This fall, buyers looking for the best return on their investment should look closely at Ontario-sired yearlings.
Thanks to strong lobbying efforts by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association and other industry organizations the 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes program saw significant purse increases over the 2013 season. Those increases, combined with a thirty per cent reduction in the number of Ontario-sired horses available for purchase in 2014, offer outstanding value for buyers at the fall sales.
A total of $16.6 million was up for grabs in the 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes program, with Grassroots divisions going for a guaranteed $18,000 and Gold Series legs worth a total of $210,000, with a guaranteed minimum of $40,000 and maximum of $150,000 per division. In the next two seasons fewer horses will compete in each age/sex/gait class, increasing the earning potential for starters at all levels of the program.
“This fall’s yearling sales offer a great selection of quality yearlings, from world class sires and top dams, that will be eligible to the lucrative OSS program as two and three-year-olds in 2015 and 2016,” says SBOA president Walter Parkinson. “And Ontario sired horses continue to compete well internationally.”
Among the Ontario-sired competitors that have made an impression outside the province this season is three-year-old trotting colt Harper Blue Chip. In addition to two wins in the Gold Series the colt captured the Canadian Breeders Championship and finished third in both the Goodtimes and Hambletonian Stakes finals. Bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Ray Schnittker, the son of Majestic Son and Winning Jonlin competes out of the Mark Steacy barn for Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald, David Reid and George Judson.
In addition, progeny from Sportswriter’s first crop have created a wave of excitement across North America, pushing the pacing stallion to top spot on the two-year-old money winning sires list. As of Sept. 4 Sportswriter offspring had earned $1,516,616 thanks to the efforts of horses like Sports Bettor, who captured his Nassagaweya Stake division for owner-breeder Frank Gentile and trainer Mark Austin.
Offspring from both Sportswriter and Majestic Son will be on offer at all the primary yearling sales, along with progeny from Ontario’s other leading stallions, such as trotters Angus Hall, Kadabra and Muscle Mass, and pacers Camluck, Mach Three and Shadow Play.
Discerning buyers will also be evaluating the first crops of several sires new to the Ontario Sires Stakes program, including pacers Big Jim, Bettors Delight, Up The Credit and Vintage Master and trotter Manofmanymissions.
Ontario-sired yearlings continue to offer excellent value and are available at the following sales:
The Canadian Yearling Sale
September 14, 2014
Forest City Yearling Sale
October 12, 2014
Lexington Selected Yearling Sale
September 30 to October 4, 2014
The Black Book – Harrisburg
November 3 to 8, 2014