Willow Ridge Farm, as agent for Bay Ridge Orchards, sold a $95,000 co-sale topper by Justin Phillip – Mr Will Wong photo
The annual Canadian Premier Yearling Sale took place Thursday on the Canadiain Thoroughbred Horse Society/Woodbine racetrack area and the mood was upbeat, positive and there was a distinct buzz.

Prices for yearlings foaled in Canada were solid, as many people commented ‘the same as usual – the good ones sold well, the others did not’.
Midway through the catalogue, the words “strong” and “fair” were used by prospective buyers and consignors alike.

While there had been a great deal of a feeling of doom among industry members based on the adjustment of the Ontario sire and bred program by Woodbine racetrack, there was still the hope that there would be enough buyers for the yearlings who were raised with care and love for the past 12 months.

It was hoped that the average for a yearling would stay on par with last years – the first year the selected and open yearlinsg were all lumped together in one book. It was close but a high buy-back rate and the absence of th ebuying power of some previous big stables led to a small decrease.

The average price was $19,236, down 8 percent from last year, while the median price was $11,000, down 21 percent. The buyback rate was 28 percent, up from 24 percent last year.
A total of 181 yearlings were sold for $3,481,800, down 18 percent from last year’s gross of $4,225,400 for 203 yearlings sold.

The good news was that there were several new ownership groups formed and on social media the day after the sale, buyers of yearlings proudly showed off their new purchases.

Owners of Pipers Heath Golf Course in Milton, ON bought their first horse, hip 60, an Old Forester filly out of Night Fever, for $30,000 from Huntington Stud Farm, agent.

3 Brothers Stable purchased a Stormy Atlantic – Anne’s Purse filly for $80,000 from Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. Those partners were buying their first yearling after celebrating their first win last year with Villaine’s Passion.

The regular buyers were in action too: Roger Attfield, Mike Doyle, John Ross, John Mattine, Barb Minshall, Mike DePaulo and Robert Tiller. Western Canadian owner Curtis Landry was the sale’s leading buyer with 7 purchases for $152,000. Landry runs the Alberta Thoroughbred Horse Club, a new syndicate group.

The sales toppers came in at $95,000 – two fillies.

Hip 229, a filly from the first crop of Zayat Stable’s top racehorse Justin Phillip (First Samurai) out of the stakes placed mare Dicey Girl by Yonaguska, was bought by Windways Farm as agent. Bred by Peter Hansen’s Bay Ridge Orchards and sold by Bonnie and Bill Rowntree’s Willow Ridge Farm, the bay filly is the 2nd foal of the mare. Dicey Girl was claimed from her last race for $10,000 at Mountaineer. Her first foal is current winner Maximum Entropy.

Hip no. 222, a Silent Name – Dancing Allstar filly, also sold for $95,000. Offered by Gail Wood, agent for Trinity West Stables, the filly is a half sister to stakes winner Trini Brewnette and from a champion stakes winning mare. Bill and Anne Scott purchased the filly through agent Stuart Simon.

Another filly, hip no 17, a grey by Eskendereya – Kinkora by Macho Uno, was bought for $82,000 by Tucci Stables from Ballycroy Training Centre, agent for Zayat Stables, Brad Auger and 3480 Equine LLP.

Following the sale – 17 prizes were drawn for buyers with the $20,000 cash prize going to Roger Attfield and the $10,000 cash prize going to Maureen Hewitt-Topp.