The Fasig-Tipton Sales Co. is returning to Canada. After a 12-year hiatus, the Lexington-based company has been asked to run the annual yearling sale at Woodbine Racetrack.
A two-year agreement was reached this week with the Woodbine Entertainment Group, which owns and operates Woodbine, and the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society. The sale was previously run by Canadian Breeders Sales, a private sales management organization.
Beginning next year, the Thoroughbred sales at Woodbine will consist of a select yearling sale and a two-day, non-select sale to be held the first week of September, and the fall sales schedule has been reduced from two months to three weeks. The new sales schedule means the 270 racehorses displaced annually to accommodate the sales will be affected for a much shorter period than in the past.
"Woodbine Entertainment is first and foremost a racing organization whose success is predicated on field size and quality of racing product," said David Willmot, chairman and chief executive officer of Woodbine Entertainment. "At the same time, we have a vested interest in ensuring the breeding industry remains viable and these changes will allow us to come closer to meeting these goals."
Glenn Sikura said he hopes the return of Fasig-Tipton will bring some stability to the auction market.
"We didn't have the best of sales this year," he said. "Along with some new faces comes some new incentives and initiatives. Racing is so healthy up here right now that the hope is to catch up a little bit with the sales."
"We have always done a lot of business in Canada, and we were glad to be asked back," said Walt Robertson, president of Fasig-Tipton.