08/11/2017 10:06AM

California-bred yearlings featured at Pleasanton sale

Shigeki Kikkawa
Saudi Chroma, who went through the ring at last year’s Northern California sale at Pleasanton, wins a maiden race.

After declines in key categories in 2016, the Northern California sale of yearlings and horses of racing age on Tuesday at Pleasanton has a smaller look. In 2016, there were 240 horses in the catalog. This year, there were 151 as of Wednesday.

“We’re hoping this will better meet the demand,” said Doug Burge, the president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “Last year, we had too many horses for that market.”

The smaller book was planned after last year’s sale saw a 32 percent decline in gross from 2015, to $1,028,200, and a 35 percent decline in the average price, to $7,560. The median price was $4,000, down from $7,500 in 2015. The leading horse of the 2016 sale was a City Zip colt who sold for $50,000.

A few of the horses offered last year have shown talent this year.

Take the One O One, bought for $47,000 at Pleasanton last summer, won a maiden race at Del Mar last Sunday. Saudi Chroma, listed as not sold last summer and later bought for $360,000 at the Barretts March 2-year-old sale at Del Mar, won a maiden race at Santa Anita in May.

“We’ve had some promising horses come out of the sale,” Burge said. “I know there is more buzz this year from buyers. I expect a good turnout.

“We’re hopeful. This is a service to the breeders in the north and south. It’s not a select sale. The product sells itself. Hopefully, with the recent success from last year, it gives people more reason to attend the sale.”

This year’s sale is dominated by California-bred yearlings, with a few 2- and 3-year-old horses in the catalog of the one-day sale, which will be held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds beginning at noon Pacific.

The sale includes sizable consignments from Easterbrook Livestock Management, Harris Farms, Lovacres Ranch, Kim McCarthy Bloodstock, Sierra Sunset Ranch, and Woodbridge Farm.

There are yearlings by first-crop stallions Capital Account, Clubhouse Ride, Congrats My Lov, Daddy Nose Best, Jeranimo, Lakerville, Merit Man, Northern Causeway, and Shanghai Kid.

The sale has yearlings by second-crop stallions Champ Pegasus, Fort Larned, Gig Harbor, and Smiling Tiger. Through Thursday, Smiling Tiger and Champ Pegasus were first and second on the list of first-crop stallions based in California. Smiling Tiger has four yearlings in the sale, while Champ Pegasus has 19.