The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association's Del Mar yearling sale will return to the Del Mar racetrack this year for the first time since 1995. The one-night auction is scheduled for Monday, August 16, when it will kick off Pacific Classic Week.
The sale's relocation follows an eight-year run at the Del Mar HorsePark and is one of several changes made by the CTBA after major downturns in last year's market and a 35.7% buy-back rate. The length of the auction was reduced from two nights to one, and CTBA officials decided that a smaller, more select group of horses would be offered in 2004. This year's sale will be conducted in the racetrack's paddock following the day's racing card.
"We are excited about returning to Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and believe the paddock will provide an ideal setting for a single-day select sale," said Doug Burge, executive vice president and general manager of CTBA. "We are committed to providing California breeders a first-class marketplace to showcase their prized yearlings.
"In recent years the sale has yielded record results. With a more stringent selection criteria and the move to the race track, we believe we can expand on those results."
Joe Harper, president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, strongly endorsed the move to the racetrack.
"We always look for ways to expose the racing fan, new and old, to the excitement and drama of the Thoroughbred," Harper said, "and we can't think of a better way to do that than to showcase select yearlings and buyers to the general public in a setting like the paddock here at Del Mar."
Yearlings will be stabled in the adjacent Del Mar Arena and will be available for viewing Saturday, Aug. 14; Sunday, Aug. 15; and Monday, Aug. 16.