Equality colt Noequal attracted the high bid of $12,000 in last Sunday’s Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Sale at Michigan State University.
The gray or roan Noequal, out of stakes-winner Rapid Reaction was the only horse of the 35 offered to eclipse the $10,000 mark.
Results were down in all major categories, largely stemming from a 52% decrease in entries from last year’s sale. The economy and the uncertain future of racing in Michigan were without a doubt factors in the decline (As well as Mount Pleasant Meadows running at the same time as the sale? MPM trainer Don Evans was among the leading buyers at last year’s yearling sale).
Noequal’s purchase alone produced the sale’s top buyer, Daniel McCarthy (one horse, $12,000) and top consigner, Opportunity Lane (three horses, $26,500). Opportunity Lane sent out three of the sale’s top four sellers.
The MTOBA sale may not have drawn in high rollers the likes Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum or IEAH Stables’ Michael Iavarone, but this auction did have one thing on the Fasig-Tiptons of the world: free pizza. The organization provided several buffet tables of Papa John’s pizza and breadsticks to consigners, potential bidders, onlookers and internet writing types in the middle of the sale barn. Things like this are what make going to the sale so enjoyable, even if all I can afford to do is window shop.
The pizza was well deserved for many of the horsemen and women in attendance who had been inside the MSU Pavilion’s South Barn since well before the yearling show at 9 a.m.. Equality gelding Meachem Road took home Grand Champion honors and the top prize in the colts and geldings division. Noequal, another Equality colt, took reserve champion, while Daylight Savings filly Daytime Tricks took first prize among the females.
Let’s have a look at the top five sellers from last Sunday’s yearling sale, as well as some other notable hits and misses. I apologize in advance for the less-than-ideal quality of the photos. Indoor arena lighting paired with bright outside lighting is the bane of many a photographer.
Top Five Sellers:
#1: Hip #3 – Noequal – $12,000
Noequal, the MTOBA Yearling Sale’s top selling entry, was bought by leading buyer Daniel S. McCarthy for $12,000. The gray or roan Equality colt was consigned by leading seller Opportunity Lane. Noequal is out of stakes-winning Monetary Gift dam Rapid Reaction, full sister of two multiple stakes winners of over $380,000; That Gift, a Michigan champion three-year-old, and That Monetary. Rapid Reaction is the dam of six other foals, sending five to the races with four winners, including stakes-placed Impeachment gelding Red Line. Equality is the sire of Michigan champions Equalitysdebutante and Bipolar Express.
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This post is heavy on the pictures, so the rest can be found behind the jump. For loads more coverage of the MTOBA Yearling sale, just click the link below.
#2: Hip #29 – Daytime Tricks – $9,000
Daytime Tricks was purchased by James Jackson, dropping the hammer at $9,000. The bay Daylight Savings filly was sent to the ring by Opportunity Lane. Daytime Tricks is out of stakes-winning Matchlite dam Just Tricks, a full sister of stakes-placed Match Break. Just Tricks is the dam of one other foal who has yet to start. Daylight Savings is the sire of Michigan champion Hot Chili and Sire Stakes winner J.P.’s Big Boy.
#3: Hip #23 – Evil Secret – $6,000
Evil Secret was sold for $6,000 to winning bidder William J. Barrett. The dark bay or brown Secret Romeo filly was consigned by Dickinson Farms. Evil Secret is out of stakes-winning Matchlite mare Eve’s Trick, a full sister to stakes winner Aarons Lite and stakes-placed Lite Delighter. Eve’s Trick is the dam of 10 other foals, with eight to race. All eight were winners, including stakes-placed Circus Marquee and winner of over $127,000, Evil Tricks. Secret Romeo’s first foals are three-year-olds of 2009. He is the sire of stakes-placed Romeo Again.
Strategies drew $5,500 in the sale ring from buyer Richard Geiman. The dark bay or brown Strategic Mission colt was sold by Opportunity Lane. Strategies is out of winning Honour and Glory mare Kahlea and Cream. This is Kahlea and Cream’s first foal. Strategic Mission is the sire of Grade 1 winner Showing Up and Panama Champion Golden Strategy.
Q Go S’More rounded out the top five, going to Virginia Uelmen for $4,800. The bay Gainango colt was consigned by Northwin Stable. Q Go S’More is out of stakes placed Ulises mare Rockem S’more, a full sister of two-time Michigan Horse of the Year Rockem Sockem. This is Rockem S’more’s first foal. Gainango is also a first-timer, sending his first crop of yearlings to this sale. The Grand Slam sire was a winner at three and four.
Fifteen of the 35 yearlings did not garner a single bid for the $1,000 minimum. One snub in particular was especially inexcusable.
The fact that this Equality filly could not draw a single bid for a grand is baffling. The gray or roan foal of winning Rehaam mare C R Emmaus Road has a resume that warrants at least taking a flyer. Comeflywithanangel’s dam is two-for-two producing winners, including current two-year-old standout at Pinnacle, Power of Titus. She was sent to the ring by Guy and Deb Russell, who ought to pick up several breeder’s checks from this filly down the road.
Six of the 35 horses offered received bids, but did not meet their reserves. Among them were two of my projected top three sellers before the sale (the third, Hip #33 Wando Gold, was an out).
The Grand Champion of the Yearling Show drew the sale’s third highest bid at $8,000, but the gray or roan Equality colt did not meet his reserve and was deemed a “no sale.” Meachem Road is out of winning Conquistador Cielo mare Queen of Savoy, dam of multiple stakes winner Clever Idea and granddam of Grade 3 winner Ikigai. He was consigned by Kathleen White.
This could have very well been the surprise result of the sale. Despite the same proven cross producing two stakes winners of over $100,000 and another stakes placed foal, this Native Factor filly could only drop the hammer at $2,200, below her reserve price. Quite the head scratcher. Countess of Music is out of winning Sefapiano mare Dutchess of Music, dam of six foals, five to race and four winners, including the aforementioned stakes horses. Countess of Music was brought to the sale by Arnold Farms, LLC.
Steal of the Sale
Hip #22 – Unnamed Colt – $1,400
Of the horses listed under my “Sleepers ” category, this chestnut Equality colt stood out to me the most. The nameless colt is the first foal out of Sire Stakes winner Easy Ellie, and his third and fourth dams were incredibly high percentage producers. He was sent to the sale by Northwin Stable. If I were not working with the budget of a broke journalism student, I would have gladly gone above the $1,400 price tag paid by winning bidder Bob Gorham to get this colt. Those are the breaks, I suppose. I look forward to seeing how he does on the racetrack.