The recently concluded Lexington Selected Sale was up 10.6% over last year when it was up 12.5% over 2012, so the sport is gradually recovering from the crushing blow delivered by the economic downturn. Here’s a look at how some of the high-profile pacing stallions fared.
It’s only appropriate that Somebeachsomewhere, who sports a stud fee that is double that of any other pacing stallion, was the top dog on that side of the ledger. The first thing that jumps off the page is that he sold twice as many as last year—30 as opposed to 15 in 2013. His average was slightly higher—up 7%. A dozen of them—40%--brought $100,000 or more; this is a much higher number and percentage any other stallion in this class. Just as impressive is the fact that 22, or 73%, sold for at least $50,000. Only two by SBSW brought $15,000 or less. A sister to Fancy Filly topped this group, selling for $210,000, while a half-sister to Jug winner Big Bad John was second at $200,000.
SBSW hasn’t come up with another star like Captaintreacherous, but the overall quality of his offspring and their ability to succeed on the Grand Circuit as well as in the lucrative PASS program has won over buyers. Jug winner Limelight Beach and Somewhere In LA, both of whom are entered in Saturday’s American-National, as well as Lyonssomewhere, who starts from the eight in a 3/4 YO open at Yonkers on Saturday, have been impressive colts. And on the distaff side of that division, Gettingreadytoroll and Sandbetweenurtoes have stood out. The latter carried an undefeated streak through much of the season but she maintains a very low profile, racing primarily in the PASS. Southwind Roulette is another impressive filly by SBSW.
Seven-year-old Sportswriter wowed us with his first crop’s domination of the Ontario Sire Stakes. Last year, when Casie Coleman got ahead of the curve by purchasing nine of them, 19 sold for an average of $29,421. Seven fewer sold at Lexington this year but the average doubled. Three brought $100,000 plus while five, or 42%, sold for $50,000 or more. Only two sold for $15,000 or less.
Tony Alagna gave $170,000 for a half-brother to Warrawee Needy and a half-sister to Dancin Yankee brought $110,000.
An impressive 60% of the two-year-old pacing starters in the upcoming OSS Super Finals are by Sportswriter. Sporting The Look, Sports Chic and Bob Ben And John are a few of the better ones. With the OSS season winding down we may get to see some of them compete in the Governor’s Cup, Three Diamonds and Breeders Crown. Being immersed in the insular world of the OSS prevents them from competing in the open realm for most of the season.
Rock N Roll Heaven, who gave us outstanding fillies like Sassa Hanover, Band Of Angels and She’s Heavenly in his first crop, didn’t produce any noteworthy sons. There were 60% fewer for sale in Lexington—11 as opposed to 28 last year—and his average was down 27%; it was $68,750 in 2013 and $50,545 this year. Two of the 11 sold for at least $100,000 while four, or 36%, brought at least $50,000. He ranked third among NYSS pacing stallions in the freshman category.
Dragon Again had two of his 12 sell for at least $100,000. That’s the first time since 2008 that he’s done that at this sale. His average was up more than 7% over 2013--$49,583. Four, or 33%, sold for at least $50,000 while only two fell below the $15,000 mark.
At age 19 Dragon Again is an elder statesman in the stallion ranks by 2014 standards. With the recent retirement of Camluck, he, Western Ideal and Real Artist have assumed that role. He stood his first season in Ohio in 2014 and was very popular. Many of the gutsy open pacers we associate with Dragon Again—Atochia, Aracache, Vlos, Lisagain, Easy Again—have moved on or are past their prime, but Dragon Eddy was very good in the PASS this year and Foiled is still a force to be reckoned with.
Rocknroll Hanover, who passed 17 months ago, is still a presence at the sales. His average was up 16% as 29 sold for an average of $49,207. This was helped by the $325,000 George Segal paid for a sister to Vintage Master in order to dissolve a partnership.
Art Major is having a big year, buttressed by the undefeated star JK Shesalady, NA Cup winner JK Endofanera and NYSS champ and Bluegrass winner Cartoon Daddy, to name three. Art Major was second behind Bettor’s Delight among NYSS freshmen and third on the sophomore list.
His sale numbers were high, but he received no discernable performance bump from his high profile colts and fillies. Art Major sold 26 for an average of $47,192, down 15 % from last year’s average on 28 sold. The high end numbers were low: only three brought at least $100,000 while eight, or 31%, sold for at least $50,000.
Western Ideal, the sire if freshman star Artspeak, saw his average jump 25% from last year’s sale. A year ago 11 sold for an average of $35,364 while this year 16 averaged almost $47,000. Just about half—seven—brought at least $50,000. Only two sold for at least $100,000. And only two failed to bring at least $15,000.
Tony Alagna paid $120,000 for a brother to It Was Fascination and Social Scene.
(Pacing stallions to be continued. Then the trotters.)