For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Monday, September 30, 2013

RUS Update

This past Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, the latest race on RUS Ontario's calendar was contested on Super Night in front of a large crowd.  Competing in the race was Canadian thoroughbred Jockey Emma Jayne-Wilson who was invited to take on the regular riders in the event.

What transpired was perhaps one of the best RUS events of the season as you can see from this video.

Yes, Wilson was the victor in the contest bringing home I'll Be There to victory in 2;02.2, being chased home by Harlequin ridden by Riina Rekila through the stretch.   

The race also shows that experience is the only thing which is going to make these riders more proficient in their racing skills.  When there are no RUS events scheduled in Ontario, these women are spending time training together and getting more horses qualified to increase the supply of horses available for racing.   Racing is not the only thing these women are doing.  They are excellent in promoting RUS as they have at each racetrack meet and greets and promoting RUS Ontario - Getting On Top of the Game.

Not only did the horses and riders put on a good show, the victory was a popular one with those in attendance as you can hear cheering at the end of the race.  Wilson participated in the race to show support for all of  racing in Ontario and if presenting standardbreds in a new style of racing will help racing, so be it.

Meanwhile, down in the lower 48, while RUS racing was absent from Delaware, Ohio this year, it returns to The Red Mile on Kentucky Futurity Day with the horses competing for a purse of at least $15,000 in the Exhibition event.  The race should be contested during the regular wagering card so make sure you get a chance to watch it.


Anatomy of a Faux Pas

Yesterday, I took my lumps for writing a column which criticized the standardbred industry for not wanting to change its policy on Clenbuterol, primarily because 'that is the way it has always been done'.  In a reply to the original article, Phil Langley, President of the USTA, took me rightfully to task for not getting the facts correct when I opined as to why the USTA rejected the ARCI rules and withdrew from the RMTC.

Why do I bring this up?  It once again shows a problem within the industry.  Who is racing and the racing media writing for?  It certainly isn't the racing fan, the people who spend their money at the mutuel windows or their computer screens.

Now don't get me wrong.  I got things wrong and am not trying to get out of it.  Nor was I the only blogger who came to a similar opinion.  That being said, I speak only for myself regarding how I came to my original opinion.

I depended on the press releases by the USTA and the RCI for all my information.  Could I have gone the extra mile?  Perhaps, I should have but this blog is about the opinions from the perspective of the racing fan and most racing fans are going to base their facts on what is reported in the media.  My error was doing what the typical racing fan would do.  Clearly, there are times I need to go the extra yard (or furlong) and this is one of those moments.

I went back at the original USTA press release about this subject to see where I got it wrong.  Truth is it is a pretty lengthy release which I am sure most if its members, especially the horsemen would understand the unspoken intricacies about Clenbuterol and its effects.  They may even know the ARCI proposed rules were proposing for the medication were in effect leaving Clenbuterol in the hands of the thoroughbred industry but taking the drug out of the hands of harness horsemen.

As for the layman, after reading the press release from the RCI, you can't help but think this is another case of the industry not wanting to change its ways because it is the way it has always been done.  After all, the RCI indicatied their is a substitute medication which would work for standardbred racing.  Based on the press releases, my original comments were understandable.

Only after being further educated by Mr. Langley did I learn the alternative medication being talked about is a medication many states currently ban in racing and the problem the industry had was with the withdrawal time for Clenbuterol; the new standard was fine for a breed which races maybe once or twice a month, not for the overnight standardbred horse which tends to race weekly.  The rules apparently were being written to stop the alleged abuse by thoroughbred horsemen, ignoring the legitimate use of the drug by standardbred horsemen.

Now I realize you can't write War and Peace every single time you put out a press release, but what if the original press release from the USTA indicated a little more detail such as what the specific problems were with the proposal instead of allowing the RCI to make its claims unchallenged?  Then, a reader gets a better idea of the USTA's reasoning; there is a real unfairness within the proposed rules.

I understand, 95% of the material written by the USTA and others is written for the consumption of the racing industry, but the industry needs to understand with the dearth of news sources for the racing fan, those same press releases and articles need to be written so the layman can understand the issues for these press releases are what the racing fan is going to form their opinions on.  Perhaps if articles were written realizing the racing public (gambler) is relying on these articles, the industry may come out ahead with a better image.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

VFTRG Takes Its Lumps

You may have noticed I had provided an update with regards to my comments about the USTA's withdrawal from the RMTC.  In my update I indicated I received a response which made me rethink my position.  I also indicated I was seeking permission from the writer of the letter (email) sent to me to publish its contents.  He has graciously granted his permission and I am publishing his comments 'as is'.  So while I am taking my lumps here, it is more important for those of us who are fans to get the hows and whys than worry about my pride. 

One thing I strive for is being fair; I have no problem taking my lumps when I am wrong.

Someone sent me a copy of your latest blog and while I understand blogging doesn't require fact checking here are some facts you might have found if you had waited to make negative comments:

For years both breeds used clenbuterol post race to clear air passages of minor bleeding and other nasal congestion. Thoroughbreds used it a little more extensively than harness for other things but not so much as to create alarm. Every veterinarian at the recent RMTC agreed it was an EXCELLENT drug used correctly.

Harness still uses it post race for a couple of days in limited doses. Then because we race weekly it is withdrawn until after the next race. A three to five day withdrawal has been used for a long time.

Now let's get to your comment that it affects all horses with the same steroidal effect because of genetics. The thoroughbred problem is all about steroids and the harness is not. Genetics has nothing to do with it. After anabolic steroids were banned the quarter horses and thoroughbred horsemen remembered clenbuterol in LARGE SUSTAINED doses would mimic anabolic steroids. No one seems to be sure to what extent. So what have they done? They give doses twice daily for six weeks and it obviously creates steroidal problems. After receiving complaints from some TB and QH horsemen the RMTC looked at the problem and decided for a horse treated with long tern concentrated clenbuterol they would need a 14 day withdrawal time to pass the test. Actually I don't think the 14 days is real scientific as the RMTC debated 14, 21 and 28 before settling on 14. Nor do I think they even realized harness horses race weekly.IT IS DOSAGE NOT GENETICS.

Unfortunately, for harness racing 14 days eliminates its use. We seldom have 14 days. For years no problems and very few positives. There has been no acceptable substitute suggested and really why should one be needed when even the people on RMTC agree it is a great drug when used for Bronchial purposes.

I think we can compare the situation to the old medical adage that a glass of wine occasionally is good for you but a bottle a day will kill you. Actually that is what the AAEP says about clenbuterol.  Harness follows that warning and now we lose clenbuterol - a praised drug used properly - and the thoroughbreds are encouraged to use it at will for the wrong reason.  It makes no sense to me..

A couple of other comments - the studies I have read and comments from racing chemists say the main muscular value is for the quick twitch muscles in TBs and especially QH and would have little effect on the distance type of muscles in Standardbreds.

There is no evidence that the way harness administers clenbuterol has even the slightest steroidal affect.

With regard to your last comment we have been discussing this issue with RMTC for some time. In fact Mike Tanner and I went to their latest meeting in Denver less than two weeks ago and spent well over an hour presenting our case. For the most part they seemed to agree with our presentation and agreed for the scientific committee to reconsider and to see if there is a solution. No promises were made. That sounded promising but what happened next wasn't.


I waited a week and talked to someone on the committee to see if anything was happening on our subject. The answer was not yet. Therefore with RMTC's push to get racing commissions passage we decided we needed to express our views before the rules were passed because of our silence. Once passed the ball game is over.

Contrary to your statement our stance has nothing to do with resisting change. Why should a great therapeutic drug be denied to harness because another breed abuses it.

We are for uniform rules (and tough ones) but it is apparent the breed differences are too great for us to fit under one umbrella. Mr Ed was wrong - a horse is not a horse of course.

I would hope in the future you might consider asking questions before castigating us.

Phil Langley

Some other facts which are not part of the letter and are not quotes: 

The RMTC talks about an alternative to clenbuterol.  The alternative they talk about mostly is Albuterol, a drug which is banned in many states.  

Before the RMTC came out with their recommendations and even now, Clenbuterol is widely recognized as the perfect drug for its proper use. It has never been a problem for many years when given proper doses.  The problem comes when you sue outlandish doess.  The RMTC only ran test on a few (15 - 20) horses receiving the outlandish doses. No doubt that study showed steroidal results. Why punish the standardbred industry which is using the medication properly and safely because another breed abuses it? 

Prior to withdrawing from the RMTC, the USTA has been providing roughly 16% of their operating budget.  While the USTA has withdrawn from the RMTC, it continues to work with Dr. Soma in Pennsylvania in developing tough medication rules for standardbreds.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Destruction of the Old Meadowlands Complete, USTA Defunds RMTC

With  Perretti Farms announcing a complete dispersal sale this year, ceasing operation as a standardbred breeding farm (the farm is up for sale) to focus on racing thoroughbreds, the last vestiges of the old Meadowlands is consigned to the dust bin.

In reality, with the exception of the name, the farm had already died, sending their stallions to Pennsylvania for breeding opportunities.  However, with the farm closing up and the broodmares heading to auction, there is no denial if the Meadowlands depends on NJ-sired racing stock to provide quality racing, it will be in trouble.  The success of the Meadowlands in attracting better racing will depend on its ability to attract horses from other states.

The USTA has announced it has dropped out from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), no longer contributing $100,000 a year towards its operation, claiming their medication recommendations are slanted towards the thoroughbred.  The industry is also asking ARCI to freeze the medication rules for standardbreds so the breeds will have individual uniform-standards. There is no doubt the testing has been biased towards the thoroughbreds, when you consider the size of donations to the RMTC by the thoroughbred industry as well a the number of thoroughbreds racing in a given year.  The question is does it matter?

The standardbred industry claims the standardbred is sufficiently different from the thoroughbred both in breeding and use so medication rules need to be different for the two breeds.  Well, I am no expert when it comes to breeding and pharmaceuticals, but horses come from the same genetic family, equine.  While the dosage may change based on size of the animal, clenbuterol acts the same on a horse, regardless of the breed  So it basically boils down to whether allowing a medication which has a steroidal effect on all horses, is acceptable for standardbreds, not thoroughbreds.  According to the RMTC, the answer is no; it is just a question of horsemen not looking to change what they are doing. 

The real problem lies in the fact the RCI plans to depend on the RMTC regardless of the USTA's funding so unless the RCI acquiesces to the standardbred industry, we may end up with a single set of medication rules where the standardbred industry has no say in their development.

I understand the USTA's concerns, likely addressing the concerns of their members.  One has to wonder whether lobbying the RMTC more would have been a better decision than dropping out of the RMTC and have no say in what they are doing.,

UPDATE: I received a response to this blog entry regarding my comments stating the argument over clenbuterol is a case of the stamdardbred horsemen not wanting to change what they are doing.  It is obvious that my comments were made without hearing from both sides; one thing which is clear is the standardbred horsemen use clenbuterol for different purposes than the thoroughbred horsemen.

I would now say while it looks bad that the USTA is pulling out of the RMTC and are looking for separate medication rules, there are valid reasons for this being done.  I am seeking permission to post the email I received which explains these things as I believe the standardbred industry's case has not been fully expressed in the media (at least as of now).

I will take my lumps on this one and apologize to the USTA for speaking out before seeking out more details.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Look Around in Late September

Here is a blog entry from VFTRG contributor Joe F. who has come to my rescue once again as I am a little under the weather.  Joe provides us with a status report as we heading into the last quarter of the year.  As the leaves fall, let me remind you there are just 62 days till Chanukah and 89 days till Christmas.  Before long, we will have racetracks cancelling for snow (or in some track's case, a flake of snow).

 After that sad facsimile of a race at Hoosier Park Saturday night, in which Captaintreacherous toyed with six hopelessly overmatched opponents, the USTA site, and Standardbred Canada all ran the same press release from one Emily Gaskin, Hoosier Park’s Racing Commentator and Race Publicist. The headline was, “The Captain’ Conquers Hoosier Park” and It began,”Captaintreacherous continued his winning ways in stunning fashion while taking the $50,000…….” I have no problem with her releasing that nonsense as a track generated press release, but why would the three primary harness racing sites in NA have to resort to carrying this fantasy laden account of what was essentially a walkover

Harnesslink ran its own account of the race, written by Team Treacherous admirer, Steve Wolf. He was careful to play up the fact that a portion of The Captain’s winnings were going to charity and how nice it was to reunite Tetrick with his roots and family and how it gave  the locals a peek at greatness. The race itself was no race at all, but details, details


Nitelife, who has accepted every challenge this year, should be on top of Bee A Magician and The Captain in the Weekly Poll. One can understand why Bee’s connections would pass on the Bluegrass for a sure shot at the lucrative OSS Super Final, but what’s her excuse for skipping next week’s Filly Futurity? She has made half her starts against the OSS light weights. How different is this from Captaintreacherous skipping the Jug so he could race in a laugher against the Meatball Brigade at Hoosier Park. Chris Ryder is underselling Nitelife. When asked to compare her to Put On A Show he shrugs and says they have different styles of racing. The Captain and Bee, on the other hand, are being marketed as all-time greats. Great trotting fillies like Armbro Flight, Elaine Rodney and Classical Way beat the boys in the Kentucky Futurity. Bee apparently isn’t even racing in the Filly Futurity.


Dan Patch winner, Heston Blue Chip, won the BC last year and earned more than a million dollars, and O’Brien winner Michaels Power won the Jug and earned almost a million and a half. This year Heston won very weak opens at M1, Tioga and Satatoga and a WO at Harrah’s. He’s banked about 130K. And Michaels Power, who goes in the open at YR Saturday, has three wins this year, two in preferred company at Mohawk and the other in a Yonkers open. He’s earned 78K. Not what their connections had in mind when their charges came back at four.


Of the eight colts in the Night Of Champions final for 3 YO pacing colts at Yonkers four are by Bettor’s Delight and three by Art Major. The NYSS is certainly going to miss Bettor’s Delight.


There are 26 colts and fillies racing in three divisions of the Bluegrass on Thursday and 50 going in six divisions on Friday. Only one is based in the mid-west.


Regional sire stakes finals in New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania have conflicted with the Jug, Jugette and Bluegrass. The sire stakes money is so good that many colts and fillies are put on the SS track and left there for the season. After all how many pure Grand Circuit colts and fillies are there? Father Patrick, who won the Haughton, Wellwood and Champlain and will race in the Bluegrass on Friday, is one. Most of the other 2-year-old colt trotters are sire stakes types who occasionally moonlight on the Grand Circuit.

Seven of the ten horses in this week’s Top Ten Poll are freshmen and sophomores. Five of them; Father Patrick, Precocious Beauty, Royalty For Life, Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation weren’t eligible to the sire stakes final in their respective states because they either didn’t race at all in the restricted stakes or only did so once or twice. Nitelife did race in the Miss NJ and the NJSS legs and final at the beginning of the year but she’s been primarily a GC filly, with wins in the Fan Hanover, Shalee, Lynch, Valley Forge and Simcoe. The only genuine hybrid is Bee A Magician, who will forego Lexington to race in her Super Duper Gold Final. She has as many SS starts as GC this year.
Classic Martine and Frau Blucher are a couple of other hybrid sophomore filly trotters. Spider Blue Chip also fits the bill on the colt side.

There is no dyed in the wool Grand Circuit freshman filly. Lifetime Pursuit and Shake It Cerry raced in the Merrie Annabelle, but they were wedded to the PA sire stakes. That program’s  finals were early enough not to conflict with the Red Mile GC meet. And the heavy hitters from its 2YO trotting filly division are well represented in Lexington. Designed To Be, winner of the 260K PASS Final, goes in the Bluegrass on Thursday, as do Cooler Schooner and Lifetime Pursuit. All three have concentrated on restricted stakes while adding one or two GC races to the mix.

Summertime Lea is the odds on choice in the 225K NYSS final on Saturday, but that wouldn’t be the case if Shebestingin was in the race. The latter, who won the EBC, concentrated on open stakes so she ranks 15th in her NYSS division, and hence is not eligible for the final. Lea earned more than 240,000 for the Burke Barn by sticking pretty much with the local program. Every time she strayed from it she fared poorly.

None of the other fillies in the 3YOP Bluegrass are pure open types;  the filly on the rail, Ms Caila J Fra, is a hybrid. She won the NJSS final and raced in the Miss NJ and the SBOA Final. But she raced in the Lynch and finished second in the Shady Daisy. The field is markedly weakened by the fact that Nitelife is sitting out Lexington entirely while Somwherovrarainbow and Jerseylicious are not staked to the Bluegrass. Both were nominated to next week’s Tattersalls, however.

There are NY breds like Sunfire Blue Chip and Odds On Equuleus in the Bluegrass for 3YO pacing colts, but none that raced in the NYSS enough to accumulate much in the way of points. Vegas is sitting this one out. Most of these colts have plenty of experience on the GC. The Art Major colt, Fool Me Once, won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS last year and, although he won’t be in it,   he’s staked to Saturday’s Bluegrass. Since he was so lightly staked this year he stuck with the NYSS and topped his division. He’s the ML favorite for Saturday’s final at Yonkers. Fool Me Once is eligible for next week’s Tattersalls Pace; maybe we’ll see him there.

Another top performer absent from the Bluegrass is Boomboom Ballykeel, the Metro winner who tops the divisional earnings list. The Mach Three colt doesn’t have enough OSS points to qualify for Saturday’s Super Final and he isn’t staked to anything in Lexington. Choosing the open path while being lightly staked can leave a colt or filly on the outside looking in as the season winds down.

The BC eliminations commence at Pocono in two weeks.

It's Michigan All Over; Battle Royale

Michigan has come to Illinois.  Due to the legislature not having adopted a renewal of the ADW legislation, gamblers could not legally bet via ADWs for five months.  Problem is in addition to inconveniencing gamblers, it cost the Illinois Racing Board $750,000 for their budget.  Worse yet, the approval of the ADW renewal is good for one year only (well, seven months) due to a fight within the industry over new legislation.

Well, while Michigan's lack of racing in the past was caused primarily by the Governor, this time the legislature leads the way.  Either way, racing in the Prairie State in 2014 may be limited to as little as thirteen days at Balmoral.  Thoroughbred racing does a lot better, a total of seventy-four days for the three thoroughbred tracks combined.

Of course, the legislature can pass a supplemental funding bill to make up what was lost by their own incompetence, but we are talking about legislatures and responsibility.  Granted, this is a worse case situation but a situation standardbred or thoroughbred racing should have to face.  We do enough damage to ourselves, we don't need the government to make things worse.

Think we race rough in the United States?  Take a look at this video from France and you will see rough racing.

It would appear driver Cédric Dheran took objection at something fellow driver Manu Rotsaert did in the race, possibly causing his horse to go off stride.  Whether there was some bad blood between the two drivers is unknown but one can susped Mr. Dheran will not be in the sulky for a while.

I suggest in the future Dheran does what North American drivers do.  They wait till thy get back to the paddock and duke it out.  You still get suspended but at least you don't risk hurting your fellow drivers and horses.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can Racing Work Together?

If you have been reading this blog recently, you know one of the biggest complaints I have is what 'Post Time' means.  In the beginning, barring equipment or shoe repair, post time had two meanings; either the race was beginning or (in harness) the marshal would start to gather the field meaning the race would begin in two minutes like clockwork.

Nowadays, post time may still have the traditional meaning, but more often than not, it may mean time for the horses to come to the track for their warm ups, it may mean the race will begin consistently X number of minutes later, or absolutely nothing as the mutuel manager watches the wagering and will signal the starter when wagering has virtually dried up on the race and they may start the race.

Now don't get me wrong.  Racetracks and horsemen, especially non--slot tracks, need handle to survive, but in the long wrong this variable definition of post time is going to hurt the business.  Besides boring the newcomers to death because they expect a race to start at a certain time, it makes it harder for gamblers to know when a race is going off and when they will make their bets. 

It's one thing if you have a gambler who plays  Charlestown all the time and nothing else; they know what post time means there.  Knowing that Charlestown's definition of post time means the race will go off in X minutes, they know when they need to get their wagers in.

But many gamblers don't play just one track.  With post times set willy nilly and meaning different things, gamblers don't know when they need to get their bets in at each track risk getting locked out more often.  Of course, tracks who wait until every blessed dollar is wagered are a different story; in my opinion gamblers should ignore those tracks completely.

What makes this whole delaying post time so ridiculous is gamblers are like Pavlov's dogs.  If you always start your races at the same time with regards to post time gamblers will eventually learn this and make sure to get their wagers in on time whether a casual gambler or a whale; they don't want to get shut out.  So if this is the case, why can't racetracks go back to the traditional definition of post time?

Basically, because with so many tracks racing at any given time and there being no coordination of post times between the different breeds of racing, tracks keep adjusting their post times so not to conflict with others.  If a race goes off at Racetrack A at 2:00pm, Racetrack B doesn't want to start their race until 2:05.  If you are dealing with two tracks, it would be easy to coordinate post times but when you have six racetracks going off at 1:00 with who don't coordinate post times, the situation begs itself for the dreaded sliding post time.

My challenge is for the tracks of all breeds to come together and set up model post time intervals for regular days and big event days grouped by total handle withing breed and have tracks adopt them.  Realizing the number of tracks racing at the same time, you will not be able to avoid conflicts in post times completely, but tracks should be able to have predefined post times which maximize wagering while minimizing gambler frustration.  Then post time can return to the traditional meaning.  What would change is 'Broken Dam Downs Race 3' would now be known as 'Broken Downs Race 3 (3:10)' and it would be published as such in programs and racing publications.  As such, gamblers will know exactly what time each track will go offs and they will be able to bet accordingly.

I know there is no perfect solution, but if tracks care about their customers they will reign in floating post times.  The question is, are the tracks willing to work together?

Time Trial and Killer Horse?

For those of you who missed it, here is the time trial by DWs NY Yank ridden by Chantal Sutherland-Krusse.  The duo set the world record for RUS on the 5/8th mile oval.  It took three attempts, but they got it done as they beat the previous record by 1/5th of a second.

Courtesy of the BBC, we learn an Appellate Court has ruled horses are 'vicious' animals.  One has to think the judge never met a horse up close.  If the judge did, they would learn horses are animals which only attack when threatened; given the choice, they will flee what they perceive is danger.

Just because a horse struck out at a child (we don't know the particulars as to how and why), the judge wants all horses declared vicious?  I hope those involved don't have a pet named Fluffy or Spot because based on this logic, dogs and cats would be declared vicious animals.  I am not suggesting there aren't horses who could be vicious, but any such determination should be made on an individual basis, not species-wide.

The appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court is very important to owners of horses.  If horses are declared vicious animals, people in Nutmeg State and possibly elsewhere will have a hard time to insure horses at a reasonable cost..  Needless to say if this happens nationwide, horse racing could be devastated.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Morrisville Sale

One of the regional sales took place at Morrisville, New York this past weekened.  Our resident sales watcher, VFTRG contributor Joe F. gives us his take on the sale.

The annual sale at Morrisville College was held on Sunday. 125 yearlings sold for an average of $10,246. The number of yearlings that passed through the sale decreased 19% from 2011 to 2012 and that number was down another 18% on Sunday. However the sale average has increased about 8% since 2011. This is a quirky sale in that some of the big players in New York are not represented in serious numbers, particularly the Blue Chip stallions. For Instance, there was only one Bettor’s Delight sold and there were two Art Majors.

On the other hand, there are always a plethora of Sand Vic yearlings to choose from, something that serves as a drag on the overall average. There were 15 sold for an average of $4,500 this year, down from 15 sold for an average of $6,900 in 2012. Mercifully there were only four Kenneth Js that actually sold this year; they averaged about $3,600. Last year seven went for $3,700. Give it up.
The first crops of Lucky Chucky and Rocknroll Heaven are the focus of attention in New York this year. Six Chuckys sold for an average of $22,000. The $59,000 sale topper, the only colt, Lucky Pablo, whose dam is half to Crowning Classic as well as the dam of Classic Photo, skews the average.  Aside from him, a pair of fillies brought eighteen and twenty. Four RNR Heaven colts and one filly averaged $15,400, with the only filly leading the pack at $26,000. Twenty-nine Chuckys and an equal number of Heavens will sell at Lexington.

Morrisville’s own RC Royalty, sire of Royalty For Life, is a mainstay of this sale. Seventeen sold for better than a $13,000 average this year, with fourteen of those bringing $10,000 or more. His high was a $25,000 filly. That was more than twice the number sold in 2012 when his four colts averaged almost $29,000 and his four fillies more than $11,000. There are three RC Royalties selling at Harrisburg and none at Lexington. RFL’s success notwithstanding, he’s still viewed as a regional stallion. Aside from RFL, he hasn’t had a great year; Modest Prince and Royal Malinda being a couple of the other good ones.

Last year eleven from the first crop of If I Can Dream sold for an average of about $5,600 at Morrisville. The seven-year-old son of Western Hanover has since been relocated to New Jersey and although this crop is New York eligible only two sold, a filly for $14,000 and a colt for thirteen. Seventeen will be available at Lexington and four at Harrisburg. He’s the sire of Sheppard winner, Forty Five Red, and Big Boy Dreams.

The Walnut Hall stallions that call Morrisville home—Conway Hall, Cash Hall and now Dewey—play a major role in the sale. Seven Conway Halls averaged almost $20,000 this year, up 24% from 2012. The top was a $30,000 colt while five of the seven brought at least $15,000. Conway Hall stands for $7,500. There are a number of good Conway Halls raking in the cash in the NYSS program; Flyhawk El Durado, Mister Anson, Daley Lovin, Proclaiming April and Palm Beach Chic, to name a few.

Cash Hall, who had twenty sell for an average of more than $11,000 in 2012, sold thirteen for an $8,800 average this year. There were twice as many fillies as colts both years. A pair of fillies sold for $20,000 each on Sunday. Fourteen Cash Hall’s averaged under $9,000 in 2011; he’s spinning his wheels sale wise, not down where Sand Vic is, but spinning his wheels nonetheless. There will be one Cash Hall filly available at Lexington and a colt and a filly at Harrisburg. Cash Hall stands for $3,500. Flyhawk Falina, Market Rally and Barn Babe are three of the better Cash Halls. 

The eight-year-old Credit Winner stallion, Crazed, who now stands at Hanover for $6,000, had seven sell for an average of about $16,500. A filly brought $29,000 and a colt $25,000. His average was up slightly from last year when twelve sold. Crazed is having a very good year in the NYSS with General Bill Brown, Tirade Hanover, Crazy About Pat and Theraputic being a few of the better ones.

The Blue Chip stallion, American ideal, has fourteen for sale at Lexington and twenty-seven at Harrisburg. Morrisville seems to get the less attractive portion of the lot every year. Last year eleven brought an average of less than $6,000 while on Sunday seven sold for a $7,100 average. A $15,000 filly topped the group. The lightly staked sensation, He’s Watching, is one of his standouts. American Ideal is the sire of American Jewel, Heston Blue Chip, Idyllic and Romantic Moment.

Like the Canadian Yearling Sale, Morrisville isn’t a great foreshadowing tool for Lexington and Harrisburg, but the overall average is up and the first crop sires were well received. The sky is still intact.