218 for John Franks Memorial Sale

Sale named for late Eclipse Award winning breeder-owner.

Edited press release

A total of 218 juveniles have been cataloged for the 2009 edition of the John Franks Memorial 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. This total is an increase of more than 14.1% from last year’s total of 191. The sale, held in the racing paddock at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino is scheduled for Sunday, March 22, beginning at noon (Central). In addition, there will be a Preview Gallop Show on Saturday, March 21. Both the sale and the Preview Gallop Show are free and open to the public.

The effect of racino infused purses in Louisiana is evident not only by the large increase in horses entered for the sale, but by the quality that is being offered, according to Charlotte Stemmans Clavier, president of Stemmans, Inc., administrator for the sale.

“Despite the weakening current economy, we are cautiously optimistic about this year’s sale," Clavier said. "While the majority of our catalog showcases our top locally based sires such as Leestown (the recently deceased son of Seattle Slew topped the state rankings for the second consecutive year in 2008 and will have a sale topping 15 youngsters set to pass thru the ring) and Storm Day (the son of Storm Cat is represented by 13 horses), we also have 2-year-olds from outstanding and commercial sires such as More Than Ready, Stormy Atlantic, Point Given, and Posse as well as from several promising young sires such as Lion Heart, Read the Footnotes, Roar of the Tiger, Soto, and  Quest.”

During the 2008 sale, 172 horses were sold for a total of $1,826,600 an average of more than $10,619, compared with $1,757,000 for 192 youngsters in 2007.

Clavier noted that last "year’s sale was a victim of a scheduling conflict with the Texas sale, which was held the following day and many of the horsemen and consignors based locally and in neighboring jurisdictions were unable to attend both. This year our sale is being held more than a week in advance of the Texas sale and this should be a big help for everybody.”

The sale, named for the late Eclipse Award winning owner/breeder offers a pair of $100,000 races to be held at Evangeline Downs that are restricted to 2-year-olds who pass through the sales ring. The two events will be held on consecutive nights, Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. and will both be run at the distance of 5 ½ furlongs. Last year’s races were won by Tensas Cool Town and Tiger Shark. Tensas Cool Town, a Louisiana bred daughter of Leestown was purchased for $22,000 and provided owner A. Philip Henderson and trainer Anthony Agilar with their second consecutive win in this event. Tiger Shark, a gelded son of Hold That Tiger was a $3,000 buy back by John Balensiefen. Bred in Pennsylvania, Tiger Shark is now owned by Jennifer Hayes and trained by Ralph Irwin.