$1.45-Million Arrogate Colt Leads The Way At OBS Spring Opener

by Jessica Martini & Christina Bossinakis

OCALA, FL – The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training opened Tuesday with a session that produced figures nearly identical to the auction’s 2022 opening session.

“It was a good start to the sale,” said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “A lot of horses sold very well. And I’d like to think the strength will continue through the next three days. I feel pretty good about that. There are a lot of good horses left to sell.”

During Tuesday’s session, 161 juveniles grossed $22,936,000. The average was $136,665 and the median was $75,000.

During the 2022 opening session, 159 horses–including the auction’s $2.3-million topper–sold for $21,849,000. The session average was $137,415 and the median was $70,000.

On the same day that it was announced his late sire would be inducted into the racing hall of fame, a colt by Arrogate topped Tuesday’s session when bringing a final bid of $1.45 million from bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, who was acting on behalf of Amr Zedan. The juvenile was consigned by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds on behalf of his breeder, Jeff Weiss’s Rosedown Racing Stables.

With his lone purchase, Lanni was the session’s leading buyer, while de Meric Sales was the day’s leading consignor with 10 sold for $2,770,000.

The OBS Spring sale continues through Friday, with sessions beginning daily at 10:30 a.m.

Zedan Strikes Again at OBS

Amr Zedan, who went to a sale-topping $2 million for a Good Magic colt at the OBS March sale, was back at it again Tuesday in Ocala, going to $1.45 million to acquire a colt by Arrogate (hip 253) from the Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consignment. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, standing alongside trainer Bob Baffert, signed the ticket on behalf of Zedan.

“He is our kind of horse,” Lanni said. “Bob loved him as soon as he saw him. He is big and beautiful and had a lot of presence about him. He did amazing in his breeze [:10 flat].”

Baffert trained the late Arrogate, who was announced as a first-ballot inductee into the Racing Hall of Fame Tuesday.

“It’s fitting that today they announced that Arrogate was getting inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Lanni said. “We love Arrogate. We are a little biased, but he was a special horse to us.”

The bay colt, who is out of the unraced Destine (War Front), is a half-brother to stakes-placed Sunset Promise (Broken Vow) and from the family of champion Smoke Glacken.

Randy Hartley and Dean DeRenzo consigned the colt on behalf of his breeder, Jeff Weiss’s Rosedown Racing Stables.

“This colt has been awesome from the git-go,” Hartley said. “He’s been like a machine at the farm. He’s one of those horses you don’t notice because he’s so quiet, but he just does everything correctly. I knew he was going to breeze well because he was just such a good horse at the farm. But you get here to the synthetic and you just don’t really know because I train on the dirt. But we had four horses to breeze that day and I took him up there last because I knew he was going to do it. For a big horse, he’s so light on his feet.”

Weiss, who is in real estate, has just two broodmares.

“He owns office buildings in Manhattan and Miami,” Hartley said. “He’s playing the game at an upper level, but he loves his mares.”

Hartley/DeRenzo sold Destine’s colt by Goldencents on behalf of Weiss for $130,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale. The 11-year-old mare’s foal died last year and she produced a filly by Improbable just four days ago.

Weiss bought the mare back, while carrying that filly, for $30,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

In addition to the seven-figure colt, Hartley/DeRenzo also sold a filly by Uncle Mo for $675,000 and RNA’d a City of Light colt for $445,000. The partners also sold colts for $1.2 million and $950,000 at the OBS March sale.

Hartley admitted in past years, those juveniles would have been sent south to be offered at the boutique Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale, which was absent from the 2023 sales calendar.

“Mostly everything we had here [would have gone to the Gulfstream sale],” he said. “The Uncle Mo filly would have been there for sure, the City of Light–he didn’t meet his mark, but he would have been in Miami. This colt, the Medag, the Into Mischief colt. Five or six of these horses would have been in Miami between what we had in the first sale and here.”

Of the OBS Spring sale, Hartley said, “I feel like this has become the sale, now. I get why people want to come here. It’s easy. It’s in our backyard. It’s harder for me because I have the farm and the sale. When I am at a sale, I can focus just on what’s in front of me. But OBS has done a great job getting the right people here and people are confident buying here. Even though the times may be really fast, I still feel like they figure out which horses they need to buy, regardless of the times or whatever.” @JessMartiniTDN

Bolt d’Oro Filly Pops at OBS Spring

With the opening session in full swing, a filly by Spendthrift sire Bolt d’Oro realized a $850,000 final bid from Doug Cauthen, who signed on behalf of Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables.

Offered as hip 215 as part of the de Meric Sales consignment, the Mar. 17 foal is out of the 8-year-old Creative Contessa (Creative Cause), a half-sister to stakes winners Amiable Grace (Alphabet Soup) and Miss Tizzy (Cee’s Tizzy).

“The Jacksons keep their mares out at the de Meric’s and they had been hearing about this filly for several months,” explained Cauthen. “They had a chance to see her when they came down to look at their horses. Everyone on the grounds here wanted her and they just really wanted her. Physically, she is exceptional and she breezes exceptionally. She kept her energy the whole time in the barn. She has all the parts and now we will see if she’ll go out and do it on the weekends.”

Represented by hist first crop to race in 2022, Bolt d’Oro closed out the season as the nation’s leading freshman, with his progeny amassing $2.815 million in earnings. His leading representative to date is Instant Coffee, a graded stakes winner at both two and three, with over $450,000 in earnings.

“There were a lot of nice Bolts here and when you just keep seeing a lot of good ones, it gives you encouragement,” said Cauthen. “Hopefully, she can be that big filly on his resume.”

An RNA for $150,000 at Fasig-Tipton in November of 2021, the Ruis Racing-bred filly was offered at last summer’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale where Sean Perl went to $350,000 on behalf of Vinnie Viola. Viola also bred hip 192, the third-highest priced juvenile of the opening session, in the name of his St Elias Stables.

“The Jackson’s saw her on the farm. She is a filly that always caught everybody’s eye,” said Tristan de Meric. “From Day 1, we have loved her and were just happy to have her.”–@CBossTDN

Twirling Candy Colt Heads Overseas

Bloodstock agent Oliver St Lawrence, bidding alongside trainer Fawzi Nass, was forced to $800,000 to acquire a colt by Twirling Candy (hip 192) Tuesday in Ocala.

“He’ll go out to Dubai,” St Lawrence said. “He’ll be trained by Fawzi Nass. Obviously, he’s a colt, but we’ll try to do a Shahama, who won the UAE Oaks and the 1000 Guineas and then came over here to Todd.”

KHK Racing’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Shahama (Munnings), who was purchased by Nass for $425,000 out of the 2021 OBS Spring sale, doubled up on Meydan stakes scores the following year before transferring Stateside to trainer Todd Pletcher. She went on to win the GIII Monmouth Oaks and was second in the GII Mother Goose S.

Hip 192 is out of graded-placed Conquest Babayaga (Uncle Mo) and worked a furlong last week in :9 4/5.

“It was a lovely work in a fast time,” St Lawrence said of the colt’s work. “He seemed to sustain it for a long time. And he had a nice, big stride on him–I think he had the biggest stride on the day. He’s our type of horse, a nice big, strong horse.”

The juvenile was bred by Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables and was consigned by Steve Venosa’s S G V Thoroughbreds.

“We liked him back home, but anytime you bring them over here, you hope they show up and he definitely showed up,” Venosa said.

The colt RNA’d for $120,000 at the Keeneland September sale last fall.

“We got him straightaway from Keeneland,” Venosa said. “He was broke on our farm. At Keeneland, he was just a big, immature horse. As time went on, he really filled out and blossomed. Every day he was getting better.”

St Lawrence, who was active at last week’s Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, said he was finding the usual patterns in the juvenile market across the globe.

“I think it’s the usual form,” he said. “It’s really strong for the nice horses. Tattersalls was a bit weak on the first day, comparably, but then some of the nicer horses were on the second day which was ferociously strong.”

Of the price tag of the Twirling Candy colt, St Lawrence admitted, “We probably got pushed a bit.”

Earlier in Tuesday’s session, St Lawrence purchased a filly by Star Guitar (hip 161) for $200,000. @JessMartiniTDN

Belladonna Strikes at OBS Tuesday

While many were just warming up during the OBS Spring sale opener, Belladonna Racing came out swinging, reeling in a pair of colts, including hip 19, a colt by Constitution for $500,000. Later in the session, the operation’s trainer Cherie DeVaux signed for hip 64, a colt by sophomore sire Oscar Performance who brought $330,000. Both colts have been purchased to add to the group’s latest offering, Belladonna V. Belladonna is a collective effort between third-generation horse owner Paul Manganaro and bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who is also married to DeVaux.

“We are here to buy athletes,” said Manganaro of the :10.1 breezer. “I thought he was a great representation of [Constitution]. He was elegant, and had a great presence and his breeze met up to our criteria.”

Out of Brazilian Group 3-placed mare Allez Marie (Unbridled’s Song), the Apr. 15 foal is a half to SW Workaholic (Sky Mesa), GSP Tomato Bill (More Than Ready) and SP Fouette (Nyquist). A $250,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, the chestnut’s second dam is 2005 GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Summerly. He was consigned by de Meric Sales.

“He also has a great pedigree–it’s everything we are looking for,” Manganaro said. “With his looks and pedigree, he has stallion potential if he were to win a graded stakes.”




During Tuesday’s session, the Belladonna team also landed a son of three-time Grade I winner Balance (Thunder Gulch), a half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta. Consigned by Eisaman Equine, the Apr. 21 foal, who realized $170,000 at Keeneland last September, breezed a quarter in :10.2 last week.

“Obviously, our general, David Ingordo, has a lot of history with the family,” explained Manganaro referring to the agent who was instrumental in unearthing the three-time champion older mare and dual Breeders’ Cup winner.

Balance, who like Oscar Performance raced in the Amerman Racing colors of John and Jerry Amerman, was purchased by Andrew Warren for $135,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November sale carrying this colt.

“There was a little concern that Balance’s earlier foals haven’t really clicked yet,” said Manganaro. “So, we studied each one and we thought this was her best cross yet. Of course, Oscar Performance is having a good start at stud.”




Belladonna kicked off in 2019, and among its earliest purchases was Bayerness (Bayern), a $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic purchase that has won five of 12 starts, highlighted by the Shine Again S. at Saratoga in 2021. Multiple graded stakes placed, the chestnut earned over $400,000 at the track. And while the operation focused on the fairer set in its earlier offerings, it has added a greater emphasis on colts for its latest collection.

“We were looking to add to the top 25% of what we already bought for Belladonna V,” explained Manganaro. “Our members wanted to diversify and add a few more colts into the mix. So for Belladonna V, we figured we’d shoot for about 15 horses, a mixture of colts and fillies. We had eight fillies and six colts coming in, so this balances things off.”

Manganaro added, “We didn’t come down here looking for colts, although it was the priority. We just wanted the best athletes.

“Of course, the colts are higher risk, but also higher reward. So that’s why we are looking for the right physical and pedigree in our colts.”

Following Tuesday’s purchases, Belladonna currently has 16 2-year-olds, and a dozen 3 and 4-year-olds from prior partnerships.

When asked if the team has been able to stick to budget with its two initial OBS Spring purchases, Manganaro said, “One was a little bit more than we thought and one was a little bit less, so it all balanced out at the end of the day.”

He added, “Last month [at the OBS March sale], we found some in March but we ended up just being spectators on them, because they brought triple what we thought. We have great discipline, we set a price and we’ll go a bump or two but not too much over that. Overall, we’re happy with what we got yesterday”–@CBossTDN

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