Monday, May 12, 2008

The Sale

Saturday, May 10 after the races at Canterbury Park was the Upper Midwest Two-Year Old in Training sale sponsored by the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association. I've been a member of the MTA for a couple of years, but this is the first time I've been able to help out at a sale.

It was an intriguing group of two and three year-olds (the name aside, there were 6 unraced three year-olds in the sale) that made their way into the ring that evening. The day before, a gorgeous spring day, most of the horses worked at one or two furlongs for the potential buyers. I had to work, so I couldn't get out to the track, but Saturday at the races they were on a continuous loop in the paddock lounge. There were several impressive workouts on Friday, the most precocious was by Silver Senorita (Gahzi -Argenti - Minneapple),a two-year filly who burned a furlong in 10.61 seconds. She sold for $23,000. Not a bad price for a Minnesota-bred.

My eyes were on hip number 6, a chestnut colt named Perfect Honor (Put It Back - Perfect Raj - Rajab), a nice looking Florida-bred who had drilled the day before in 12.03. Now, 12.03 may not be as impressive as 10.61, but the last I checked, they didn't card any 1 furlong races. Personally, I am a little suspicious about a youngster blistering workouts at such a young age. Again, this is only my opinion, but pushing a horse so young to run so hard can be damaging to a young racehorse. I'd rather wait for soundness and give the horse a chance to develop naturally. I'd like to be racing at 4 rather than being injured at two and a half.

The colt looked good and had a nice pedigree: mom's had 11 foals, 10 raced and 8 were winners including 3 stakes winners and over half of dad's foals have been racers with 15 stakes winners. I liked the fact that he was a Florida-bred as our trainer winters at Tampa Bay Downs and if he developed nicely he could stay and compete locally while if he was slower to develop he could probably compete here in Minnesota. The bidding started low and never got high. He was bought back at $4500. I don't know what his reserve was, but I understand it was more than I would have been willing to spend. A noted bloodstock agent mentioned that he thought my instincts were right on about the colt, so I had a moral victory. Time will tell and I added him to my stable mail to keep an eye on him.

The top grossing horse in the sale was hip number 26 - Joubert's Gold (Johannesburg - Proud n' Appeal - Proud Appeal). There were rumblings all along the back stretch about this colt. It was rumored that he was no-saled at the Keeneland sale at $40,000. How in the world did the consignor think he was going make more money here in Minnesota? I mean, I'm an MTA member and I think we did a pretty good job, but for all intents and purposes this was the first two-year old sale we ever had. I guess there was one about 17 years ago, but not one since. There were 27 horses in the sale, so we had a ways to go before we got to number 26, but I was really intrigued.

My job at the sale was registering bidders. Not a particular demanding job, but it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and get into circulation. It also meant that I was busy through the first 10 hip numbers, but by the time Joubert's Gold came into the ring I was done and could watch the bidding. No one opened the bidding at $10,000. I was flabbergasted. The opening bid was only $5,000 and I thought, 'ouch, what a dud'. Once the bidding started, it shot through $10,000 in about 5 seconds and kept going until a stall at about $29,000. After a second or two things got rolling again and the bidding quickly pushed to $39,000. Then $39,500. Then $40,000. By the time our auctioneer finished trying to cajole another bid, the gavel fell at at $40,000. Was it a buyback, though? No! SOLD! to Carolyn Friedberg for the same $40,000 that was rejected a month or so before in Kentucky.

Funny thing about horse auctions - when you take one to a few and the bidding stops around the same number, no matter what your heart may say, you've found the market price of your colt.

If you want to check out the sale results for yourself as well as the catalogue, go to the MTA website. While you're there, check it all out - there's some nice racing going on in Minnesota!


sbost said...

Hi - I just adopted Perfect Honor's mother (Perfect Raj) and over the past few hours have learned about her pedigree and babies through wonderful internet technology. I would love to see a picture of Perfect Honor or keep up with his progress. FYI Perfect Raj's last colt was born 2/07 bred to Repent, currently unnamed. Thanks - Sally

Ted G said...

Sally - I'll see what I can find out for you. I haven't seen any updates for a while, but if I hear anything, I'll let you know!