Texas Thoroughbred breeders and horsemen are preparing to stage one of the largest Texas yearling sales ever. The annual Texas Thoroughbred Association Summer Yearling Sale is set for August 28 at the Lone Star Park Sales Pavilion. The live auction sale begins at 10 a.m.
The sale features a blockbuster catalog of 264 yearlings. Based entirely on the youngsters lining up to prance into the sales ring, this should be the strongest yearling sale ever held in Texas. Classic winners Exaggerator, Union Rags, Accelerate, Tapwrit, Mucho Macho Man, Cloud Computing, Country Houseand Tonalist are all represented, as are popular Texas stallions Competitive Edge, Bradester, Mr Speaker and Too Much Bling. In fact, Competitive Edge, a graded stakes winner of $520,000 who stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, has 10 yearlings in the sale, more than any other stallion.
The sensational Mitole, who in 2019 won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) as well as the Met Mile (G1) on his way to championship honors, is represented by four yearlings in the sale. Six of the yearlings being offered are by Spun to Run, who won the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and earned $1,160,520; four are by Vino Rosso, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner who was the 2019 champion older male. From Vino Rosso’s first crop, The Wine Steward won the recent Bashford Manor Stakes.
“The hurdles Texas racing is going through at the moment are discouraging, but I am confident there will be a solution soon to rectify the issues,” said Melanie Martinelli of Solitude Thoroughbreds in Alvord, Texas, which has jumped into the state’s Thoroughbred industry with its 14 yearlings representing its first consignment. “We are continuing on the path we’ve chosen for ourselves in Texas. The Yearling Sale is going to be a strong indicator of the Texas-bred market. We really like this group of yearlings we are bringing to the auction.”
Six of the yearlings in the Solitude consignment are from the first crop of King Zachary, a multiple stakes winner of $366,120 and the only son of the great Curlin standing in Texas. When King Zachary won the 2019 Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga, he set a track record (2:52.97) for 1 3/4 miles that still stands. Hip No. 170 by King Zachary is out of the stakes-winning mare Notacloudinthesky and so is a half-brother to three winners.
Like Martinelli, Jeff Hooper, the chairman and CEO of Highlander Training Center, said he’s disappointed with the current political issues surrounding Texas racing, and he’s also optimistic.
“Horsemen are optimistic by nature,” Hooper said, “ and I’m optimistic about this upcoming yearling sale. There’s always a market for a good racehorse, and I think our consignment overflows with potential. We’ve focused on the regional horses, and I’m very pleased with the group. We have some very nice Kentucky-sired Texas-breds, and the quality of the Louisiana-bred yearlings is especially strong.”
The Highlander consignment is comprised of 18 fillies and 18 colts — all of them “client horses,” Hooper pointed out.
Hip No. 112 could be one of the more popular yearlings in the sale. A handsome bay colt by the champion Improbable, he’s out of the stakes-placed Harlan’s Holiday mare Holiday Girl and a half-brother to the stakes-placed Twirl Girl, as well as three more winners. And Hip No. 191, also from the Highlander consignment, could be appropriately named. A chestnut son of the great sprinter Imperial Hint out of the graded stakes-winning mare Ready’s Gal, He’s Ready to Win is a half-brother to the graded stakes winner Machen and the stakes-placed Mawthooq, as well as three other winners.
Hip No. 87, a Spun to Run colt from the Oakridge Farm consignment, is a half-brother to eight winners, including the undefeated 2-year-old Divining Humor, winner of the recent TTA Futurity. And Hip No. 143, a Flatter colt, is a half-brother to Texas Chrome, a multiple stakes winner of $1,033,362, as well as stakes-winning Patrona Margarita.
The sale is open to the public and admission is free. Download a 2023 Texas Summer Yearling Sale catalogue here with more information at http://www.TTAsales.com.