Always popular at thoroughbred sales across North America, Louisiana breds have garnered attention at the recent Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held August 30th at Lone Star Park and at the current Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
At the Texas sale, Louisiana breds accounted for three of the top ten horses sold, including Hip #77 which sold for $120,000 and Hip #27 which sold for $100,000. A total of 86 Louisiana breds sold through the ring for $1,384,700 for an average of $16,101. With desirable pedigrees, 14 head sold in the $26,000 to $50,000 range, with another 26 going for between $10,000 and $25,000.
At the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, 23 Louisiana breds sold for a total of $1,743,000, for a $75,782 average.
Breeders Sales Company 2021 Yearling Sale, which is coming up Saturday, October 2, is offering a terrific opportunity to purchase Louisiana breds. With the recent action of the Louisiana legislature allowing Historical Racing Games, purses are expected to rise significantly. This is an opportunity to get some terrific young Louisiana breds to be able take advantage of the predicted upswing in purse monies.
There were high fives all around at Keeneland during the Sept. 21 session of the September Yearling Sale after a Not This Timecolt (Hip 2739) was sold for $320,000 to top the auction’s eighth session.
Consigned by Stuart Morris, the Louisiana-bred colt’s sale to agent Donato Lanni—who was acting on behalf of a unidentified client—represented a major home run for breeders Phillip and Nancy Stelly.
By Taylor Made Stallions’ Not This Time—the son of Giant’s Causeway whose first crop to race as 2-year-olds this year includes Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Princess Noor—the colt named Mardi Gras Time is out of the winning More Than Ready mare Ready At Nine, who has also produced stakes-placed Drummer Boy.
The colt was the first at Keeneland for the Stellys, who have been breeding since 2011. They credited Morris as well as Al and Salley Pike, and the Pikes’ son Colt, for their big score in the sale ring. Colt Pike had helped obtain the mating to Not This Time, and his parents had prepped the colt for auction.
“I just couldn’t be any more excited; it’s like catching lightning in a bottle,” said Phillip Stelly, who resides in Louisiana and said that both his father and grandfather were self-described “backyard trainers.”
“We’ve raised some babies and I always thought they were nice, but this is the nicest one we’ve ever raised,” he added.
Lanni said the early success of Not This Time played a role in the purchase.
“The sire has done his job,” Lanni said. “You have to respect any yearling by that sire. He was a strong horse and straightforward, good-looking horse.”
The colt’s extended female family includes grade 1 winner Classy Cathy—the dam of British group 2 winner Placerville—millionaire Rieno Tesoro, and Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible .
In a July 29 announcement targeted toward those planning to attend the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Keeneland president-elect Shannon Arvin informed patrons and horsemen that any party entering the grounds will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Further requirements state that the negative test must be performed within five days of arriving at the sale, which starts Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 26. For any sales participant who does not have access to testing ahead of the auction, Keeneland has made arrangements for onsite testing to be available.
The 2019 renewal of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale didn’t keep up with last year’s record-setting edition when it came to the measurables. Even so, the returns from this year’s auction established a steady cruising altitude for the marketplace, showing it’s fully clear of the Great Recession that brought the Thoroughbred industry to a screeching halt a decade ago, and it proved it can still hit some of the pre-bust economy’s most dizzying heights.
A lot has changed from then to now, but two pillars remain unweathered from the glory days of the mid-2000s: The first is that horse that ticks all the proverbial boxes will bring serious money. The second is, if the horse ticks them with authority, Godolphin and the Coolmore partnership will meet in the back ring to do battle for them.