03/10/2009 11:00PM

John Franks sale set for March 22

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The 2009 edition of the John Franks Memorial sale of 2-year-olds, set for March 22 at Evangeline Downs, has a catalog of 218 horses, a 14 percent increase from last year's total of 191.

The sale begins at noon in the paddock area. A preview gallop show is scheduled for noon on March 21. Both the preview show and sale are free and open to the public.

The effect of slots-enriched purses at all four of Louisiana's racetracks continues to makes itself felt both on the racetrack and in the state's breeding and sales industry. This year's edition of the Franks sale not only offers increased numbers but also better quality.

"Despite the weakening economy, we are cautiously optimistic about this year's sale," said Charlotte Stemmans Clavier, president of the sale administrator, Stemmans Inc. "While the majority of the catalog showcases our top locally based sires, such as Leestown and Storm Day, we also have 2-year-olds from some outstanding commercial sires such as More Than Ready, Stormy Atlantic, Point Given, and Posse.

"We also have some promising young sires represented such as Lion Heart, Read the Footnotes, Roar of the Tiger, Soto, and Quest."

Graduates of the sale will once again be eligible for the two divisions of the $100,000 John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes at Evangeline. Fillies will race July 31. The colts and geldings race is scheduled for Aug. 1.