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s February sale of selected two-year-olds in training.

OBSC has cataloged 200 horses for the February 17 sale. As of Thursday night, there were 20 reported scratches, leaving two sets of 90 to begin their workouts at 9 a.m. EST.

Despite a malaise that has covered the auction industry since last fall, there is some enthusiasm in the market again, even if it is due to buyers' expectations of lower prices.

Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, also is excited about the prospect of getting better value for his racing partnerships.

"The market has swung back in the buyers' favor, and we couldn't be any more excited about getting the same horses for 60 or 70 cents on the dollar," Finley said. "It's still not a great financial picture for the end-user of racehorses, but it's substantially better than it was two years ago."

Today marks the debut of a set of guidelines that all the major auction companies have said they would follow. Most notably, whipping within one furlong of the finish and at any point thereafter has been outlawed.

Like most of the other major two-year-old sales, OBSC February has gone to a single under-tack show held closer to the sale as opposed to two shows held further out.

Tom Ventura, general manager and director of sales for OBSC, said some of the major buying groups have been watching the horses work out in the mornings leading up to the under-tack show.

"With the single under-tack show, there's been a little more activity on people watching the horses train daily," Ventura said. "I think we'll have a good day Friday. I've been watching the horses go through their paces, and I think we have a pretty solid group here.

"I think this will be an opportunity for buyers to take advantage of the economic uncertainty. But this sale has certainly been productive. It's ranked at the top in percentage of stakes winners by all the studies, and we've got the right people on the grounds, so I'm optimistic from that standpoint."

Courtesy of The Thoroughbred Times

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