09/24/2013 7:45PM

Louisiana yearling sale posts large increases

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A colt by Awesome Again sold for a record $210,000 to help lift Tuesday’s yearling auction put on by the Breeders Sales Co. of Louisiana to significant gains in total sales, average, and median. The one-day auction, which is affiliated with the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, was held in West Monroe, La.

The sales-topper established a record price for a Louisiana-bred selling in Louisiana, said Roger Heitzmann, executive director of the sales company that was putting on its 26th annual yearling auction. The Brittlyn Stable of Evelyn and Maurice Benoit purchased the Awesome Again colt, which was consigned by Pelican State Thoroughbreds, agent. 

The sales company reported 140 yearlings sold Tuesday for receipts of $2,000,300, with an average of $14,288. The median was $7,500, and there were 45 horses that did not sell. The total sales amount was up 86 percent, the average 50 percent, and the median 67 percent compared with last year’s sale, when 113 yearlings sold for $1,077,600 with an average of $9,536 and median of $4,500. Last year, 35 horses were bought back.

“In the economy we’ve just come out of, we’re more than excited about the type of horses coming out of Louisiana,” Heitzmann said.

“The book is where it starts. Here in Louisiana, people have stepped up their game in how they’re breeding their horses. They’re breeding to better stallions, breeding better mares.”

Tuesday’s sales-topper, named Coxswain, is a son of a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner. He is the first foal from the stakes-winning mare Clear Sailing, and is from the female family of the Grade 2-winning stallion Jump Start.

Evelyn Benoit flew in briefly for the sale from her home in New Orleans and said she was drawn to the colt for his looks. She said she also liked that his dam was a daughter of Empire Maker. Coxswain arrived at a farm in Ocala, Fla., on Wednesday morning.

“My ‘A’ team is there,” Benoit, a 30-year veteran of racing, said of her best prospects. “This horse will be pampered, then somewhere around February they’ll start breaking him and once he’s broken, he’ll come back to Louisiana.”

The Benoits, who raced and now stand at stud Star Guitar, the all-time richest Louisiana-bred, plan to race Coxswain.

“This horse looked the part,” said Evelyn Benoit.

The second-highest seller Tuesday was a Good and Tough filly who brought $70,000 from the Coteau Grove Farms operation that bred sales-topper Coxswain. She is a half-sister to Miz Ida, a multiple Grade 3 winner of $433,985. Both are from the stakes-winning mare May Gator, who earned $570,298. The Louisiana-bred filly was consigned by Brown’s Thoroughbred Farm.