09/08/2011 11:15AM

Hastings: CTHS sale catalog features 107 yearlings

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Ralph Jesiak, sales chairman and vice president of the British Columbia Division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, is optimistic about the upcoming CTHS yearling and mixed sale on Tuesday. A total of 107 yearlings make up the bulk of the 130 horses up for auction and Jesiak points to the recent gains in attendance and handle at Hastings as the reason for his optimism.

“The crowds at Hastings are getting bigger every day and I think things are starting to turn around in B.C.,” he said. “We have an excellent catalog and we are all looking forward to a great sale. We have also seen a lot of interest from horsemen in Washington and Alberta.”

Last year there were 140 yearlings cataloged and 83 were sold for an average price of $12,372.

The sale will take place at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, a suburb of Vancouver. There will be a yearling parade there on Monday.

Dancing Allstar, the 2007 Canadian champion 2-year-old filly, was purchased out of the 2006 sale. A half-brother by Salt Lake is available as Hip No. 80. A Grade 3 winner, Dancing Allstar retired with $519,382 in earnings.

Hip No. 69 should attract some attention. A filly out of the stakes-placed mare Excited Angel, she is a full sister to multiple stakes winner Excited Miss, who was the champion 3-year-old filly in B.C. in 2006. A full-brother, Too Much Dirt, won the Ascot Graduation and finished second in the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity last year. She is also a half-sister to Excited at Last, who won the CTHS Sales Stakes in 2004. She was bred by Red Rock Farm, which bred the winners of the 2011 Jack and Sadie Diamond Futurities, Sartorialist and Sunnyside Gal.

Yearlings by first-crop sire Rosberg should be attractive to buyers. A Grade 3 winner, Rosberg is impeccably bred plus he won sprinting, at a middle distance, and going 1 3/8 miles in the Grade 3 Premiers. He is by A.P. Indy and out of Bosra Sham, a multiple Grade 1 winner who was a champion in Europe. Bosra Sham is also a full sister to European 2-year-old champion Hector Protector.

All of the yearlings that go through the sales ring with commissions paid become eligible to the annual $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes for 2-year-olds. Both divisions of this year’s Sales Stakes will be held on Sunday as part of a card that features six stakes races, including the Grade 3, $200,000 British Columbia Derby. Also on the 10-race card is the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks.

No clear favorite in B.C. Derby

Entries for the B.C. Derby were taken Wednesday morning and 12 horses entered. Post positions will be drawn Thursday night at the derby dinner.

How strong is the field? It is hard to say. It is clearly a much better group of horses than the ones that ran in the 2010 B.C. Derby won by longshot Majesticality. It probably isn’t as strong as the 2009 field. Jersey Town, who finished second to Winning Machine, went on to become a Grade 1 winner. The third-place finisher, Noosa Beach, won 10 of his next 12 races, including the Grade 3 Longacres Mile last year. He had won seven stakes in a row prior to finishing second to Awesome Gem in this year’s Mile.

Regardless of the strength of the field, the 1 1/8-mile mile is an intriguing race with no clear favorite.

Northern Causeway and Commander, first and second in the Richmond Derby Trial figure to attract support. Northern Causeway is undefeated on dirt, winning a first-level optional $32,000 claiming race at Pleasanton in his previous start. All of his previous races were either on Tapeta or turf at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Len Kasmerski.

Trainer Troy Taylor won both stakes races at Hastings last Monday and is hoping for a similar result with Commander and Castinette Dancer in the B.C. Oaks.

“I like Castinette Dancer a little better,” said Taylor. “Commander is going great but there are some very nice horses in the derby.”

Taylor, who is a cinch to win his fifth straight training title at Hastings, will turn 80 on Sunday.

There will be a strong human element at Hastings on Sunday. Russell Baze will be riding Jebrica in the derby and Class Included in the Oaks. Both horses are trained by Emerald Downs-based Jim Penney. Penney won the derby with Flamethrowintexan in 2004. Jebrica is coming off a win in the Emerald Downs Derby on Aug. 14.

Martin Garcia is riding Hurricane Lake for trainer Mike Mitchell. Garcia also rides Embellished in the Oaks. Embellished is the top 3-year-old filly at Northlands Park.

The second- through fourth-place finishers behind Freedoms Traveller in the Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby – Northern Indy, Line Change, and Inhisglory – will try again in the B.C. Derby.

Couldabenthewhisky, second in the Emerald Downs Derby, won his only start at Hastings in the Jim Coleman Province.