09/25/2014 4:53PM

Yankee Gentleman colt tops Louisiana sale


A Yankee Gentleman colt from the female family of Wood Memorial winner Wicked Strong brought $100,000 to top the Breeders Sales Co., of Louisiana annual yearling auction held Tuesday in West Monroe.

The sale administered by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association experienced declines in gross and average over last year’s record auction, but numbers were up from 2012.

Dale Ladner purchased the sales topper, a Louisiana-bred named Highest Gentleman, from the Select Sales consignment acting as agent for Coteau Grove Farms. The colt is out of the Mineshaft mare Highest Class, a Grade 2-placed winner of $120,996. Yankee Gentleman, a sprint stakes winner, has been a leading sire in Louisiana.

The LTBA reported 120 yearlings sold for gross sales of $1,544,900, for an average of $12,874. There were 52 buybacks. During the corresponding auction a year ago, when the topper was a record $210,000 colt, 140 yearlings sold for $2,000,300, for an average of $14,288. There were 45 buybacks. At the 2012 auction, 113 horses sold for $1,077,600, for an average of $9,796.

“The quality of horses have gone up the past few years. The sire power has really gotten stronger,” said Daren English, director of sales for the Breeders Sales Co. “We set records in 2013, and I thought we would be right at that again this year, and just from walking around and talking to people, some of those that were supposed to be the big-ticket horses didn’t pass the vet exams. That’s one of those things. There’s a lot of vets that don’t pass them.”

English said he was pleased with the “buyer turnout” on Tuesday, as the sale lured folks from New York, Florida and all of the states surrounding Louisiana.

“There was good representation,” he said.