Ocala Spring Purchases Sold-On

KRA takes quantity over quality at OBS

Horses purchased by the KRA and the Seoul Racecourse Trainers’ Association at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales (OBS) Spring two-year old sale have arrived in Korea and have now been sold on to local owners. At the original sale in April, Korean representatives purchased 92 horses – 12% of the total who went through the ring.

Due to government restrictions designed to protect the Korean breeding industry, the Korean buyers at Ocala were limited to paying no more than $20,000 for a single colt or $40,000 for a single filly – the higher limit for fillies being intended to encourage the purchase of higher quality fillies for racing who may end up having careers as broodmares.

There were no such limits on the amounts they could be sold on for in Korea, however, with owners at Busan splashing out the most. A Tiznow colt out of the mare Trickle of Gold (Formal Gold) fetched the highest figure closely followed by another colt by Sharp Humor out of Secret Mirage (Secreto). Owners Choi Sang Il and Choi Sang Hee both shelling out close to 200 Million on the pair.

Tough Win

While such high prices for seemingly indifferent horses may seem inexplicable, it must be remembered that these horses will immediately be running for big money with even the least valuable race worth $13,000 to the winner. Indeed, both Dongbanui Gangja and Tough Win – respectively the best and the most exciting horses on the peninsula right now – arrived in Korea via Ocala and owners are keen to get a piece of the action.

The KRA operates as a not-for-profit oragnization so the excess money made is put straight back into breeding and also for funding their next overseas purchases.

Here are a list of the top re-sales of horses bought at the OBS Spring Sale for both Busan and Seoul with original names if known as well as the amount (in Korean won) they were sold for:


1. Colt [Tiznow – Trickle Of Gold (Formal Gold)] – 187,700,000 won
2. Colt [Sharp Humor – Secret Mirage (Secreto)] – 183,300,00 won
3. Filly [Dehere – Riptide (Gold Case)] – 150,000,000
4. Colt [Montbrook – Auf Wiedersehn (Notebook)] – 115,000,000
5. Filly [Johannesburg – Perfect Wave (Boston Harbor)] – 110,000,000 won


1. I’d Rather B Lucky (Colt) [Gibson County – Tricky Prospector (Prospector’s Halo)] – 72,000,000 won
2. Colt [D Wildcat – Freddy Fenter (Fenter)] – 61,500,000 won
3. American Revival (Colt) [Put It Back – American Saint (Saint Ballado)] – 52,000,000 won
4. Filly [Sir Shackleton – Tocar (Jeblar)] – 50,200,000 won
5. Public Mischief (Filly) [Grand Slam – Silver Lover (Silver Deputy)] – 46,100,000 won

1233 Korean won = 1 US$ – Figures from Korean Stud Book and Korea Racing Journal

The local Ocala media ran a story on the Korean buyers at the time of the sale.

Anyone wishing to check on the progress of horses they may have sold to Korea can do so by going to the homepage of the Korean Studbook and then searching on the dam’s name.


  1. I had also read that the FTBOA was assisting the Korean racing officials on buying a Marion County farm, although I don’t remember why – to start yearlings?

    I think it is amazing that Korea has a growing Thoroughbred industry while ours withers. Personally I want to see the yearlings my husband and I have bred stay in Florida – breeders’ awards! – but perhaps they’d be more valued in a newly growing economy that actually wants new horses.

    I wonder what their policies on slaughter and the like are.

  2. Natalie, yes they have been looking to buy a farm for some time now both for yearlings and also, I believe for training of the two-year olds they buy before bringing them across to Korea. I’m not sure if they plan to stand any of their stallions there but it may also be an option.

    Racing is growing because it still has pretty much a monopoly on legal gambling – having more international links is seen partly as a way of protecting itself against any future anti-gambling government. One thing you can be assured of though, is however good your horse turns out to be, he will be running in front of 60,000plus people, every time he races.

    As for slaughter, in the past it was bad. It has got much better in recent years although, like many other places, still not as good as it should be. There’s very little market for horse-meat in Korea although slaughter is not illegal. Like everywhere else, a lot of owners are very good but some others are not.

    Sean, the sell-on prices are only in Korean but if I find an easily translatable list, I’ll post it.

  3. Thanks for the reply! 60,000 people, sounds beyond belief.. our tracks are lucky to get a few thousand without a superstar to draw them in.

    America is no shining example of how to keep horses from slaughter, I imagine it is much the same in Korea. The difference might be the desirability of the horse. I’m fascinated.

    Thanks again.

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