CTHS Yearling Sale Opens With Declines

Gross, average, and median prices all fell during first select session.

A cloud of uncertainty hovered over the first session of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s (Ontario division) annual selected yearling sale Sept. 3 at the Woodbine sales pavilion in Rexdale, Ontario.

The Ontario horse racing industry has been rocked by the Liberal provincial government’s decision in March to eliminate the slots-at-ractracks program, effective March, 2013. The program has been providing the government and the horse racing industry with subsidies from the lucrative slot machine business for over a decade.

While talks with the government continue, the industry has been left hanging on a thread, awaiting a definitive transitional plan that will hopefully keep intact what has been an exceptional purse and breeders’ award program.

The mood during the first night was upbeat and positive, albeit somewhat tentative, and the results illustrated the sense of nervousness during the first of three sessions.

A total of 48 yearlings sold for a gross of $1,001,000, down 24.3% from the $1,322,000 that was brought by same number of horses offered in 2011. The average price also fell 24.3% to $20,854 from $27,542 last year, while the median dropped 21.7% to $18,000 from $23,000.

Topping the first select session was a colt by former Ontario-based sire Philanthropist produced from the mare Loup de Grace, by Explosive Red, that sold for $70,000 to trainer Mike DePaulo for Danny Dion’s Bear Stables Ltd. The chestnut youngster, a full brother to stakes winner Grace Phil, was sold by Paradox Farms Inc.

Philanthropist, the sire of 2011 Canadian 3-year-old champion Pender Harbour from his first crop, was recently sold by the syndicate that included Ontario-based Paradox to interests in South Africa.

The second highest price, and the top selling filly, was a filly by Yes It's True out of Quite a Knightmare, by Ascot Knight. The bay filly was bought by Jam Jar Stables of Ontario for $55,000 from Huntington Stud Farm, agent.

Four yearlings that sold for $50,000 were: Hip No, 17, a colt by Corinthian out of stakes placed Mahalo (by Gulch) that Reade Baker, agent bought for Bear Stables Ltd. from Richard Hogan, agent; Hip No. 31, a colt from the first crop of grade III stakes winner Giant Gizmo  out of the stakes producing mare Muriel (by Bold Executive), sold by Paradox Farms Inc. to Greg DeGannes, as agent for Joe Stritzl; Hip No. 38, a colt by Kitten's Joy  out of Oh What a Feeling (by Dixieland Band) that sold to Biltmore Racing Stable from the consignment of Ballycroy Training Centre; and Hip No. 51, a colt from the Paul Buttigieg consignment by Where's the Ring out of Paul’s Girl (by Bianconi) that went to John Mattine, agent for RCC Stables and Partner.

The CTHS (Ontario) sale continues Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. (EDT) with a select session, and then on Sept. 8 with a preferred session.