TORONTO, SEPT. 23, 2021 – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale does not come to a close until Friday, Sept. 24, but the 10 day sale has already been an unqualified success for Ontario breeders.
Through the first nine days two Ontario Bred horses have sold for $750,000, the Practical Joker-Gal Factor colt consigned by St. George Sales and purchased by Talla Racing and the Justify-American Cleopatra filly consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency and purchased by Spendthrift Farm. On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the closing day of Book Four, Ontario Bred horses were the top three sellers. Heading the list was the Collected-Bezzera filly from the Anderson Farms consignment, purchased for $320,000 by Speedway Stables. (Read the Sept. 21 Keeneland press release here.)
“It just goes to show that Ontario breeders have invested in the game and it’s paying off for them. We can, in Ontario, breed a very good horse that is seen on the international level as a serious contender. And our local program, from a purse perspective with our Ontario bonuses, is a great fallback position for some of these horses, and there’s a great opportunity for strong breeders awards as well,” said David Anderson, whose Anderson Farms had 15 entries in the sale. “We’re definitely on everybody’s radar screen right now and I think it’s a really positive message for the province.”
The benefits for Ontario Bred horses include restricted stakes races at Woodbine Racetrack and Fort Erie Race Track and purse bonuses for owners of horses registered with the program, along with a variety of incentives for breeders. In 2021 the Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP), part of the Ontario Horse Improvement Program (HIP), was worth almost $16.4 million.
“It’s so strong, you know it’s like the field of dreams movie, “If you build it, they will come.” They’re coming and we have a chance to get back on top again,” said Anderson. “I think that the quality of our breeding and racing in Ontario has floundered a bit over the last 10 years and I feel like we’re at a bit of a resurgence here.”
Heading into the second day of Book 5, 63 Ontario Bred yearlings had sold for a total of $8,890,000 at an average price just over $141,000. Almost half of the Ontario Bred yearlings were hammered down for more than $100,000. Complete results are available here.
Owners and trainers who were unable to acquire an Ontario Bred yearling at the Keeneland September sale will have another opportunity at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale in Lexington, KY from Oct. 25 to 28.