09/05/2012 3:11PM

Emerald Downs: Average, median decline at Washington sale


AUBURN, Wash. – With less activity at the top of the market, average and median auction prices declined during the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association’s annual summer yearling sale Tuesday at Emerald Downs.

Trainer Doris Harwood purchased the sale topper, a full brother to two-time Washington champion Noosa Beach – by Harbor the Gold, from the Basket Weave mare Julia Rose – for $55,000 from consignors Bar C Racing Stables of Hermiston, Ore.

Harwood and her husband Jeff bred and campaigned Noosa Beach, an 11-time stakes winner at Emerald Downs, and Harwood trains another full brother to Noosa Beach, the current stakes-placed 2-year-old Music of My Soul. A year ago, the sale topper commanded $105,000, and Music of My Soul brought $82,000.

Overall, 74 of the 111 select yearlings changed hands for an average price of $12,084, a decline of 2.1 percent from 2011. The median price dipped 12.3 percent. A total of 37 yearlings went unsold after failing to meet reserves set by the consignor.

◗ Owner Jerre Paxton said his promising 2-year-old colt Finallygotabentley would start in the season-ending Gottstein Futurity if he put forth a winning effort in a maiden race on Labor Day. Mission accomplished: Finallygotabentley, by Bernardini, won by 6 3/4 lengths while running six furlongs in 1:08.87, the third-fastest time in track history by a juvenile colt or gelding. Only Fast Parade (1:08 in 2005) and Margo’s Gift (1:08.40 in 2007) have gone faster. Finallygotabentley was assigned a Beyer Speed Figure of 71 for his effort – the highest speed figure by a 2-year-old at the meeting.

◗ In the feature race Friday, nine horses will compete in a $3,500 starter allowance at what has become a novelty distance in the Northwest – 1 1/4 miles.

I Am Thor is the only entrant to have raced as far as 10 furlongs and is likely to be one of the favorites in a wide-open race. In his most demanding endurance test to date, I Am Thor tried two miles at Emerald in 2007, setting the pace before fading to finish third in a race that took 3:32.80 to complete. In 2009, he finished a close second going 11 furlongs on turf at Golden Gate.

Other leading contenders include Sarganis, doubling back five days after a victory over $2,500 claimers at one mile; the sharp mare Zippin E, seeking her fifth victory of the meeting; and Dance Chief, the light weight at 117 pounds with apprentice Eliska Kubinova.