There was an average price drop of 31% at the Indiana Premier Yearling Sale, which was held Thursday and Friday, with the average price falling from $10,147 to $7,730, and the median price going from $7,500 to $5,000.In light of those figures, it’s encouraging to see the favorable response the eight-year-old Western Ideal stallion, Always A Virgin, got. The winner of the Cane, Messenger, Holmes, Battle Of Brandywine, as well as heats of the Jug and Pace, stands at Victory Hill Farm for a modest fee of $3,500. In his first season at the farm—2009—his book was full and closed, something unheard of in modern day Indiana. In light of the success his offspring have experienced this year one could have expected a more pronounced boost than the one he got, but I imagine most breeders will be thrilled if they can maintain position this year.
Comparing the results of this same sale in 2011 and 2012, last year AAV had 18 colts and 13 fillies sell for an average of $9,300. The colts averaged more than $9,700, while the fillies came in at $8,800. The top colt brought $20,000, and the top filly $30,000. (He did have a colt sell for $50,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.)This year the number sold dropped from 31 to 24. The overall average was almost $12,000, with the nine colts bringing an average of almost $17,750 and the fifteen fillies an average of $8,500. Notice that the offering was top heavy with colts last year and the reverse was the case on Thursday and Friday. This year the top colt sold for $35,000 and the top filly for $22,000. Five of the nine colts went for $15,000 or more.
This year’s freshmen represent Always A Virgin’s first crop to race and they cleaned up on the Indiana SS program. Always About Katey, a half-sister to Radar Contact, won the $200,000 Gold Final as well as the $54,000 Hanover at Balmoral. She earned almost $175,000 and won in :53.4. And the gelding, Right Touch, who earned $155,000 on the season, won the $200,000 C&G Gold Final, with another AAV gelding, Mister Virgin, second. Raise The Gin, another gelding, who earned $71,000 this year, was also in the final. (Why are all of the Always A Virgin colts incomplete? Does it have anything to do with daddy’s name?)In July it was announced that Always A Virgin will take up shuttle duty at Pepper Tree Farm in Australia.
Considering the way stallions have been hammered in the early sales, it’s nice to see one overcome this challenging environment and show some gains.