Texas Thoroughbred Association Sets 2018 Sale Dates

The Texas Thoroughbred Association, in partnership with Lone Star Park, has announced its sales dates for 2018.

The Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held April 10 with the under tack show set for April 8. Horses will breeze over the Lone Star Park track, and the sale will be held at the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Pavilion on the backside.

The entry deadline for the 2-year-old sale is January 15, and all sale graduates will be eligible for nomination to the 2018 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity to be run at Lone Star with two divisions and an estimated purse of $100,000 apiece.

The Texas Summer Yearling Sale has been scheduled for August 27, also at Lone Star.

This will mark the third year for the Texas sales under the operation of TTA and Lone Star Park after taking over for Fasig-Tipton. This year’s 2-year-olds in training sale posted an average of $26,770 and gross sales of $1.874 million, compared to an $18,515 average and $981,300 in gross sales a year earlier.

“We have seen tremendous growth in the 2-year-old sale this year, as I think buyers and consignors from around the Southwest region responded to the stability we have brought to the auction market here,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “I know quite a few buyers who found some nice pinhooking prospects at our yearling sale, so we expect to see some of those horses again.”

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Too Much Bling Offspring Top Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale

Hip 62 (Photo by Denis Blake)

A pair of Texas-bred yearlings by leading Texas stallion Too Much Bling topped Monday’s Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale at Lone Star Park with bids of $100,000 apiece. The auction was run by the Texas Thoroughbred Association for the second year after taking over operations from Fasig-Tipton.

The yearling portion of the auction posted solid gains compared to last year, as 59 of 90 head sold for $681,800 with an average of $11,556 and a median of $4,500. That total is up 11.4 percent from last year’s $611,800, while the average jumped 19 percent from $9,711 and the median increased 80 percent from $2,500. The buy-back rate this year was 34.4 percent compared to 31.5 percent last year.

“I was very pleased with the yearling session, and this sale again proved that a Texas-bred by a Texas stallion can still bring big money,” said Tim Boyce, sales director. “It was good to see the average and the median improve, and I expect to see a good number of these horses back here for our 2-year-olds in training sale this spring.”

Hip 14 (Photo by Denis Blake)

Hip 14, a colt named Lullaby Bling from the consignment of Benchmark Training Center, agent, sold to Jackson Durham shortly before the solar eclipse passed through the Dallas-Fort Worth area with about 75-percent coverage. The January 22 foal is a full brother to Bling on the Music, who topped the 2016 Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale at $95,000 and has since earned $153,082 with two stakes wins and a Grade 2 placing. Lullaby Bling is out of the winning Action This Day mare Soft Music.

The second $100,000 Too Much Bling yearling, a filly consigned by Asmussen Horse Center, agent, and prepped by Brant Schafer of Elgin, Texas, sold to Susan Moulton as hip 62 not long after the eclipse. The March 19 foal is out of the unraced General Meeting mare General Reunion, who produced a full brother named Nublado Bling, a stakes winner of more than $140,000.

The mixed session totaled $33,000 with 14 of 36 sold for an average of $2,357 and median of $1,400. Last year’s mixed session, which featured a strong consignment from the closing of Lane’s End Texas, brought in a total of $167,700 with 28 of 30 sold for an average of $5,989 and median of $2,700.

“The Lane’s End Texas consignment gave us a big boost for the mixed session last year, and we just didn’t have that same firepower this year, but overall I think it was still a good sale,” said Boyce.

The high seller from the mixed session was hip 212, a Supreme Cat mare in foal to Stonesider who sold for $11,000 to Jerry Durant from Eureka Thoroughbred Farm, agent.

For hip-by-hip results, click here to view the interactive catalog.

Or to view PDF results, click here for the yearling session and click here for the mixed session results.

 

Nearly 140 Head Consigned to Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced a catalog of 139 head for its Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale on August 21 at Lone Star Park. There are 102 yearlings in the catalog with a mixed session of 37 head. The catalog is nearly identical in size to last year’s, which offered 105 yearlings and 37 head in the mixed session. This will mark the second yearling sale operated by the Texas Thoroughbred Association after it took over operation of the Texas auctions from Fasig-Tipton. View the online catalog here.

Leading Texas sire Too Much Bling is well represented in the sale with 10 yearlings, and there are eight yearlings and three weanlings from the first crops of Texas stallion Moro Tap, a son of Tapit and half brother to Grade 1 winner Ascend. Top regional sires including Custom for Carlos, Grasshopper, Half Ours, My Golden Song and Songandaprayer are represented, as are national prominent stallions Strong Mandate, Graydar, Majesticperfection, Take Charge Indy, Sky Mesa, Stay Thirsty, Liaison and Overanalyze.

All yearling graduates of this sale will be eligible for the 2018 Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity to be run in two divisions at Lone Star Park. The 2017 editions of the race were run on Saturday, and both were won by horses who had been through the Texas Summer Yearling Sale and the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

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Texas Sale Grad Texas Chrome Makes History as Just the Second Texas-bred Millionaire Ever

Texas Chrome becomes a millionaire (Photo by Dustin Orona Photography)

Prior to the $50,000 Assault Stakes on July 22 at Lone Star Park, Texas Chrome had already put himself in an elite class among Texas-breds with a pair of graded stakes wins and five other graded stakes placings. But after prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths in the Assault, he joined Groovy and become just the second Texas-bred to ever earn $1 million.

Ridden by Richard Eramia for trainer Allen Milligan owner Danny Keene’s Keene Thoroughbreds LLC, Texas Chrome improved his record to 20-9-4-3 with earnings of $1,020,762.

“I wanted to bring him back here (Texas) to reach $1 million in earnings,” said Keene. “He has a following here. The people here seem to really care about him and like to watch him race, so what better place.”

Keene purchased Texas Chrome for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment of Craig Upham and Sue Dowling’s Stoneview Farm. Upham also bred Texas Chrome out of the Texas-bred mare Margarita Mistress, who is by the late Texas stallion and former Stoneview resident Naevus. Texas Chrome’s sire, Grasshopper, previously stood at Lane’s End Texas and now stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas.

Named the 2015 Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding and 2016 Texas Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old/Gelding, Texas Chrome has raced at 10 different racetracks. He has won two Grade 3 stakes, the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, and has placed in five other graded stakes. His stakes victories also include the Texas Thoroughbred Sales Futurity and a division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star. In his most recent start he finished second in the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap.

Texas Sale Grad Texas Chrome Poised to Become a Millionaire

Texas Chrome at the Breeders’ Cup (Photo by Steve Queen)

Texas has a long history of producing exceptional racehorses, including 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault, 1950 Kentucky Derby winner Middleground and legendary racemare Pan Zareta. However, the state has only produced a single millionaire in Groovy, the 1987 Eclipse Award winner for Champion Sprinter who banked more than $1.3 million. That could change on Saturday at Lone Star Park after Texas Chrome runs in the $50,000 Assault Stakes against his fellow Texas-breds. The 4-year-old colt by Grasshopper enters with earnings of $990,762 and will hit seven figures with a win or second-place finish.

“I wanted to bring him back here (Texas) to reach $1 million in earnings,” said owner Danny Keene. “He has a following here. The people here seem to really care about him and like to watch him race, so what better place.”

Keene purchased Texas Chrome for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment of Craig Upham and Sue Dowling’s Stoneview Farm. Upham also bred Texas Chrome out of the Texas-bred mare Margarita Mistress, who is by the late Texas stallion and former Stoneview resident Naevus. Texas Chrome’s sire, Grasshopper, previously stood at Lane’s End Texas and now stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas.

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Texas Sale Grad Direct Dial Favored in Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga

Direct Dial (Photo by Coady Photography)

Eight juvenile colts each looking to pick up their first graded stakes win will battle in the 103rd running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Sanford on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The morning line favorite is Texas-bred Direct Dial at son of Texas stallion Too Much Bling of Valor Farm who sold for $105,000 at last year’s Texas Summer Yearling Sale.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will enter a formidable pair in Baffin for owners Corinne and William Heiligbrodt and Direct Dial for owner William Farish. Purchased for $170,000 as yearling at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale and a son of multiple graded stakes winner Justin Phillip, Baffin made his debut on June 22 at Churchill Downs besting a field of nine to win by an impressive 4 ¾ lengths.

“Baffin broke his maiden very impressively at Churchill in his only start,” said Asmussen. “I’m kind of concerned if he got enough out of it. He won very easily and is now stepping up into a stakes [race] but I think he deserves the opportunity.”

“Direct Dial has two nice races in him. A win at Keeneland and a nice second-place finish in the Tremont. I feel very good about how both have trained up here at Saratoga as well. Justin Phillip has been a very good horse for us and this is very first crop [so] it’s kind of exciting to see him pass that talent along.”

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Texas Yearling Sale Grad Direct Dial Posts Impressive Keeneland Win

Direct Dial (Photo by Coady Photography)

Texas-bred Direct Dial, a colt by leading Texas stallion Too Much Bling of Valor Farm, rolled to a 7 ¾-length win on April 26 in a $60,000 maiden special weight race at Keeneland. Ridden by Florent Geroux for trainer Steve Asmussen and breeder/owner W.S. Farish, the 2-year-old clocked 4 ½ furlongs in a quick :51.65 in his career debut.

Direct Dial, who was prepped at Keith and Marilyn Asmussen’s El Primero Training Center in Laredo, Texas, earned $36,000 for the win. He sold for $105,000 to top last year’s Texas Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale at Lone Star Park.

Direct Dial is out of the Mineshaft mare Fast Find, who has produced three other winners by Too Much Bling: $71,434 earner She has Bling, $88,232 earner and Texas Thoroughbred Futurity winner Shaded, and $113,006 earner and Bara Lass Stakes winner Scooter’s Choice.

Fast Find, in foal to Too Much Bling, also went through that same sale at Lone Star, where she sold from Lane’s End Texas to Ken Carson, agent.

To view a video of Direct Dial’s race, click here and select race 2 on April 26.

Texas 2-Year-Old Sale Posts Huge Increases in Second Year of Operation

Hip 49 (Photo by Denis Blake)

The Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale held Tuesday on the grounds of Lone Star Park posted numbers that dwarfed those of the first juvenile auction held last year by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, which took over as the sale’s operator from Fasig-Tipton. With 70 of 93 head sold, this year’s auction recorded gross receipts of $1,873,900, a jump of 91% from last year when 53 of 66 sold for $981,300. The average soared to $26,770, up 44.6% from last year’s $18,515 while the median jumped 33.3% to $16,000 from $12,000. Buybacks this year were 24.7% compared to 19.7% last year.

“There were a lot of questions about the viability of the Texas sale when Fasig-Tipton decided to leave,” said Texas Thoroughbred Association Executive Director Mary Ruyle, “but the results of this auction clearly show that the market is very strong here. We are extremely gratified with the results and are looking forward to our summer yearling sale on August 21.”

Last year’s sale topper was a Texas-bred daughter of Too Much Bling eventually named Bling on the Music who sold for $95,000 and has since won two stakes, placed in a Grade 2 and banked $153,082. This year, three horses topped the $100,000 mark and a total of eight brought $70,000 or more, compared to just the one last year.

The sale-topper was hip 49, a Kentucky-bred colt by Tale of the Cat consigned by Benchmark Training Center, agent, who brought a bid of $120,000 from Carrol Castille. Named Dicken’s Tale, the February 1 foal worked an eighth-mile in :10.2 in the under tack show, which was delayed from Sunday to Monday due to weather.

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