2010 MTOBA Yearling Sale Preview

A full sister to last year's sale topper Noequal will be offered in the Aug. 29 MTOBA Yearling Sale.

The increasingly unsteady condition of Michigan’s racing industry is reflected in the low number of entries in the Aug. 29 Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Yearling Sale.

This year’s sale catalog features 25 yearlings, a ten-horse decrease from the 35 offered after outs in last year’s installment.

The sale will once again be held at the Michigan State University Pavilion’s south barn in East Lansing, Mich.. The first horse will go through the ring at 1 p.m., preceded by the yearling show at 9 a.m..

Though the catalog may be small, the MTOBA Yearling Sale is a historically fertile ground for Michigan stakes winners, and there are plenty of prospects here with the potential to have successful careers on the racetrack.

To view the online catalog for the 2010 MTOBA Yearling Sale, click here.

Behind the jump are some of the yearlings that caught my attention for one reason or another while browsing the catalog. I welcome reader input on who you think will make a splash in the sale as well.

DISCLAIMER: The following preview is not a recommendation of who to buy in the MTOBA Yearling sale, but a series of observations based on information from the catalog, prior knowledge and general vibes. I have not seen any of these horses in person, so my analysis does not include appearance, conformation or any other physical issues that the yearlings may or may not have. Be sure to thoroughly inspect any horse before making a purchase. However, if someone should buy the next great Michigan-bred based on information from this site, a few win pictures, or at least a “thank you” would be nice.

First Timers:

Yearlings in this group are from their sire’s first crops. Buyers always take a risk when it comes to yearlings of new sires, but the possibility of having one from the next big sire before anyone else does makes it worth the gamble.

Urban Warrior: Northwin Stable’s newest sire is the only stallion to offer a first crop in this year’s sale. The Cape Town stallion was lifetime earner of $124,250 with six wins from ages two to six, including the Chenery Stakes.

Hip #25 – Midnight Avenger
This yearling is out of winning Will Be Dancing mare Q Trick Dancing, a half sister to 2006 Michigan horse of the year Weatherstorm.

Also by Urban Warrior:

Hip #9 – Q Urban Dawn

Freshman Sires:

The sire in this category sends his first two-year-olds to the races in 2010. Only a handful of juvenile races have been run in Michigan, so the resume for this stallion is being written before our eyes.

Gainango: Northwin Stable’s Gainango was the leading first year sire in last year’s sale and is the only freshman sire with yearlings entered this year. The Grand Slam stallion has only had a few foals hit the track, but he ought to have plenty of offspring enter the gates by the end of the year.

Hip #2 – Unnamed Colt
A full brother to this colt, out of stakes placed Ulises mare Rockem S’more, was among the top sellers in last year’s sale. It was her first foal. The mare is a full sister to two-time Michigan horse of the year, Rockem Sockem.

Hip #4 – Unnamed Colt
A half brother to solid Michigan stakes/allowance-level filly De La Crem, this colt is the sixth foal out of Sweet Choice. The Kris S. mare has sent all five of her foals of racing age to the track, with three winners. She is a half sister to Gold Plum, who produced two stakes winners.

Also by Gainango:

Hip #11 – Inforthewin

First Foals:

The yearlings in this segment are the first foals from their respective dams. Like the stallions, there is an air of the unknown surrounding the dams’ futures as producers, but getting in on the ground floor with the right mare and cross can lead to success down the road.

Hip #6 – Spare
Spare’s Dam, Winner’s Quest by General Royal is a half sister to 2003 Michigan horse of the year Goldinrunner. She won two races as a four-year-old for earnings of $25,182. The yearling’s second and third dams produced five and seven winners, respectively.

Hip #23 – Maximista
Maximista is the first foal out of a stakes winner of $80,510 by Matchlite, Maxie Match. The yearling’s fourth dam, Fortunate Bid, is a producer of four stakes winners.

Mother and Daughter:

An interesting angle in this year’s sale is the inclusion of two yearlings by a mother and daughter duo. Also, both yearlings are by Equality. If you like the bloodline, you’ll have two chances to make it yours.

Hip #16 – Bubbicious
This filly is out of Conquistador Cielo mare Cielo Rose, the mother of the duo. Of her two foals of racing age, one is an unraced two-year-old and the other is stakes winner Maxie Match.

Hip #23 – Maximista
Maximista’s dam, Maxie Match, introduces her sire Matchlite to the bloodline. Maxie Match won the 2005 Plymouth Stakes as a three-year-old at Great Lakes Downs.

Famous Relatives:

In the world of horse sales, it never hurts to have a few big race winners in the family tree. These horses have just that luxury and ought to benefit from it in the sale ring.

Hip #2 – Unnamed Colt
This nameless colt’s dam, Rockem S’More, is a full sister to two-time Michigan horse of the year, Rockem Sockem.

Hip #6 – Spare
Aside from his sire, Grade 2-winning, all-time leading Michigan-bred Tenpins, Spare’s dam is a half sister to 2003 Michigan horse of the year, Goldinrunner. Also, buried deep in the filly’s family tree is 2008 dual classic winner and Eclipse Award-winning three-year-old Big Brown.

Hip #11 – Inforthewin
Ginger Ginger, a sister to this gelding’s second dam Through Time, is the mother of turf standout and multiple Grade 1 winner Take The Points.

Hip #12 – Iainttalkintoyou
One of the foals out of this filly’s third dam, Kankakee Miss, produced Queen’s Plate and Carter Handicap (G1) winner Alydeed, who also went on to a productive stallion career.

Hip #14 – Meadow Note
Turning back the page in the damline, fourth dam Amber Dancer produced Alitwirl, dam of Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) winner and successful sire Island Whirl. To continue this Kevin Bacon-esque game, Island Whirl is the sire of Island Storm, whose star pupil is 2006 Michigan horse of the year Weatherstorm. Weatherstorm is a half brother to Q Trick Dancing, the dam of Hip #25 in this sale, Midnight Avenger. I have way too much time on my hands.

Hip #21 – Sashay This Way
This filly’s third dam, Delicate Vine, won three graded stakes races in five career starts and finished third in another. She went on to bear two stakes winners and two more stakes placed foals of her own.

Hip #25 – Midnight Avenger
As mentioned before, Midnight Avenger’s dam, Q Trick Dancing, is a half sister to 2006 Michigan horse of the year Weatherstorm.

Invaders:

Just because it is a Michigan sale does not mean the foal’s sire has to be a state resident. This list highlights yearlings who are by out-of-state stallions. They may not be eligible for the Sire Stakes, but there is still money to be made if one finds the right horse.

Hip #3 – No Touch
No Touch is by 2001 Belmont Stakes winner, horse of the year and newly minted hall of famer Point Given. He has sired 15 stakes winners from six crops of racing age. Point Given has been quite successful in Canada, siring two Sovereign Award winners Sealy Hill (Canadian horse of the year, three-year-old filly & female turf) and Points of Grace (Turf Female, 2010). In the United States, his star pupil is Pacific Classic (G1) winner Go Between. Point Given stands in Kentucky.

Hip #6 – Spare
Out of winning General Royal mare Winner’s Quest, Spare was sired by Grade 2 winner Tenpins. The Smart Strike horse is Michigan’s all-time leading earner and the state’s only millionaire with a bankroll of $1,133,449. He set a new track record at a mile and three sixteenths in the Washington Park Handicap (G2) at a pre-Polytrack Arlington Park. As a sire, Tenpins’ biggest score came with Big Red Mike’s victory in the 2010 Queen’s Plate Stakes, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. He currently stands in Louisiana after beginning his stallion career in Kentucky.

Sleepers:

These yearlings will probably have to be involved in a heated bidding war to crack the top sellers, but their pedigrees suggest they just might outrun their sale prices.

Hip #13 – Coastal Meadow
This Meadow Prayer gelding’s damline has been ultra-consistent. His dam, Carolady Coast, is a perfect four-for-four sending foals of racing age not just to the track, but to the winner’s circle. looking down the line, his second, third and fourth dams are all stakes producers. On the top side, Meadow Prayer has sired five divisional champions at Pinnacle Race Course since the track’s opening in 2008.

Hip #16 – Bubbicious
While Hip #23 Maximista could fit here just as easily, this one may fly a little lower under the radar if bidders are attracted to Maximista’s Matchlite influences. However, this yearling’s dam, Cielo Rose, is already a stakes producer, which could make her more proven than her daughter.

Projected Top Three Sellers:

By my best estimates, these three yearlings ought to pull the highest bids of the sale. The yearlings are listed by hip number, not necessarily the order I think they will finish.

Hip #1 – Awow
Noequal, a full brother to this filly out of Rapid Reaction was the top seller in last year’s sale. The Monetary Gift mare is a stakes-winning full sister to Michigan champion three-year-old That Gift, multiple stakes winner That Monetary and stakes placed Luanne’s Gift, among others. As a broodmare, Rapid Reaction has produced two stakes placed foals, including this year’s Regret Stakes third place finisher, Fully Exposed. Of the six of her seven race-age foals to make it to the races, five have found the winner’s circle. Awow has a good chance of following in her brother’s hoofprints and setting the sale’s high-water mark.

By the way, if you would like to go straight to the source, Awow’s dam, Rapid Reaction is for sale.

Hip #6 – Spare
There is a lot to like here. Tenpins is an underrated sire who ought to be successful in a smaller arena like Michigan. Winner’s Quest is a first-time broodmare, but the second dam is a horse of the year producer. Smart Strike and Deputy Minister on the top, A.P. Indy and Carson City on the bottom. If she were a Kentucky-bred, it would probably add $15,000 to her sale value at a national-level auction, but as a Michigan-bred in a Michigan sale, she is probably the most regally bred yearling in the catalog. As long as she looks the part, she should command a respectable price.

Hip #17 – Musical Prayer
Few Michigan broodmares in recent history have been as consistent in terms of producing quality runners as Dutchess Of Music. Of her seven foals of racing age, six have gone to the track and five have won a race. Two of them are stakes winners of over $200,000 and $100,000 respectively, and another is stakes placed. Currently, another gelding out of Dutchess of Music, Music Conductor, is competing as a solid allowance/stakes-level three-year-old who could very easily rattle off a stakes win or two before it’s all said and done. The mare knows how to throw a decent Michigan-bred. The mystery with this yearling comes in the cross. All of the above successful horses out this dam were by Native Factor, who recently died. However, his able replacement, Meadow Prayer, has done well with foals at Pinnacle and is respected by Michigan breeders. The new cross is definitely capable of causing just as much, if not more, noise as the old one.

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