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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Records broken at yearling sale

Harness racing at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Harness racing at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

The 2017 Atlantic Classic Yearling sale is in the books and it broke all records last Friday at the Crapaud Exhibition Grounds.

A total of 104 horses were catalogued to sell with 11 horses withdrawn before the sale leaving 93 yearling standardbreds to walk through the ring.

Five horses were bought back by their consignors, along with one horse that ended up being sold twice, leading to 89 hips sold on the day for a total of $820,900, good for a $9,224 average before applying sales tax.

Woodmere Tango topped the sale for $28,000 to Morah Kerr of Nova Scotia. The daughter of Articulator will be trained by Clare MacDonald in Antigonish, N.S. The top Island buyer was Charlottetown businessman Pat Morris who dropped $27,000 on the Sunshine Beach filly Woodmere Brackley. Both horses are bred by Bruce Wood of Marshfield.

While P.E.I. is the top jurisdiction to race horses on the Eastern Seaboard it did not seem to dissuade mainland buyers who came out in force. Of the 89 horses sold on the day, $372,350 was spend by Islanders on 43 young horses. Nova Scotia came in second with 35 horses purchased by Bluenosers for a total of $367,150, followed by seven yearling picked up by New Brunswick addresses for $50,200. Three horses were purchased by residents of the Magdalen Islands in Quebec for $17,700, while one horse was picked up solely by a Newfoundland address for $10,250.

The horse that was sold twice was hip number 69, who was mistakenly purchased by an Island trainer for $6,700 but the rules for auctions across North America clearly state that when the gavel drops the last person with their hand in air owns the horse. That person did not want that particular yearling so standard operating procedure is that the horse goes back through the ring to be sold a second time for the new owner, which he did and fetched a price of $3,250. The $3,250 goes to the original buyer while they are still responsible for the $6,700 to consignor Adam Johnson.

Of stallions who had three of more yearlings go through the ring, Ontario sire Shadow Play led the way with four yearlings selling for an average of $14,313, while first crop sire Malicious was dominant among Atlantic Sires with eight horses selling for a $12,738 average. Western Paradise was third in the pacing ranks with five yearlings averaging $10,350, followed by the second last crop of Camystic with four yearlings taking in a $9,775 average. Next in line for pacers was Articulator (11 yearlings, $8,741 average); Westwardho Hanover (11 yearlings, $7,882 average); Ameripan Gigolo (12 yearlings, $7,225 average); Image Of Dawn (seven yearlings, $6,243 average); and Immachulate (three yearlings, $4,650 average).

A total of 11 trotters sold on the day for a grand total of $96,950 good for an average of $8,814. Armbro Barrister was the top trotting sire with seven yearlings averaging $9,029. That was followed in the trotting ranks by Tad The Stud with three yearlings at an $8,417 average.

All told the day was a bright spot for the future of Atlantic Canadian breeding.

Nick's Picks

Saturday at 6 p.m. at the CDP:

Race 1 - Sanchez Blue Chip

Race 2 - Ticked

Race 3 - Darth Bader

Race 4 - Pappy Go Go

Race 5 - Silverhill Buddy

Race 6 - Windemeredontuworry

Race 7 - My Lucky Killean

Race 8 - Miss Neala Ridge

Race 9 - Ramblinglily

Race 10 - Doc Semalu

Race 11 - Best Risque

Race 12 - Smiley Bayama

Race 13 - Elm Grove Kaboom

Race 14 -Goliath Reigns

Nicholas Oakes’ column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at

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