11/09/2001 12:00AM

Lack of stalls may doom sale at Woodbine


Fifteen years after its first auction, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario division) may be forced to relocate or cancel next year's June 2-year-olds in training sale.

The CTHS will not have access to the Woodbine sales pavilion stalls and will not be allowed to erect portable stalls that have been used for the last several sales.

Glenn Sikura, the president of the Ontario CTHS said the group hasn't yet decided whether there will be a sale next year. "But I suspect it's highly unlikely. We don't have stalls and we can't use portable stalls. Woodbine would be as cooperative as possible as far as letting us use their [sales pavilion] facility but how do we do that without being able to stable the horses?"

The CTHS sent out questionnaires to its membership regarding the 2-year-old sale and one of the questions asks directly if the sale is a necessity. The results will guide the group's board of directors in their decision-making process.

Sikura said that some options are to have a sale for 2-year-olds that are already stabled with trainers on the Woodbine backstretch, or to house the horses and hold the gallop show at a nearby farm, or to utilize the Woodbine Standardbred barn.

"These are all ideas we will discuss but I don't know how strong any of them would be in terms of likeliness," said Sikura.

Michael Byrne, who has been operating those sales through his Canadian Breeders' Sales company for 11 years, had his lease for the sales property canceled by Woodbine, which has hired Fasig-Tipton to operate the auctions.

"Yes, I'm going to miss it, I put 11 years of hard work into it," said Byrne. "But it wasn't a surprise; I guess a change is good. I'm the biggest consignor - as owner of Park Stud - to the sale, so I have a vested interest in the success of it and I will continue to support it."

Byrne, who was instrumental in developing the Canadian graded stakes program (there are 40 graded stakes races in this country, up from six a few years ago), is the chairman of the Jockey Club of Canada and a director of Woodbine Entertainment.

Byrne has been extra busy in recent weeks obtaining a new stallion, Perigee Moon, receiving accolades for consigning Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Johannesburg at Keeneland last year and selling two mares and a weanling at last week's Keeneland November sale.

Byrne sold Golden Aster (in foal to Giant's Causeway) and Shalimar Garden (Fusaichi Pegasus) for "various European interests" for $900,000 and $600,000 respectively, plus a homebred Boston Harbor colt for $190,000.

Also at Keeneland, Ted Burnett purchased a Storm Cat weanling filly, which he will bring to Canada, for $1.5 million. Burnett was part of a syndicate to purchase Canadian Bound, the first million-dollar yearling ever sold.

Frank DiGiulio Jr., the owner of probable 3-year-old champion Win City, sold his stakes-winning mare Ahead by a Century for $182,000 to Ontario breeder Jeff Begg and promptly went out and claimed three broodmare prospects at Woodbine Wednesday night.