The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association reported a 68% increase in sales from its annual stallion services auction over last year, and recorded the highest grossing sales figures since 2004.
The sale, with the gross receipts of $50,350 to date, was held online Dec. 8-14. A second chance auction for unsold stallion seasons is scheduled Dec. 21 through Jan. 4, 2013.
Kay King, executive director of the MTA, credited the sale's success to the impact of a $75 million purse enhancement agreement between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Canterbury Park.
"Our results speak for themselves and further indicate the renewed excitement and enthusiasm building in Minnesota's Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry" because of the agreement, King said in an e-mail message.
Conducted online for the second year in a row via www.thoroughlybred.com, 105 seasons were offered with over half being purchased during the auction.
"Our stallion services auction is our major fundraiser of the year," said Scott Rake, MTA Board of Directors' president. "The proceeds from this event and our yearling sale will go to directly fund MTA operations."
Rake added, "Our thanks go out to the stallion owners around North America that donated the seasons to our auction and to all the broodmare owners that bought their services. The type of increase we saw this year is indicative of the tremendous amount of excitement over the marketing agreement with the SMSC and the confidence that breeders now have in the future of Minnesota racing."
All 2014 progeny of stallions sold online or repurchased by the stallion owners will be eligible to be nominated to the 2017 MTA Stallion Auction Stakes. Commensurate with the increase in purses at Canterbury, it is the goal of the MTA to return these races to black-type status as soon as possible.
Nominees do not need to be Minnesota-bred but merely need to be the progeny of a stallion sold during the initial and second chance auctions.