Equine Sales Open Yearling and Mixed Sale Consignment Deadline
September 10 and 11
Backside Benevolent Fund at Louisiana Downs, Chaplains Awards Banquet. To be held on consecutive nights at the church on Louisiana Downs Backside. Dinner 7:00. Tickets $40 each. Limited to 100 guests each night. Contact Loretta Romero for tickets or more information. 318-470-2002
Louisiana Cup Day. Louisiana Downs, Bossier City. 1st Post 3:15 p.m. Six stakes races for Accredited Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds worth total purses of $240,000
Louisiana Downs, final day of 2020 Thoroughbred Meet
National Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Assoc. (TOBA) Awards Virtual ceremony hosted by Gabby Gaudet at Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa
Brittlyn, Inc. to be honored as the recipients of the 2019 TOBA Award for the State of Louisiana.
2020-21 LTBA Regular Membership Applications and Renewals Due. $75 before Sept. 30/$85 after Sept 30.
Louisiana Champions Day Early Bird Nominations are due
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Classy John & Dallas Stewart. Sarah K Andrew photo
The story of 2-year-old colt Classy John (Songandaprayer) looks like a pretty interesting one on paper, but is even more so than meets the eye. A $12,000 Equine Sales of Louisiana purchase in May off of just a gallop, the Valene Farms-owned Dallas Stewart trainee shipped up to Saratoga last Saturday to romp by six lengths at 12-1 odds in a typically tough GI Travers S. day maiden special weight (video replay).
The Louisiana-bred beat a pricey group in the process, defeating the likes of an $850,000 2-year-old acquisition and a $650,000 yearling as well as several fashionably pedigreed homebreds.
Classy John was an excellent value purchase to be sure, but as it turns out, he wasn’t an intentional one.
“We got a little confused. I was on the phone, and I thought I was bidding on 15, but it was 14,” owner Murray Valene revealed. “But it turned out to be a pretty good buy, huh? We didn’t have any idea what the horse looked like, but that’s the way it goes. You never do know. It turned out to be a really nice little horse, with some decent pedigree.”
Classy John is the third foal and first to race out of Kitty’s Got Class (Old Forester), who handily won her first three races, including two stakes, as a Woodbine-based juvenile.
After looking at the colt’s page, and him as an individual, Valene began to come around to his purchase.
“I took one look at him when he got in and said, ‘Boy, I like the looks of this colt.’ So we sent him up to Dallas because he looked like he was above average. He was just a good-looking horse.”
Hip 15, an Eskendereya filly who went for $9,000, has not yet started or been credited with an official work.
Once in Stewart’s program, Classy John gave some indication that he was a nice horse, but he really caught his trainer’s attention after blazing through five panels in a bullet :58.60 from the gate at the Churchill Downs Training Center Aug. 17.
“Two or three weeks before [the race, on Aug. 9,] he worked in [1:01 4/5], but in the last work, he worked in :58 3/5 from the gate,” Stewart noted. “So I called the clocker to make sure that was legit–I was up here [in Saratoga]. The clocker said he might have even gone a little faster than that–it was unreal. So I talked to Murray and told him there was a race on Travers Day. Murray’s always game for anything, so he said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”
Valene and Stewart already had another runner for the card in last year’s local GI Hopeful S. third Givemeaminit (Star Guitar), who checked in eighth in the GI H. Allen Jerkens.
Stewart admitted to wondering before the race if his decision to ship Classy John up to the Spa was the right one.
“I got to thinking that maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do with the crowd and everything,” he said. “We’d have to fly him up on Wednesday, gallop him Thursday and Friday and then run Saturday. So I was a little concerned about that, but it looked like it would be the first race of the day, so we went with it and he handled it great.”
A fast work doesn’t necessarily mean a fast race, but Stewart was confident in Classy John’s ability.
“He worked so good, and we had the video of the work, so I saw it,” he said. “Plus, I talked to [jockey] Jack Gilligan who worked him and he said, ‘He is really, really nice.’ So we just got him up here and that’s how it went–he just slaughtered ’em.”
Classy John shipped back to Kentucky Sunday morning, but will likely return to New York for the Oct. 6 GI Champagne S. He is not Breeders’ Cup nominated.
What made the performance even more special was that Classy John is named for Valene’s father, John Valene, who passed away last Tuesday at the age of 100.
“My father passed away on Tuesday, and I flew up on Friday to watch the races,” Valene said. “So, just given the name and the circumstances and everything else, it’s extra special and I think he’s going to be a nice little horse. Hopefully, he stays healthy, because in this game you never know, but I think he’s for real.”
John Valene, who had attended the races at Canterbury Park just a couple weeks ago, first got the family involved in racing in the early 1960s when he claimed a horse who Murray Valene says subsequently won his next seven starts.
Murray Valene’s racing interests later grew significantly, and at one point Valene Farms had around 140 horses in training. He now has about a dozen on the track. Valene is also associated with Louisiana’s Clear Creek Stud, of which he jointly owns the property that it stands on. Valene has mostly campaigned Louisiana-bred or sired horses, including champions in Minnesota and Illinois.
But this wasn’t by any means his first win up at Saratoga.
Valene Farms took the 1993 GII Adirondack S. with $7,000 purchase Astas Foxy Lady (Zuppardo’s Prince), and doubled up in the same race (via DQ) exactly 20 years later with the Stewart-trained Designer Legs (Graeme Hall). The latter was a $10,000 yearling acquisition.
“It just goes to show you–you never know based on what you paid for a horse what you’ve got,” Valene said. “It’s all about the heart and what’s on the inside. Nobody knows that until they run.”
Equine Sales Company is proud to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website, www.equinesalescompany.com. We have updated and improved it with our clients foremost in mind, by streamlining menus, simplifying navigation, building a responsive layout for all platforms and providing more resources and information on our company and our services.
One goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about Equine Sales Company’s services and solutions and also to allow the visitor to browse information based on their own choice.
Amongst the new features, the site contains access to necessary sales forms and industry links for both Buyers and Consignors alike. Another goal we have is to foster improved communication with our clients. We will be constantly updating our content with helpful information, articles, company announcements and client successes in the Racing and News section. We encourage everyone to visit and explore the site, discovering the full spectrum of Equine Sales Company has to offer.
We hope you find the new website with a fresh look, easy to access information and we also wish to establish this portal as a source of information for those who visit our site.
We would like to thank NanC Mark and her amazing staff at Techmark, LLC (https://techmark.me) who spent countless hours building this new site.
If you have any questions or feedback you would like to share with our team… Contact Us! We will be happy to help!
(Opelousas, Louisiana – May 7, 2018) — An accredited Louisiana-bred daughter of Midnight Lute sold for $77,000 on Monday to top the Equine Sales Company 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale in Opelousas, Louisiana.
Named Nite Jean, the sale-topper went to prominent Southwest owner Carl Moore from the consignment of Pike Racing, agent. The May foal worked an eighth-mile on Sunday in :10 1/5, just one tick off the fastest time of :10 flat set by a trio of horses. Nite Jean is out of the winning Macho Uno mare St. Jean, who has produced a winner from her only starter and whose second dam is Grade 2 winner and graded stakes producer French Park.
The second-highest price was $65,000 for an accredited Louisiana-bred from the first crop of Sum of the Parts. The filly out of stakes winner La Salle Glory worked :10 flat and went to J. Stevens Bloodstock, agent, from the consignment of Ricky Courville, agent.
J. Stevens Bloodstock also picked up the highest-priced colt and third-highest price overall. The accredited Louisiana-bred by top Louisiana sire Half Ours sold for $55,000 after working :10 2/5.
All told, 42 of 61 horses sold for a total of $733,400. The average 2-year-old price was $18,168 with a median of $12,000. Last year’s sale posted an average 2-year-old price of $20,308 with an identical median. That auction was fueled by two six-figure sales, including an all-time sale record $110,000 for a Flat Out filly named Special Blessing. That filly just won the $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks this past Friday. There were two horses of racing age in this year’s sale that brought a total of $6,700.
“Last year’s 2-year-old sale was our best ever and we knew it would be hard to match those results, but I’m pleased that we came pretty close,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director.
Equine Sales Company has two auctions remaining this year with the Consignor Select Yearling Sale on September 6 and the Open Yearling and Mixed Sale on October 28.
(Opelousas, Louisiana – May 7, 2018) — A trio of horses worked an eighth-mile in :10 flat during Sunday’s breeze show for Equine Sales Company’s 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale. The auction with a catalog of 73 head will be held Monday, May 7, at 1 p.m. in Opelousas, Louisiana.
The three horses to work the fastest time included Hip 18, a filly named Sallee Sumthing from the first crop of Sum of the Parts. Consigned by Ricky Courville Sales, agent, the accredited Louisiana-bred is out of the stakes-winning Lit de Justice mare La Salle Glory, whose four foals to race are all winners.
Hip 62 was another filly by a first-crop sire to post the co-fastest time. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Fed Biz, the unnamed February foal is out of the A.P. Indy mare Court Reception. That broodmare’s foals include eight winners, topped by Grade 2 winner Ruby’s Reception. The filly is consigned by Twin Oaks Training Center, agent.
Completing the trifecta of runners at :10 flat was an accredited Louisiana-bred by Yes It’s True. From the consignment of Pike Racing, agent, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Officer mare Cute Cadet, whose other registered foal has yet to start.
“In addition to the three working in :10 flat, we had numerous others within range of that time and I think that reflects well on the quality of the catalog from top to bottom,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “Overall it seemed like the consignors and buyers were pleased with the results from the breeze show, so we are looking forward to a good sale.”
Replays of the breeze show, along with the sale catalog, are available at www.equinesalesofla.com. Live video of the sale will also be available on the website.
All graduates of the sale will be eligible for the $75,000 Equine Sales Oaks and $75,000 Equine Sales Derby to be run next year at Evangeline Downs. The 2018 editions of the races were run earlier in the week with Coteau Grove Farms LLC’s Special Blessing, a Flat Out filly who sold for a sale-record $110,000 last year from the consignment of Pike Racing, agent, winning the Oaks, and Four Star Racing’s Double Star, a $9,200 colt by Star Guitar from the consignment of Clear Creek Stud last year, taking the Derby.