08/31/2012 2:11PM

CTHS yearling sale surrounded by clouds of uncertainty


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — A total of 387 Canadian-bred yearlings are cataloged for this week’s Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s annual yearling sale at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion.

The selected portion of the sale is divided into two sessions, on Monday beginning at 7 p.m. and on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Saturday’s open session commences at 3 p.m.

The mood around the sale is pessimistic because of the uncertainty in the Ontario horse racing industry stemming from the provincial government’s decision to end the racetrack slots program on March 31, 2013. Some government assistance is pending, but a recently-released interim report on the situation is vague regarding what that will be.

“It’s tough to be realistic, so we’re approaching things with caution,” said CTHS president Glenn Sikura. “The government expressed fairly recently that they understand that the sale is vital to the survival of the breeding industry. We were expecting a little more in terms of some kind of announcement, and it may well be that we’re still going to get something.”

Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency is one of the sale’s major consignors, along with Paul Buttigieg and agents Cara Bloodstock, John Carey, Richard Hogan, Huntington Stud Farm, Kingstead Stables, Paradox Farm, and Woodlands.

Kentucky sires with offspring in the sale include Awesome Again, English Channel, Ghostzapper, Kitten’s Joy, Langfuhr, Stormy Atlantic, and Yes It’s True.

A large portion of the first Ontario-sired crop from successful sire Milwaukee Brew is in the sale. Other Ontario sires with significant representation include the late Bold Executive, Where’s the Ring, Sligo Bay, Philanthropist, and freshman sire Giant Gizmo.