Texas Racing Notes From Mrs. Tittle

Letters from Mrs. Jill Tittle

Sat, 24 August 1996

Hi Al,

Well, I may as well write up a summary of the Texas TB Association yearling sale for the racing notes people.

This year's TTBA yearling sale, held August 19-20 in the Will Rogers Memorial Center was certainly different from the previous sales held. The overall quality of horses was certainly better than in previous years. And the average price in the select sale was about 25% higher than last year, which had been a banner year in and of itself.

The sale began with an open session which catalogued just over 200 horses. This lot of horses sold for an average of $4,000, median price of $2,500. The reason the average was so different from the median, was that the sale topper sold in that session--a new Texas sales record of $96,000 for a Nines Wild filly out of the Ogygian mare Misty Bella.

The first open session was followed immediately by the select session, which catalogued about 70 horses. These horses were very attractive to the buyers, and brought an average price of $20,819 (compared to last year's average of ~$16,000). The select session sale topper was a Manzotti filly, bought by Suzanne Taylor of Montgomery, TX for $54,000.

The second day was another open session, cataloguing about 280 yearlings. Again, the average was not great--I don't have the actual figures sitting in front of me. The open sessions, although IMO better than previous years, had lower prices. The overall sale average was $6,469, a $7.00 decrease from last year's $6,476. Considering the fact that the select session average was higher, the open sessions dropped considerably.

Because of the low prices overall, there were a whole lot of horses bought back. This year 369 horses actually sold, compares to 317 last year. Sounds o.k? Except that only 438 were catalogued last year, compared to 562 this year.

Total summary--top of the market was good. Middle and bottom were very soft. If you will read back through my most recent TX racing notes, you will see that I wrote something about lower level TX horses being aced out, and this may be the price we have to pay to see top level racing here in TX. I also said this may really hurt alot of TX horsemen. It has. We, personally, were hurt by it. Whatever has to be has to be. And I hope Lone Star proves to be everything we in TX have hoped for. In the meantime, everyone is tightening belts. There will be alot of people pulled out of contention in the breeding industry because they don't have the financial means to present these top yearlings. I know this will hurt even the bigger farms. Let's hope those that are able can revamp their programs and make that huge leap--it's the leap of the future of racing here. Hang on.

The best part of the sale for me was that you, Al Lauck, creator of The Running Horse, came to the sale to generate interest in the internet and the capabilities of TRH. I really enjoyed visiting with you, and I was very pleased to see the number of people that had some sort of interest. Many had no previous internet experience, some even with little to no computer experience. On the other end, were those that were familiar with the internet, and wanted to know what TRH could do for them.

I'm sure all of the readers of TRH and TX racing notes will join in to wish you the best of luck in securing some more good advertisers.

The worst part of the sale for me was dealing with the poor option presented to me for my yearlings. The Mr. Redoy filly sold very cheaply to an agent Michael Mulligan (was that the guy with the steam shovel I used to read about 25 years ago?). I wish him the best of success with her. We brought the Salt Dome colt home, and I will be looking for private buyers as my first option. We'll see what happens.

I will be very curious to see how the Houston Fasig-Tipton sale September 22-23 comes out. The sale begins with a dispersal of Joe Archer's stock--about 50 head. Looks like some of the mares he bought last year and is reselling. Others don't look familiar to me--like the granddam of Holy Bull. The second day catalogues strictly yearlings, a little over 100 head. The yearlings don't look quite as strong as those sold in Ft Worth. I'll be very interested to see what these bring. Last year, this sale didn't do nearly as well as the TTBA sale. May very well change this year. We'll see.

The format of the Fasig-Tipton sale is very different from the TTBA sale. The TTBA sale is all indoors--barns, sales ring, the whole shooting match. They run through over 200 yearlings a day, starting at 10 a.m. Fasig-Tipton is held at the Houston Polo grounds, which is all outside. The sales pavillion is a covered area. And they don't start the sale until 7p.m., so, even with 100 yearlings, the sale runs til late in the night. Very different flavor. And last year, George Strait showed up. Lots of fun.

Well, that's about all I know right now. Hope the day treats you well.


Jill Tittle

Life is not a spectator sport

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