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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Look Back At The Harrisburg Sale--Pacing Stallions--Part 1A

Folks were very pleased with the 12.54% overall increase at the Lexington sale and downright ecstatic at the 18.8% increase shown in the four day yearling portion of the 2013 Harrisburg sale. I’ll look at some individual pacing sires and see how they made out. I apologize beforehand if I missed an RNA horse here or there. And some of the published lists of averages have one or two more yearlings listed for a given sire than I do. That’s because those horses are listed as not having been sold.

SBSW had a very good sale; 15% of his offspring sold for 100K or more and 64% brought 50K or more. Last year 63% of them brought 50K or more and in 2011 it was half. There was a drop off at the top end, as last year 30% sold for at least 100K. Back then four colts fetched more than 200K, with two of them going for more than 300K. This year two colts cracked the 200K mark at Harrisburg and while only one filly topped that figure it was the 355K sister to Beach Body and Malicious purchased by Chris Oakes. In 2012 the top filly went for 125K. Myron Bell paid 180K for a colt out of a sister to Panther Hanover and Philos Hanover at this year's sale. At the low end, a filly went for 15K, and the next cheapest was 30K--pretty good. So SBSW was solid down the middle and had no low end, but the high dollar sales cooled off some.  Eighteen fewer SBSW yearlings were sold this year. The average was up about 3% to 82K. No other pacing stallion came close to that.

Rock N Roll Heaven was welcomed into the upper echelon with his first crop. 33 of them averaged 48K. 12% of those sold at Harrisburg brought 100K or more, topped off by the 180K Synergie Montreal paid for Migrate Blue Chip, a first foal out of Gro. 36% of his Harrisburg yearlings sold for at least 50K while 15% fell into the 15K or below category. Heaven started out with a 12K fee in 2011, but it was soon reduced 29% to $8,500 in response to the financial crisis.

Art Major is a genuine two way stallion, just as comfortable on the Grand Circuit as he is in the NYSS. Money, money, money. His overall average is in the 55K range. He had a very successful year through the likes of Precocious Beauty, Feel Like A Fool and She’s Da Bomb. 15% sold for more than 100K—all colts-- while 39% went for at least 50K. 22% came in at under 12K. At 12,000 he’s the most expensive pacing stallion in New York. The white colt, White Bliss, sold at a premium, bringing 240K from Tristan Sjoberg, while Joe Pavia paid 145K for a full brother to Feel Like A Fool and Fool Me Once. And Jimmy Takter paid 135K for a first foal colt out of Dancin Barefoot. Art Major’s stud fee was dropped from 15K to 12 a couple of years ago when the economy went sour. Bettor’s Delight still tops the overall NYSS leaderboard, because he has so many starters, but with that one now in PA Art Major rules the roost in New York. Heaven has his hands full.

Well Said, who stands at Hanover, will cost you 20% more than Art Major for a breeding and doesn’t deliver quite the value. Although his first crop did show promise with BC winner Uffizi Hanover as well as Southwind Silence and Sometimes Said. There are plenty for sale and they’re averaging about 47K. Five, or 9%, sold for at least 100K while 35% sold for at least 50K. And 26% of them cost 15K or less. The focal point of the offering was the 300K paid by the Cancellieres for a half brother to Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou. And Jeffrey Snyder paid 190K for a Well Said brother to Pirouette Hanover. Last year Churchill Hanover was plucked out of his initial offering for 380K and Sweet Talkin Clyde brought 325K. I don’t recall seeing the former race at all and Clyde beat nw2 and chewed up a lot of pari-mutuel dollars. The Well Said colts have been valued by the buyers by a wide margin over the fillies this year and last.

It was recently announced that American Ideal’s 2014 fee will jump to 10K, that’s a 40% increase in two steps since he embarked on his career as a stallion. Jewel has been retired and Heston Blue Chip and Romantic Moment are floundering, but the lightly staked He’s Watching turned heads and Adios winner, Sunfire Blue Chip, has been a top sophomore. Only 13 sold at Lexington, but American Ideal experienced the largest increase by a pacing stallion. Twenty-five sold here; his volume is always low. The same 20% sold for 50K or more as last year. At that sale half of them brought 15K or less while this year that figure dropped to 32%--still not good.  Jeff Gillis paid 160K for Mullet Blue Chip, a brother to the dam of He’s Watching. Last year at Harrisburg a 115K colt topped the offering. American Ideal is a quirky sire and it isn’t easy to slot him. Lots of them sell cheap, but then again, He’s Watching was a 3K bargain.

Mach Three, the fourteen-year-old sire of SBSW, had eight sell for a hefty 50K average, thanks to the 155K paid for a full brother to that one. Half of them brought 50K or more and only one sold cheap. Shadow Play, another OSS stallion, who finished a close second to Mach Three in the OSS standings despite having only 42% as many starts, had 9 colts and 2 fillies sell. Last year 37 sold at Harrisburg for a 21K average. Only a third as many were available last week, but the average bumped up by 10K. Last year Arthur Blue Chip was an outlier at 135K but he wound up winning 257K for the year. His full sister only brought 62K from Chris Oakes this time around. Three, or 27%, went for 50K or more and two others fell under the 15K threshold. Only 5 Shadow Plays sold at Lexington but 16 will be up for bid at next weekend’s Forest City Sale. Eight-year-old Shadow Play stands at Winbak of Canada for 4K, and like Muscle Mass, could be a short-time prospect up North.

When Jeremes Jet’s first crop went on sale three years ago they commanded serious money, especially at Harrisburg. And Casie Coleman was right in the thick of things. Let’s hope her old buddy Sportswriter treats her better than the Jet did. Results were mixed for Sportswriter; 41% sold for 15K or less, which is not good; 12% brought 50K or more and none broke the 100K barrier. There were 19 colts, one gelding and 14 fillies sold. Coleman bought 3 colts and a pair of fillies; Yves Filion bought a colt and a filly; Jack Darling and Carl Jamieson each picked up a colt; Joe Holloway, David Menary, Brian Wallace and Blake MacIntosh each bought a filly; everyone wanted at least one and Coleman wanted five. She spent 145K on the lot.

Bettor’s Delight sold a large offering of 70—31 colts and 29 fillies. Even though he’s been to Ontario and is now in PA, these yearlings are New York eligible. Only one—a full brother to Fashion Delight—brought more than 100K. Yves Filion bought him for 150K. The nomadic lifestyle thrust upon the son of Cam’s Card Shark hasn’t helped. One would hope to sell more than one at the premium level. Last year a colt and a filly cracked that mark; he just doesn’t live at that level. 22% sold for 50K or more while 20% went for less than 15K. Vegas Vacation and Shebestingin are a couple of his hot young charges. He overwhelms the competition with numbers. He ranks second in all-age earnings in NA. His Harrisburg average was almost 32K, which is very good considering the dearth of high end sales and the large number being offered. His stud fee was jumped from 12K to 14 while still at Blue Chip, and he carried that to Ontario. They dropped him back down when he was spirited off to PA.

Last year 31 Dragon Agains brought an average of 21K at Harrisburg. Only one broke the 50K barrier. The previous year nine sold for 50K or more. This year 18 colts and 21 fillies averaged about 26K and six brought at least 50K. Jimmy Takter bought a full brother to My Little Dragon for 77K. Still 18, or 46%, failed to top 15K. Dragon Again has been exiled to Ohio for the 2014 season; his stud fee has been reduced by 17%.

[to be continued]






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