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Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday's Canadian Yearling Sale

Two years ago, under the pall of the announced end of the SARP program, sale averages at the first day of the Canadian Yearling Sale were off a full 50% from the first day in 2011. Last year the second day was eliminated as 47 fewer yearlings hit the sales ring, and buyers and sellers alike approached the venue with an air of trepidation. But, alas, the average was up $1,830 or 18%. And the OSS program has been very successful this year, so many who rejected the pessimism have been rewarded for their faith. A 22% bump at Sunday’s 2014 edition of this bell-wether sale should bode well for the leaner and meaner auctions that will follow in Canada and the US.

The sample is small and drawing too many conclusions from it would be foolhardy. That being said, there is always something to be learned from the way stallions are received at the CYS.

Last year a Sportswriter colt sold for $65,000 at Harrisburg and a filly sold for $62,000 at Lexington; the top colt went for $20,000 at the CYS and the top filly sold for $23,000. Only five sold on Sunday, for an average of $41,000, up from an average of almost $12,000 last year. And Sports Cowboy, a colt out of millionaire Moving Pictures, stretched the field for the mega-star of this year’s OSS program by commanding a $100,000 price.

Kadabra stands for a $15,000 stud fee that is surpassed only by Cantab Hall and Muscle Hill, yet unlike that pair, and all the other stallions in his general price range, he maintains a very low profile on the Grand Circuit. Bee A Magician is an outlier. Yet, Kadabra is second in the overall OSS standings, behind Muscle Mass. In 2011 nineteen Kadabras averaged almost $30,000 at the CYS; 12 averaged $12,800 in 2012; and five averaged $10,800 last year. Do we have a trend? This year the Kadabras were down to two at a $12,000 average. 

Muscle Mass, who is the leading trotting stallion in the OSS program, and maintains eligibility through 2017 in the sophomore class, despite having been relocated to New York for the 2014 season, didn’t have any blockbuster sales, but six colts and four fillies brought a solid average of more than $17,000. This was off last year’s average of $23,000 for thirteen. Ten from that lot were colts and that surely accounts for some of the drop.

Bettor’s Delight, who led all pacing stallions in the NYSS for two and three-year-olds, will have his only Ontario crop hit the track next year. He’ll give Sportswriter a run for his money, but only two sold on Sunday, a colt and a filly for $13,000 each.

The new Western Ideal stallion, Big Jim, who won his division at two in the US and Canada,  received a courteous reception: six fillies and two colts averaged a shade over $13,000, with a colt selling for a high of $29,000 and a filly for $17,000. Future auctions will tell the tale on him.

First year trotting stallion, the fast but unpredictable Manofmanymissions, who won the Breeders Crown, Kentucky Futurity and Stanley Dancer, also received a cordial reception. Nine fillies and four colts averaged $12,500. He sold a $27,000 colt and a $26,000 filly.

Harper Blue Chip has helped raise the profile of 11-year-old Majestic Son. He only sent three through the sale, two colts and a filly, but they averaged almost $27,000.

Shadow Play was another high profile stallion with a slim offering at the CYS. In 2012, nine members of his first crop averaged $11,600, while last year there were only six, but they averaged almost $26,000. There were only two on Sunday, and one of those sold for $4,200. The other one, a filly, brought $22,000.

While the sale was short across the board on the offspring of the better OSS stallions, there was an overabundance of sale average killing colts and fillies by the Astreos stallion, Astronomical. Fifteen of these beauties—ten colts and five fillies—averaged a whopping $2,780. Twelve of them sold for $3,000 or less.

Holiday Road, the full brother to Ken Warkentin, who has exceeded expectations with his first crop, only sold two, a colt for $10,000 and a filly for $7,000.

Old reliable, fifteen-year-old Mach Three, who ranks third behind young upstarts Sportswriter and Shadow Play in the OSS standings, held his own. Last year ten averaged $17,000 while Sunday 11 fillies and four colts averaged about the same. St Lads Moonwalk, a half-brother to Jan It Jackson, brought $47,000.

Another in the old reliable category is 27-year-old Camluck, by far the oldest stallion of either gait still generating top-dollar bids. Rothwell, a full-brother to Mystician, sold for $61,000, the second highest priced yearling at the sale. He is out of the 22-year-old mare, Mystic Mistress. Talk about old blood. Last year Camluck’s top dog at this sale brought $36,000. In 2013 eight of them averaged almost $16,000. Sunday five averaged close to $24,000, courtesy of Mr. Rothwell.

The eight-year-old Western Ideal double millionaire Vintage Master was relocated to New Jersey for the 2014 season, but he had his coming out party at the CYS. Two colts and three fillies averaged $8,900.

Eighteen-year-old Angus Hall, who went from a $29,000 average at this sale in 2011 to a less than $7,000 average the following year, and rebounded to better than $11,000 for 14 last year, held on to his gains. Productive fillies like White Becomes Her and Margie have given him a boost, to the point where he slots third behind Muscle Mass and Kadabra on the OSS leaderboard. Eleven colts and two fillies averaged about $12,700.

North American Cup winner, Up The Credit, a six-year-old dual-duty stallion, sent the initial offering of his first crop to the Canadian Yearling Sale. Four of them—two and two—sold for an average of almost $13,000.

Last year the Badlands Hanover fillies averaged less than $7,000, while the colts averaged almost $18,000. Déjà vu all over again as six fillies and two colts averaged less than $7,500 on Sunday.

Nine sons and daughters of Federal Flex averaged less than $4,200 in 2013; this year three averaged $5,600.

Mister Big, who has given no indication that he’s the next Western Hanover, only had one $4,000 colt go through the sale.

Nine-year-old Windsong Espoir, who stands for $3,500 and plays the middle in the OSS, went from five for a $5,700 average to six for a $9,000 average. Walnut Hall controls him.

Joe FitzGerald

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