09/09/2009 12:00AM

Washington yearling sale has declines

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The Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association's summer yearling sale was the latest to fall victim to declines in the yearling market, with the one-day sale Tuesday at Emerald Downs ending with double-digit drops in gross, average, and median.

The auction sold 99 yearlings for receipts totaling $833,500, down 34 percent from last year's gross for 110 horses, with an average price of $8,419, 27 percent lower than last season's, and a median that was down 31 percent, from $6,500 last year to $4,500.

An easing in the buy-back rate provided a positive note. Buy-backs fell from last year's 45 percent to 40 percent.

The 2009 sale-topper was a $60,000 Cahill Road colt that Jill and Dave Heerensperger bought from Patricia Murphy and Rick and Debbie Pabst's Blue Ribbon Farm. The bay colt is a full brother to the 2007 Washington Horse of the Year, The Great Face, who won that year's Grade 3 Longacres Mile and also equaled Emerald Downs's 5 1/2-furlong track record of 1:01.20.

The sale-topper is out of Irish Toast, a stakes-placed Synastry mare, and also is a half-brother to 2009 stakes-winner Atta Boy Roy.