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Bergman: Optimism looms at Tattersalls Mixed Sale
By Jay Bergman
For the racehorse owner, or would-be owner, waiting is the hardest part. As we all know racehorses aren’t born with a sulky attached. They need time to grow, mature, train and eventually if you get lucky, race.
For those with a little less time on their hands Monday’s Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands is the EZ-Pass way to get a racehorse. Sales manager David Reid is happy with the size and scope of this year’s mixed auction that focuses primarily on racehorses. “The beauty of this sale is that we have something for everyone,” said Reid. “If you’re looking to race at The Meadowlands, at Yonkers, at Dover, at Woodbine, there’s a horse in the sale for you.”
The sale has been a fixture at the Meadowlands and it brings together a rather healthy supply of ready-to-race talent. “I think at least 20 of the horses cataloged are in-to-go this weekend,” said Reid on Friday afternoon.
On Friday night a pair of horses graced the Meadowlands and performed to the highest level. Ole Miss scored impressively in 1:51 in a B-1 pace for fillies and mares and seems ready to be a solid campaigner for a new owner by Monday.
Perhaps Mr Dennis could be the sleeper of all sleepers after his impressive second place finish on Friday night. The four-year-old cut most of the pace in his Clyde Hirt division and was just nipped on the wire by odds-on favorite One Through Ten in a 1:50 3/5 mile. It was clearly the best race of this inexperienced gelding’s career. While some may wish to examine the horse’s characteristics up close, a look at his pedigree may reveal something even more impressive. His full brother Lisagain like Mr. Dennis was unraced as a two-year-old. Yet that horse became a top invitational pacer at four earning $635,218 during his career. Further back in his immediate family Mr Dennis is a half-brother to the $2.1 million winner Lis Mara.
The sale in the past had taken on more of a “mixed” feel with a larger supply of broodmares, yearlings and stallion shares. In recent years the “breeding stock” side of the sale has waned. “Although the numbers are pretty similar to last year, we definitely don’t sell as many broodmares as we did in the past,” said Reid. “But what we do have is a large amount of what we call ‘Magnificent Mares’ essentially racehorses that could eventually be top broodmares.”
Reid also pointed out that there is a stallion share for the popular Cantab Hall available. “You can’t get to that horse any other way so I expect there to be interest in that share,” said Reid. Cantab Hall is one of the sport’s leading trotting stallions and he is currently standing in Pennsylvania.
Reid appeared rather optimistic that the sale would be successful on Monday. He noted that the racehorse market is still very strong. “We’ve had very good traffic over the last few days. I have seen a lot of interest in the stock we’re selling,” said Reid.
In the mares category there are many that appear to be guaranteed six-figure types. Among that group Idyllic, the 2010 Shes A Great Lady winner and 2011 Jugette champion, has a career bank account of nearly $1.3 million. The five-year-old daughter of American Ideal certainly has great broodmare potential if and when her racing career ends.
Jet Wash, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is another top level performer worth looking at. A winner of more than $200,000 in 2012, the four-year-old was a solid winner at Woodbine on Friday night and seems destined for open company. Another Ontario-bred with talent is Cooking The Books, a daughter of Mach Three currently racing at Woodbine. She earned over $300,000 during her first two years on the racetrack.
There is plenty of quality stock in the sale with Ontario connections. Breeders Crown winner Martiniontherocks has the name recognition and talent to draw some hefty bids of trotting aficionados.
While the Winter Mixed Sale will be well represented on the horseflesh side from Ontario Reid did show concern whether there will be a large supply of horsemen coming from north of the border. “With the uncertain situation in Ontario I think we’re going to see less buyers from that area,” Reid said. With the March 31 deadline for the end of the Slots at Racetracks program in Ontario looming and nothing firm coming from its political leadership, the horsemen can’t honestly assess where the business will be in the future.
But Reid sounded more than optimistic that despite the shaky ground Ontario is under, there are still many other states that either have, or expect to have alternative forms of gaming in the future. He is certainly especially pleased that the Meadowlands has been doing as well as it has this year. “I think the money being wagered is a good sign for its future,” said Reid.
There are certainly enough Meadowlands-type horses on the block on Monday and that group also includes Time To Roll, a $520,000 winner in 2012 as a three-year-old. He’s currently racing and looks to be a Saturday-night horse for the future.
The six-year-old Whackamole Hanover is perhaps the perfect horse for a buyer looking to race at every track in the northeast. The son of Cams Card Shark that seems to be improving with age has campaigned effectively on all sized tracks and most recently was a solid winner at Dover Downs.
Perhaps the best part of the mixed auctions in the year 2013 is the availability of data. Up to the minute information regarding horses out of the sale and most recent past performances are available on-line at www.preferredequine.com.
More than 200 horses will go on the block on Monday (January 21) at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale that gets underway at noon in the Meadowlands Paddock.
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