A strong second select session at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's yearling sale of Canadian-bred youngsters at Woodbine helped spur an 11% jump in average price from 2010.
The Ontario division of the CTHS had a new format for this year's sale with an initial selected session on Labour Day, Sept. 5, of 70 horses, followed by a second selected session Tuesday, Sept. 6. In 2010, the selected session took place on just a single afternoon.
The experiment seemed to work as the two-day selected auction realized an increase in average yearling price to Can$32,456, up from Can$28,802 a year ago. The gross sales for 148 sold was Can$4,803,500. The number of not sold was 71, down from 79 last year when 128 were listed as sold.
Topping the two-day select session was a racy colt by hot young sire War Front , a son of Danzig, out of the Seattle Slew mare Terrigal. The dark bay, sold by Richard Hogan, agent for breeders Punch and Anne Kent of Hope Stock Farm in Ontario, was bought for Can$140,000 by William and Anne Scott. The colt is a half brother to stakes-placed Niagara Thunder.
“How can you not be pleased,” said Kent about his homebred. “The best part is, I am at the age now that I love to watch the horses I bred race. I could have sold him at Saratoga but instead he is staying here to race.”
The Scotts have mostly bred to race over the last two decades and have campaigned the champion 3-year-old of 2002.
Hogan, who also sold the top priced yearling during the first selected session, a Can$100,000 colt by Bold Executive, said the buzz at the sale this year was louder than in past years.
"I think we saw a real upswing in our local market for the first time in a while,' said Hogan. “There was plenty of action for the good horses and a lot of our local owners and trainers recognized there was a lot of good ones.”
The second-highest price of the select sale was shared by two colts which both sold on the second day. A large gray by young sire Philanthropist (by Kris S.) brought a bid of Can$120,000 from Danny Dion, who owns Bear Stables Ltd. The colt, bred by Mike Colterjohn and sold by his Paradox Farms Inc., is a son of the winning Mt. Livermore mare Pyrnee, dam of stakes-placed Bold Comment.
“I was very happy with the price,” said Colterjohn, who had been president of the now-closed Gardiner Farms for several decades. “He was a nice big colt with nerves of steel.”
The top priced filly of the two-day selected session also brought a bid of Can$120,000. A fancy chestnut filly by the popular Kitten's Joy out of the grade II stakes-winning mare Classic Stamp, by Regal Classic, was sold by Richard Moylan, agent to Woodbine's leading trainer Mark Casse, as agent.
The sale vibe was certainly heightened by the presence of Frank Stronach, attending and buying at his first local sale in almost 20 years. Stronach's Adena Springs purchased six yearlings for Can$326,000.
During the first session of the select sale Dion, who was the sale's leading buyer with nine purchases worth Can$559,000, paid $100,000 for the Bold Executive colt sold and co-bred by Hogan.