By Noah Joseph
This Sunday at Canterbury is the annual Minnesota Bred Yearling Sale. A bevy of yearlings, all bred here in Minnesota, will pass through the sales ring to prospective buyers and onlookers, with everyone looking for the next star to race at Canterbury.
Let’s take a look back at some previous sales, and see some stars that have come from it.
The first Minnesota bred yearling sale was held in 1988. A told of 47 yearlings were sold that year for a total of nearly $330,000.
The highest priced horse was Buchman, a son of Bucksplasher, who sold for $23,000 to Penny Lewis, acting as an agent for Wheelock Whitney. Buchman won the 1990 Chanhassen Stakes at Canterbury, and even ran in graded stakes around the country. He ran in Minnesota, Kentucky, Florida, New Jersey, and New York.
The following year, Silver Me Timbers sold for $17,000 en route to winning three stakes, including the 1991 Minnesota Breeders’ Derby and the 1992 Minnesota Sprint Championship Classic. And in 1992, future Canterbury stakes winner Little Toi Soldier for $2,300. The sale stopped when Canterbury closed, but returned in 1996.
Since 2000, stakes winners to pass through the sale include Swasti, She’s Scrumpy (dam of two winners at Canterbury including a stakes winner), Wally’s Choice, Lt. Sampson, and more.
In 2016, Canterbury inaugurated the MTA Sales Graduate Futurity, a race for horses sold in the yearling sale. The inaugural running was won by Fridaynitestar. The 2018 running was held last Saturday, and was won by Dame Plata, who sold for $35,000.
Dame Plata is expected to run in the Northern Lights Futurity on September 2, and who knows, maybe he’ll become a legend of Canterbury, leading buyers to where it all begins; the yearling sale.