08/07/2015 12:30PM

Strong figures expected at California yearling sales


DEL MAR, Calif. – The yearling sale business in California is nearing its busiest week of the year.

On Tuesday, the Northern California Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton will have a catalog of approximately 193 horses, with 174 yearlings and 19 horses of racing age offered before supplemental entries and withdrawals. By comparison, the 2014 sale offered 121 horses.

On Aug. 15, Barretts is offering a select yearling sale at Del Mar with a catalog of 75 prospects. It will be the first Del Mar summer sale since 2004.

The Northern California sale is coming off a bumper year, in which the average price in the yearling portion of the sale soared 109 percent from $6,007 in 2013 to $12,556 in 2014. Last year, 84 yearlings sold for $1,054,700. This year’s sale could be just as strong, according to Doug Burge, the president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s sales division.

“The quality looks as good as I’ve seen,” Burge said on Thursday. “We’re getting a lot of support this time. I think it’s based on the success of last year. We’ve got all the top sires. There are some female families in there that have produced stakes winners. I would expect it to be as good, if not stronger, than last year.”

Burge expects participation from owners and trainers from throughout the state.

“There are quite a few more horses, and from what I’m hearing and feedback, there are trainers coming up from the south,” Burge said. “People are interested in what’s going to be in there.”

There are eight yearlings in the sale by Lucky Pulpit, who leads the state’s stallions in progeny earnings, and nine by Tribal Rule, who is third on the list. Lucky Pulpit is the sire of California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year.

The yearling portion of the sale also includes prospects by first-year stallions Acclamation, Calimonco, Coil, Maclean’s Music, Northern Indy, Shackleford, Smart Bid, Street Life, and Sway Away.

Acclamation, who has two colts in the sale, won the Eclipse Award as the champion older male of 2011.

There is a half-brother to the 2015 stakes winner Patriots Rule in Hip No. 70, a colt by Marino Marini. Patriots Rule won the Crystal Water Stakes for California-breds at Santa Anita on June 6.

Burge said entries were strong enough that the sale is utilizing permanent stalls in the Pleasanton stables and not just temporary accommodation, as was the case in recent years.