The first standalone Texas Winter Mixed Sale in nearly a decade has attracted more than 125 consignments. The auction, held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, will be held on Sunday, December 6, at 1 p.m. Central at the Texas Thoroughbred Sale Pavilion on the backside of the Dallas-area track.
Although there have been mixed sessions as part of the Texas Summer Yearling Sale in recent years, this will mark the first Texas Winter Mixed Sale since 2011.
“Because of increased purses and breeding incentives in Texas, and the overall strength of racing in the Southwest region, we saw the need to bring this sale back,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “Even though we knew there would be demand from consignors and buyers, we didn’t anticipate this many entries or the interest we’ve already seen from potential buyers. That’s a good sign for how things are growing in this region.”
The sale will kick off with broodmares followed by weanlings, yearlings and horses of racing age.
The Texas Summer Yearling Sale in August was the first Texas sale with live online bidding, and that option will again be available for this sale along with online video.
For more information and to view the sale catalog, go to www.ttasales.com.
The Texas Thoroughbred Association sought a longer meet from Lone Star Park.
During a teleconference meeting Sept. 29, the Texas Racing Commission approved a schedule for 2021 race dates in which Sam Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park will be the only tracks to run Thoroughbred meets in the state. The state’s other major track, Retama Park, will run exclusively Quarter Horses next year.
Because Retama Park agreed to transfer some of its Thoroughbred purse money, Sam Houston extended its application and was approved for seven more days than what it had originally planned. The track will now run a 46-day Thoroughbred meet from Jan. 8-April 3 before Thoroughbred racing in the state shifts to Lone Star Park for a 42-day race meet from Apr. 16-July 18. Both Sam Houston and Lone Star will also run shorter Quarter Horse meets.
The 42-day meet by Lone Star is a reduction of approximately seven race days from historical averages since 2012, Mary Ruyle, executive director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, told commissioners before their vote, while opposing the shorter schedule.
The Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held jointly by the Texas Thoroughbred Association and Lone Star Park, posted a big gain in gross sales on Monday. The average and median also increased compared to last year, even with a much larger catalog on tap this year. The sale was held in the sales pavilion at Lone Star with appropriate safety measures in place, and online bidding was offered for the first time at the Texas sale.
For the yearling session, 106 head from 137 offered sold for a total of $1,347,700, compared to 42 of 65 sold last year for $506,000. That represents a 166.34% increase in gross sales. The average this year was $12,714, up 5.5% from last year’s $12,048, and the median rose to $5,100 from $5,000 for an increase of 2%. The buyback rate this year was 22.6% compared to 35.3% last year.
The format was altered this year to include a horses of racing age session, in part because of the cancellation of the 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The session had 15 horses sell from 18 offered for a total of $162,500 and an average of $10,833.
Last year’s summer auction had a traditional mixed session with 12 sold for $31,100.
“The results of this sale were strong on their own, and especially against the backdrop of a health pandemic,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “With twice as many yearlings as last year, the fact that our average and median still went up shows that there’s a lot of demand in this region for quality stock. We were pleased with the response to online bidding as well.”
Al Pike, agent, bought the three highest priced horses, topped by hip 218, a Louisiana-bred colt from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Klimt. Consigned by Eaton Sales, agent for Coteau Grove Farms LLC, the January foal is the first out of the unraced Ghostzapper mare Ms. Character and sold for $120,000.
Pike also signed the ticket on the hip 203, who sold for $100,000 as the top filly and second-highest overall. Consigned by H & E Ranch, Roger Daly, agent, the Kentucky-bred daughter is also from the first crop of a Grade 1 winner in Classic Empire. She is out of Just Like Pop, by Unbridled’s Song, whose only foal to race is a multiple winner.
Pike also got the third-highest price from H & E Ranch and Daly with hip 243, a Kentucky-bred Lemon Drop Kid colt for $70,000.
From the horses of racing age session, the top price was hip 16, an unraced 2-year-old filly by Twirling Candy. Martin Racing Stable LLC bought her for $27,000 from Eaton Sales, agent.
Eaton Sales, agent, participating in the Texas sale for the first time, topped the list of consignors with gross sales of $454,800 from 28 sold. Roger Daly, agent, had the top average with eight sold for an average of $31,800.
For complete sale results, go to www.ttasales.com.
The track has raised purses and added racing Aug. 5 and Aug. 12, per the TTA.
Lone Star Park, which suspended racing after the first race July 5 when officials were notified an employee involved in operations tested positive for COVID-19, resumed July 19, according to a statement from Kym Koch Thompson, a track spokesperson.
Texas has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 310,000 confirmed cases in state and in excess of 3,700 deaths.
The track has carded four stakes July 22 that were delayed as a result of its suspension of racing.
According to the Texas Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star has increased purses 18%, effective with its reopening Sunday. The TTA-announced increase is not reflected in the purses listed on the track’s drawn races through July 22. Maiden special weight races are shown carrying a purse $34,000, for example, as they were earlier this meet.
The TTA also states that the track will add two additional race days: Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.
Both divisions of the $100,000-estimated Texas Thoroughbred Futurity have been rescheduled for Aug. 11, but the second legs of the Texas Stallion Series have been canceled due to “necessary changes to the race schedule,” the TTA wrote on its website. The TTA said the hope is to run those races in January at Sam Houston Race Park.
Lone Star began a COVID-19-delayed meet May 22 that had originally been scheduled to end Aug. 11.
Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, informed horsemen April 16 in a letter distributed on social media by the Texas Thoroughbred Association that “we still hope to be able to open the stable area and race meet sometime in May.”
Its spring/summer meet, which was to begin Thursday, has been indefinitely delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season runs through July 19.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed a desire for a gradual reopening of the state following restrictions issued to slow the spread of the virus.
Nearly 17,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 400 deaths. Dallas County, where Lone Star Park is located, has more than 2,000 cases and 50 deaths from the virus.
Both the Bluebonnet Stakes, which had been set for opening day at Lone Star Park, and the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3), originally planned for April 26, have been postponed and will be rescheduled “after we have a better idea of when opening day will be,” said the Lone Star letter attributed to the track’s racing department.
There has been no Thoroughbred racing in Texas since Sam Houston Race Park in Houston concluded its meet prematurely after racing concluded March 21 and after conducting racing for approximately a week without spectators. Sam Houston also canceled its entire Quarter Horse meet.
The TTA reported that due to the reduction in simulcast and on-track wagering, recent incentive awards for breeders, owners, and stallions were lower than usual.
Texas is one of a select number of states in which online betting for horse racing is prohibited by state law.
(Austin, Texas – April 16, 2020) – The Texas Thoroughbred Association is pleased to announce a consignor incentive program for the August 24 Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Sale at Lone Star Park. Thanks to the passage of H.B. 2463, which injects up to $25 million annually into the Texas horse industry, funds are available to rebate up to half of the $400 consignment fee for all horses passing through the ring, including horses not bred in Texas. Entries are due by June 15.
A similar incentive was previously announced for the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. That auction was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all consignment fees were refunded. Instead of a live auction, horses entered in that sale are currently being showcased on the TTA Sales website with potential buyers being able to connect directly with consignors to negotiate private sales with no additional fees.
The Texas Summer Yearling Sale has traditionally included a mixed session for broodmares and weanlings, but for this year’s auction only, that format will change to a horses of racing age session focused on 2-year-olds. If there is sufficient demand, an under tack show may be added prior to the sale.
“We know that these are challenging times for horsemen, so in order to adapt to the current situation we rolled over the consignment incentive to this sale and changed the format to give consignors an option for selling 2-year-olds and other horses of racing age,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We had a record number of entries for the 2-year-old sale, so we expect to have strong participation in this sale as well. We are truly thankful for all the consignors and buyers that have helped make this such an important sale for the Southwest region.”
For more information about the sale, go to www.ttasales.com.