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Monday, September 17, 2012

Review of Standardbred Canada Yearling Sale

Frequent quest contributor Joe F. offers his review of the just concluded Standardbred Canada Yearling Sale held at Flamboro Downs.

The fact that this past weekend’s Canadian Yearling Sale at Flamboro Downs produced averages half of what they were last year has sent shock waves through the industry.
Winbak of Canada has six pacing stallions that stand for between $3,000 and $5,000: Allamerican Native and Armbro Deuce for $3,000, Classic Card Shark and Vintage Master for $3,500, Royal Mattjesty for $4,500 and Shadow Play for $5,000. Beyond that, Badlands Hanover is $6,000 and Bettor’s Delight $14,000. And on the trotting side, they have the Muscles stallion, Mutineer, for $3,000 and old standby, Angus Hall, for $10,000.

Zeroing in on the yearlings sold at the CYS by Winbak stallions—not necessarily by that farm—we can clearly see the devastation wrought in one season. Last year at this two-day sale, 21 Angus Hall yearlings brought $601,000, or an average of close to $29,000. One filly sold for $97,000 and a colt went for $95,000. Nine sold for $25,000 or more. Contrast that with this year, where 11 Angus Hall yearlings brought $76,400, for an average of $6,945. So Angus Hall lost $22,000 in his average in one year. He did not have a particularly good year in the OSS program, but…..
What about Badlands Hanover? We’ve been hearing plenty about him. His book has been full for three years running. This year’s freshmen are his first OSS group. Tarpon Hanover and Love Canal got our attention early in the OSS season. What about Slight Touch and No Secret. Eight Badlands yearlings sold for an average price of a shade over $5,200. What? The top price paid was $9,500 for a colt.

Well, what about new kid on the block, Shadow Play? He won the Jug, Adios and USPC. He earned a million and a half dollars. This was an anticipated debut. Nine of them brought $104,400, for an average of $11,600. A colt went for $15,500 and a filly for $2,000. Suffice it to say, no one was knocked off their feet.
Six Royal Mattjesty’s went for an average of $5,900; a pair of Armbro Deuce colts averaged $3,150; Classic Card Shark sold one for $4,200; six Mutineers went for a $2,800 average.

These are just some of the details of the disaster.
How about a stallion that has been very successful in the OSS program and also produced GC colts and fillies: Kadabra. Bee A Magician beat the vaunted To Dream On the other night in the Peaceful Way. Knows Nothing has been an important player in the OSS and open realms. Daylon Magician came back and wowed us with some fast miles. If a stallion could hold up under this sudden difficulty, it would be Kadabra. Last year at this sale, 19 Kadabras took in $530,700 for an average of almost $30,000. His high was a $115,000 filly. Eleven Kadabras sold for $25,000 or more. Over the weekend a dozen Kadabras—four colts and eight fillies—brought in $153,700, or an average of $12,800. There was no $100,000 filly this year, a colt and filly for $23,000 a piece was the best he could do.

Mach Three is another very successful OSS stallion. Eighteen Mach Threes—nine and nine—brought in $676,000 at the Canadian Yearling Sale last year, for an average of more than $37,500. This time around the thirteen Mach Threes—six colts and seven fillies—sold for an average of $13,800. The high in 2011 was a $140,000 filly, while a $44,000 filly topped the list this year.
The Jeremes Jets were turning heads when they first appeared at the 2010 sales. They didn’t do a whole lot on the track that first year but the buyers didn’t give up entirely on them. Last year 25 Jeremes Jets brought in about $500,000 for an average of almost $20,000. They weren’t going for 105, 90, 55 or 60 as was the case in 2010, but they made a respectable showing. This year reality’s hammer pounded JJ on the head as seven of his yearlings sold for a disheartening average of $4,500. The top seller was a filly who went for $10,000.

Apparently members of the OLG are determined to remove Americans from the racing equation, fearing that too many hard earned Canadian dollars are moving south. Dewey was moved up to Westwind Farm in January, 2010 due to political paralysis on gaming issues in Kentucky; I suppose Walnut Ltd. could take him back. Bettor’s Delight was just relocated to Winbak from Blue Chip several months ago; I guess he could go home. Winbak could take Badlands back to the states and Brittany could recall Vintage Master. Dewey’s $20,000 fee and Bettor’s Delight’s fee of $14,000 probably won’t mesh very well with the new slim and trim Ontario Sires Stakes envisioned by the government anyway.
Maybe barring any horse owned wholly or in part by Americans from participating in stakes races held in Ontario is the way to go. After all, that would mean more money for the local voters. If that policy were in effect Saturday night, there would have been a short field in the Canadian Trotting Classic, as Knows Nothing and Prestidigitator would be the only two to qualify. And the latter is owned by Quebecers, so they might not want him either.

Last year there were some major adjustments made in stud fees:
  • Rocknroll dropped to $15,000
  • SBSW went from twenty to fifteen.
  • Western Terror from fifteen to ten.
  • Muscles went from twenty to ten.
  • Glidemaster from fifteen to $7,500
  • Dragon Again from $7,500 to $6,000
  • Four Starzzz Shark from six to four
  • Tell All five to three
  • Master Glide three to $1,500

What is going to happen this year? Will filling the KYSS races merit Dewey hanging on to that big number, in Canada no less? What about Donato? His sophomore crop consists of Check Me Out and the gang that couldn’t trot straight. Twenty?

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