05/16/2002 11:00PM

Gross and average plummet in 'spotty' 2-year-old sale

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The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's annual 2-year-olds in training sale at Woodbine racetrack on May 16 took sizable hits in gross sales and average price, with only 23 of the 87 horses catalogued sold.

Thirty-nine horses were bought back by their consignors.

Gross sales dropped more than 40 percent from $1,069,500 to $594,700, and the average price tumbled from $32,409 to $25,586.

"It was pretty spotty," said Glenn Sikura, the president of the Ontario division of the C.T.H.S. whose Hill 'n' Dale Farms also sold three horses at the sale. "Some of the horses seemed to fetch a reasonable sum of money, but it wouldn't be fair to say it was a success across the board."

The sale, which was held three weeks earlier than usual, wasn't helped by the stormy Toronto weather or the fact that many potential buyers stayed home to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team play a semifinal playoff game in Carolina.

But Sikura believes the lack of stalls may have been the biggest reason for the disappointing sales results.

"Everybody was saying that there are no stalls for these horses once they buy them," said Sikura. "So, they come buy a horse and then what do they do? They can't keep them in training."

Topping the sale was a bay colt by Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze out of the winning Salt Lake mare Montreat. The colt, who worked the fastest one-eighth mile at the gallop show in 11.60 seconds, was sold for $72,000 by Richard Hogan, agent to Goldmart Farms. The colt was originally a $12,000 yearling purchase by Warnerton Farm last February.

The second highest price was $60,000 paid by Stubbs Investments Ltd. for Boldest of All, a dark bay filly by top Canadian sire Bold Executive out of the winning mare Mar Tie, a daughter of Lost Code.

Boldest of All worked the fastest two furlongs of the sale, 22.60 seconds, and was sold by Huntington Stud Farm as agent.

Two juveniles sold for $55,000, the third highest price of the auction. Cheyenne Spring, a colt by Cherokee Run, was purchased by trainer Tony Mattine for Audre and Gord Cappuccitti from the consignment of Cameron Training Centre, agent; and Brattothecore, a filly by Katahaula County, was sold by Hill 'n' Dale for John Atto to trainer John Ross.

Sikura said that there were not a lot of "lookers" at the horses leading up to the sale and that the attendance in the pavilion on sales night was "reasonable."

"I think there were some decent horses in the sale, but there were some prominent buyers that didn't show up," he said.

Sikura was encouraged by some of the new faces in the audience and said his clients were happy with the prices they got for their horses.

"You'd like to have more sold than got sold, but we've always said we would consider [the sale] a success if we could introduce new people to the business and sell a good horse," he said.