Following a two-day select session of Canadian-bred yearlings that experienced a sharp drop in gross sales and average price, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s (Ontario) preferred sale on Sept. 8 continued a disappointing trend.
A total of 100 yearlings sold for a total of $490,300 or an average of $4,903, down almost 50% from 2011 when 129 yearlings sold for a combined $1,266,600 and an average of $9,819. The median fell to $3,500 from $5,000 a year ago.
The number of horses not sold also dropped significantly, from 73 in 2011 to just 38 this year. Apparently a great many breeders elected to keep their horses rather than sell them for what they thought was significantly less than they were worth.
The nervous atmosphere at the sale was brought about by an announcement last March that the Liberal provincial government under Dalton McGuinty was ending the 10-year slot machine revenue-sharing partnership between the racetracks and the government. Without much information available about what type of transitional assistance the government will give the Ontario racing industry, which currently supports 17 tracks, the fate of the industry in the coming years seems on shaky ground.
Woodbine Entertainment Group also announced the day before the preferred session that it was canceling 11 racing dates from this year’s meeting, scheduled to end on Dec. 16. More race-date slashing could occur once the slots-at-racetracks program ends in March 2013.
Topping the preferred session was a colt from the first crop of grade III stakes winner Giant Gizmo , who stands at Adena Springs North in Aurora, Ontario. The chestnut yearling, out of Great Gazoo, by Great Gladiator, was purchased for $26,000 by Robert Tiller as agent for Rolph Davis from the consignment of Beth Hancock, agent for Cedar Creek Farm.
The second-highest price was also the top-priced filly and another offspring of Giant Gizmo, A filly out of the Bold Executive mare Bold Tigree, sold by Paradox Farm brought a bid of $23,000 from trainer John Mattine as agent for RCC Stable.