08/09/2001 11:00PM

A rich climate for yealing sale


EDMONTON, Alberta - With purses at a record high, thanks largely to slot machine revenue, excitement is beginning to mount as the annual Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling sale at the Northlands Sportex draws near.

Purses were increased to a $100,000 daily average midway through the Stampede Park meet during the spring and for the entire Northlands Park season.

"We anticipate the increased purses will be a boost for the yearling sale," said Rennie Gellner, manager of the Alberta division of the CTHS. Allowance races are going for $19,300 and there are accompanying increases right down the line.

"The entire industry" - Thoroughbred and Standardbred handle, both ontrack and simulcasting - "is up $10 million over last year, so it looks very encouraging for the future," Gellner added.

The 200l sale is slated for Sunday, Aug. 26, the day after the Canadian Derby, with 100 fillies and 91 colts catalogued.

There will be no racing scheduled so the day can be devoted to viewing and selling. The first yearling will be offered at 1 p.m.

Adding to the anticipation will be the annual Sales Stakes, with one division for fillies and one for colts and geldings, on Aug. 19 at Northlands.

The Sales Stakes, each slated for 6 1/2 furlongs, will carry purses of $50,000 guaranteed.

An added incentive for sales customers will be the creation of a pair of $25,000 events in 2002 for 3-year-old sales graduates.