Average Jumps 25% at Texas Sale; Louisiana-breds Popular

The popularity of Louisiana-breds fueled Tuesday's increases at the Fasig-Tipton Texas auction of 2-year-olds in training.

With 193 horses selling for $4,476,100 at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, the average price increased 25.14% to $23,192, from a year ago, when 142 sold for $2,631,600, an average of $18,532.

"We thought we had a good group of horses, and they sold well," said Tim Boyce, the director of sales. "My general impression is that the Louisiana-breds did very well. The purse structure over there is very lucrative, and people are willing to pay for a good Louisiana-bred."

Purses in Louisiana, of course, are augmented by revenue from slot machines, and much of that money is dedicated to state-bred races.

Of the five horses selling for more than $100,000 Tuesday, two were bred in Louisiana, including the sale-topper, a daughter of Ide out of the Dehere mare Xylophone. Trainer Ralph Nicks, on behalf of James Spence of Terre Haute, Ind., purchased the filly named Tensas Yucatan for $270,000. Consigned by Twin Oaks Training Center in Athens, Texas, she had worked a furlong in :10 during Sunday's "under tack" show.

"She moved so well and made no mistakes," Nicks said, explaining what attracted him to the filly. He said she'll be sent to Kentucky.

Nicks was the underbidder on another Louisiana-bred that proved popular, a Leestown colt named Ceasars March. Mark Cornett paid $150,000 for the colt, who's a full-brother to Old Lee, a stakes winner of $184,045.

But a son of Forestry was the top-selling colt. Out of the In Reality mare La Finale, the colt went for $240,000 to Virginia Skelton of Dallas. Like the sale-topper, he'll probably go to Kentucky, said Bubba Cascio, who'll train the colt.