06/09/2017 11:56AM

Baker's dozen for sale at Indiana Grand auction

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In its second year back from hiatus, the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age aims to continue growing its reputation to the point where it might one day be considered a destination event for the region beyond the Hoosier State.

The auction starts at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville. This year’s catalog features 11 juveniles and a pair of 3-year-olds. The book is down slightly from 18 cataloged last year.

“We’ve got about the same number of head that we had last year, which is not huge, but I think we’ve got better quality, so my expectations are really high,” said Dan Mahaney, sale manager and auctioneer. “The inventory in Indiana is low, so if a horse breezes and looks the part, he’s going to get good money.”

Mahaney said the auction stands to fill a void for 2-year-old sales in the Midwest after the Keeneland April juvenile sale went dormant after 2014. However, he acknowledged that it would be an uphill battle to achieve comparable status.

Opportunities are sparse in Indiana for 2-year-olds early in the meet, so many juveniles begin training later than other horses bound for auction.

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Furthermore, maiden purses for Indiana-bred 2-year-olds are $33,000, meaning a big task for Mahaney is convincing horsemen that they could make more money selling than the potential winner’s share of that purse.

“The thing we found with the regional marketplaces is they’re very slow to bring horses to the market,” he said. “There’s horses we could have had, but they’re about a month behind on being ready to actually breeze. We thought if we had products that were basically turnkey, that could be racing within the month, there could be a demand for that, and there is.”

Last year’s auction finished with 10 horses sold for $53,100, an average of $5,310. M & M Venture bought sale-topper Contain, a $10,000 Parading filly who has placed in one of eight starts for owner Michelle Elliot.