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One of the most anticipated days of the year will soon be upon Island racing with the Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale set for Friday, Oct. 9.
It starts at 2 p.m. with nearly 80 horses catalogued to sell. The sale will feature tight public health protocols with limited attendance. Anyone wishing to attend the sale to purchase a yearling is asked to register online by today at peiharnessracing.com while live video and online bidding will be available to anyone not able to attend on liveauctions.tv.
The sale will feature the much-anticipated return of Pang Shui to the stakes program with 13 yearlings up for offer. Pang Shui stood one season on P.E.I. in 2014 then headed to Western Canada for the 2015 breeding season. He may have only had one crop on P.E.I. but it was a dandy with stakes winners Sock It Away, R Es Shabla and Tangled Mind among others.
Tobago Cays will send out his first group of Atlantic-bred pacers with eight yearlings up for public auction including two fillies and six colts. The Rocknroll Hanover-Bunny Lake pacer stands at Jamie MacKinley’s Double J Farms in Cornwall and already has sired a number of winners in the U.S.
Three of the Tobago Cays colts are from the very sharp-looking Robin Burke consignment from his Brackley farm. Burke began standing Shanghai Phil this breeding season and buyers will get a chance to bid on an Ontario-eligible Shanghai Phil in hip 52 Smokin Molly, consigned by Leigh Gavin of Tignish.
There are just 10 Atlantic-eligible yearling trotters in the sale with six offerings sired by Armbro Barrister and four by Tad The Stud.
Woodmere Farms has been having another successful season and the Marshfield nursery will sell seven yearlings on Oct. 9 in Crapaud, including the impeccably looking Woodmere Rollersky, a Rollwithitharry full sister to Maritime champion Woodmere Skyroller. Rollwithitharry has 10 yearlings entered in the sale.
Stonebridge Terror is one of the most popular of the day with 13 yearlings scheduled to go through the ring. The Western Ideal pacer is sure to be a hot commodity after a very strong year on the stakes trail.
Source Of Pride offers up six yearlings for auction in his second crop of Atlantic eligible pacers.
The lone Varadero Hanover in the sale is number 22, a half-sister to streaking stakes winner Tobins Rebel and is consigned by Wendell Williams of McNeills Mill.
Malicious rides into the sale on a high note after a Maritime-record performance from Bettim Again in September in the P.E.I. Colt Stakes. There are four yearlings by Malicious in the sale.
There are a pair of Cougar Hall’s up for auction in his second crop, including number 72, Cougar On A Terr, a full sister to stakes winner Vicky Everyday.
The sale will also see lone offerings from Articulator and Proven Lover as well as consignments of Ontario breds by Betterthancheddar, Big Jim, Hes Watching, Shadow Play, Sportswriter and Thinking Out Loud.
The P.E.I. Harness Racing Industry Association has announced an increase to $300,000 to the Atlantic Sires Stakes program effective in the 2021 season. This bump puts the funding from P.E.I. up $80,000 from the $220,000 threshold it has been at for years and will be used strictly for Atlantic Sires Stakes events held on P.E.I.
Island racing was saddened by the recent death of Freeman Coughlin of O’Leary. The 72-year-old was a lifelong horseman and ardent supporter of the P.E.I. Matinee Racetrack program.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at [email protected].