Zedan Continues Buying Spree as OBS Spring Sale Marches On

by Jessica Martini & Christina Bossinakis

OCALA, FL-The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training reached its halfway mark Wednesday with a familiar name at the top of the sheets as Amr Zedan paid a session-topping $900,000 for a son of Frosted as figures kept largely on par with the auction’s record-setting 2022 renewal.

Through two sessions of the four-day auction, 351 juveniles have sold for $45,886,000. The average is down 6.3% from the end-of-day figure from a year ago and the median is down 6.7% to $70,000. The buy-back rate was 18.9%. It was 19.5% at the same point a year ago.

When post-sale transactions are included in the 2022 figures, the median is unchanged at $70,000 and average is almost identical at $131,826.

The Spring sale a year ago had a million-dollar juvenile on each of the auction’s four days and the absence of a break-out horse left Wednesday’s session feeling a little threadbare.

“We had some fireworks yesterday and maybe there was a disappointment that we didn’t have similar fireworks today, but you can’t pick how the catalogue goes,” said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. “But I thought it was steady all day. I thought we got a lot of horses traded and I though the action was steady.”

With a pair of $700,000 juveniles leading the way, Wavertree Stables was the session’s leading consignor, selling eight lots for $2.4 million.

“It doesn’t feel like the easiest market,” Wavertree’s Ciaran Dunne said. “We sold two really nice horses really well. It’s been sticky in spots, but we are really happy with what we’ve sold and a little disappointed in what we didn’t get done.”

Making two purchases on behalf of Repole Stable, West Bloodstock was the session’s leading buyer.

The OBS Spring Sale continues through Friday. Bidding begins each day at 10:30 a.m.

Frosted Colt Another for Zedan

A day after going to a session-topping $1.45 million for a son of Arrogate, trainer Bob Baffert and bloodstock agent Donato Lanni were back in action for Amr Zedan Wednesday at OBS, going to $900,000 to acquire a colt by Frosted (hip 449) from Longoria Training & Sales. The juvenile worked a furlong last week in :9 3/5.

“He was ridiculously fast,” Baffert said of the colt. “He worked beautifully and came out of it well. That’s half the battle.”

The colt is out of Handwoven (Indian Charlie), a full-sister to multiple stakes-placed Auspicious.

“This was one of the best horses in the sale, I thought,” Lanni said. “He deserved to bring that kind of money.”

Of the juvenile’s sire Frosted, Lanni added, “I believe in the sire. He’s still very young and he doesn’t have that many crops out there.”

Jesse Longoria and Paul Neatherlin | Jessica Martini

The colt was consigned by Jesse Longoria, who partnered with Paul Neatherlin, the vice president of sales for the Texas-based Platinum Pipe Rentals, to acquire him for $50,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

Asked about the colt’s appeal last fall, Longoria said, “The first thing I want to say, because I’ve been very blessed, I want to thank my Lord and Savior. It’s because of him that I am able to do this.”

He continued, “When we saw that horse, I just knew I had to have him. And he has been nothing but a blessing. He was kind of late in the sale. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And here we are. He’s been so easy to train. Everything he did was effortless.”

Longoria said he had spent the spring trying to slow the colt down, so he didn’t know what to expect of his work last week.

“We’ve never been able to turn him loose at home,” Longoria said. “He was always so fast, I was afraid he would get hurt. He was too fast for what he was fit for. So I always had to be really easy with him because he would give you too much.”

Of the $900,000 price tag, Longoria said, “We knew it was going to be good, but we didn’t know how good. I am tickled to death by that result.”

Longoria and Neatherlin have been friends for three decades, but this is the first year they have partnered up on pinhooking prospects. The partners, all smiles in the back walking ring Wednesday, readily agreed it wouldn’t be their last partnership. “He’s been great to work with,” Longoria said of Neatherlin.  @JessMartiniTDN

Justify Colt Sparkles at OBS Spring

Well into Wednesday’s second session, a colt by Horse of the Year Justify realized a $750,000 final bid from Mick Wallace, bidding via phone on behalf of Kuldeep Singh Rajput’s Gandharvi Racing Stables. Stationed in the back ring, Ben McElroy handled the bidding duties. Consigned by Paul Sharp, Hip 510 breezed an eighth in :10 flat last Tuesday.

“We had appraised him right before the sale and that was right on the money,” said Sharp. “We came in here with quiet confidence. He was a horse on the farm that we really liked. And until you go through the battle, you never know. But we really expected him to do well.”

Paul Sharp | Photos by Z

Outlining several of the May 8 foal’s main attributes, Sharp explained, “He’s just a really well put together horse. The appeal obviously was his sire. I have quite a few [by Justify] at the farm, and they all train great, so that was the key. In addition to the fact that he worked really well. It was a really spectacular work and the gallop out was one of the best that we have seen.”

“He is no nonsense, just a good horse and people recognize that.”

The bay is out of Iadorakid (Lemon Drop Kid), a half-sister to Canadian champion turf horse El Tormenta (Stormy Atlantic) and graded stakes winner Zero Tolerance (Mizzen Mast). The colt was bred by Idaho native Jason Hall in partnership with BCS Thoroughbreds.

Wallace, formerly Chief Operating Officer with China Horse Club, is very well acquainted with the Ashford Stud stallion, who swept the 2018 American Triple Crown while remaining undefeated. Trained by Bob Baffert, Justify was campaigned by a partnership including China Horse Club.

“He took the eye, physically,” said Wallace of the colt. “Back on the shank, everything appealed to us. Obviously, we had some familiarity with Justify. He was a colt we were keen to acquire. We had to pay a little bit for him, but that’s the way things go.”

Confirming where the colt would go next, he added, “He’s going to stay in the States. He’ll go out to California to Bob Baffert and we’ll take our chances out there.”–@CBossTDN

A Homerun for Hall

The reward in the ring of the Justify colt (Hip 510) on Wednesday also provided a broader success for his co-breeder Jason Hall, who has connections with several key members of the immediate female family.

Hall first tasted success with the family when purchasing Iadorakid’s dam, Torreadora (El Prado {Ire}), for $8,200 out of the Sam-Son Farm consignment at the Keeneland January sale in 2017. For her breeder, the bargain mare went on to produce El Tormenta, who most notably won the 2019 renewal of the GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile en route to a year-end championship. Hall was not left out in the cold, however, since Torreadora would go on to drop a filly by Mizzen Mast in 2018. Campaigned by Hall in partnership, Zero Tolerance would become the longtime breeder’s first graded stakes winner as an owner. According to Hall, that grey mare is in foal to Justify.

“We sold Torreadora after [El Tormenta] won the Grade I in Canada, but we still have Zero Tolerance,” confirmed Hall.

Jason and Silvia Hall | Courtesy Jason Hall

Iadorakid herself was a $130,000 KEENOV purchase in 2019 carrying a colt by Creative Cause, subsequently named Welton. The 3-year-old broke his maiden first time out at Golden Gate in March for trainer Jonathan Wong and Hall in partnership with Custom Truck Accessories and MJVET Stables, and is set to return in a second-level allowance at Golden Gate shortly. RNAing for $80,000 at Keeneland November last fall, Iadorakid is back in foal to Midnight Lute.

Asked about co-breeder BCS Thorougbred with whom he partnered to sell Wednesday’s second-highest priced colt, Hall explained, “Scott Carbone is a longtime friend and partner from Louisiana. He was one of my original clients back in the day. We’ve partnered with several horses over the years.”

He continued, “Our total operation is at over 90 horses right now and I have partners on every single one.  It allows me to diversify and to spread out over 90 rather than own only 20.”

Over the past two days of selling, Hall was also represented in the breeding lines by Hip 239, a colt by Jimmy Creed, who sold for $240,000 and Hip 470, a colt by Munnings who brought $170,000. Bred in partnership, Hall also offers Hip 776, a colt by Tapwrit, who sells Thursday. All of the members of Hall’s other offerings at this year’s OBS Spring sale are consigned by Marcial Galan.–@CBossTDN

Omaha Beach Filly to Join Cox Barn

A filly by Omaha Beach (hip 532), who worked a furlong in :9 4/5 during last week’s under-tack preview, will be joining the barn of trainer Brad Cox after selling for $700,000 to bloodstock agent Clay Scherer, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client, Wednesday in Ocala.

“She had a great work,” Scherer said of the filly. “It was really fast, she leveled off, changed leads. She did everything you like to see.”

Clay Scherer | Photos by Z

The bay filly is out of Intelyhente (Smart Strike)–a full-sister to graded winner Bel Air Beauty–and is a half-sister to stakes-placed Count Alexander (Scat Daddy).

The filly was consigned by Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables and was purchased for $200,000 at Keeneland September last year for the Red Wings Enterprises pinhooking partnership of Dunne and Paul Reddam.

Red Wings had pinhooking success at the beginning of Wednesday’s session, selling a colt by Bolt d’Oro (hip 320) for $700,000 to Kerri Radcliffe, as agent for Lady Sheila Stable and Partners. That gray had been purchased for $210,000 at Keeneland last fall.

“They were two really nice horses who worked really well,” said Dunne. “They were well-received at the barn and I think they sold well.”

Freshman sire Omaha Beach was represented by a host of speedy juveniles over the OBS track last week and they began delivering in the sales ring Wednesday. In addition to hip 532, the sire had a colt (hip 466) who worked in :9 4/5 who sold for $650,000 to Spendthrift Farm and Nice Guys Stables from the Mayberry Farm consignment.

“The Omaha Beaches are incredibly athletic,” Scherer said. “They do everything the right way. He’s a good son of War Front and he comes from a huge family. He’s a horse who won the GI Arkansas Derby and another Grade I at seven furlongs. I think, like every other son of War Front, he’s going to get you a good horse.” @JessMartiniTDN

Colt Proves Lucky for Arellano, Cortez

Javier Arellano, who has been pinhooking for just three years and admits he buys only three or four yearlings a year while working on budget, hit a home run in the OBS sales ring Wednesday, selling a colt by Lookin At Lucky (hip 570) for $700,000 to Jacob West, bidding on behalf of Repole Stable. Arellano and Alex Cortez purchased the bay for $50,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton October sale.

“Dr. Gustavo Vautier helped me to look at horses,” Arellano, still basking in the glow of the sales success, said. “I liked the colt, I liked the pedigree. Lookin At Lucky is a nice stallion who was doing really well in Chile and I am from Chile. I liked him physically and I was looking at how I thought he would develop in a couple of years. I was looking to see if he would develop into what he looks like right now.”

Javier Arellano | Photos by Z

The bay colt is out of stakes-winner Joffe’s Run (Giant’s Causeway) and worked a furlong last week in :10 flat.

“We are extremely happy to sell him for that much,” Arellano said. “We were expecting a good result, but not this much, to be honest with you. So we are extremely blessed.”

Arellano was first exposed to racing in his native Chile. Now an insurance inspector in South Florida, he has been involved in racing for just a few years.

“I started racing some and pinhooking seriously two or three years ago,” Arellano said. “And I’ve been blessed with some good horses, but this is my biggest score so far. It feels great. I can’t put it into words. I am just extremely happy.”

He continued, “Alex Cortez is the consignor and my partner on the horse. He does really well. He’s a horseman. We are a small operation. I normally try to pinhook three or four horses a year. But we just want to do the right amount–we don’t want to pay too much on the pinhooking. It’s kind of tough if you buy too expensive to do well down the line.”

Arellano concluded, “This is my passion. I race as well and I love both aspects of the business. Racing is a lot of fun, too, but you see me here, I got a good rush out of this.” @JessMartiniTDN

Arrogate Colt a Highwater Mark for Weiss

When the hammer came down at $1.45 million for a son of Arrogate (hip 253) Tuesday at OBS, it marked a new high sale for his breeder, Jeff Weiss’s Rosedown Racing.

“I sold one for $1.1 million [at the 2018 OBS Spring Sale], a beautiful Medaglia d’Oro filly,” Weiss said Wednesday morning. “I didn’t think I would beat that, but I did. So I am happy about that.”

Hip 253 | Photos by Z

Still, Weiss admitted it was a bittersweet decision to part with the colt, who was purchased by Amr Zedan and will be joining the Southern California barn of trainer Bob Baffert.

“It was a bit emotional,” he said. “I really liked this horse. He was big, 16.2, and he’s fast. I love that combination. And it turns out that Baffert does, too.”

Based in South Florida, Weiss is involved in commercial real estate, with properties throughout the southeast. He has been involved in racing for over a decade.

“I went to my cousin’s wedding in Louisville,” Weiss explained of his introduction to the sport. “I met someone who hooked me up with Three Chimneys and I got involved with syndications. And then I went out on my own from there. I really enjoy it. It is my best hobby.”

Weiss currently has six horses in his broodmare band.

“These mares are top of the line,” he said of the group. “Scat Daddys, War Front, Medaglias. They are the best of the best. I bought them to race and most of them got injured, that’s how they ended up as broodmares. They are all quality, unbelievable pedigrees.”

The unraced Destine (War Front), who produced the Arrogate colt, went through the sales ring while in foal to Improbable at last year’s Keeneland November sale. Rosedown Racing purchased out a partner on the mare for $30,000.

“She just foaled a bay filly on Saturday,” Weiss said. “I am looking at stallions for her. I am looking at Uncle Mo and Justify.” Weiss both races and sells his foals as 2-year-olds. His current racing stable is led by Champions Dream (Justify), who won last year’s GIII Nashua S.

Weiss admitted he kept celebrations over the seven-figure sale to a minimum.

“I didn’t really do anything,” he said. “I had some fried chicken. Which I never eat because it’s too fattening.” @JessMartiniTDN

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