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Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Did The Trotting Stallions Fare At The Lexington Selected Sale?

The following continues my look at the Lexington Selected Sale. This is how some of the trotting sires fared.

Muscle Hill, who is now standing in Pennsylvania, regained his footing at the 2014 sale. Last year his average was cut in half from 2012. He sold 26 yearlings, which was seven more than last year, and his average was up 29%. More than half brought at least $50,000 (54%) while seven, or 27%, topped the $100,000 mark. His top seller was a half-sister to The Budster, who sold for $160,000.

Considering the year his progeny had on the track it’s no wonder buyers came back to Muscle Hill. Hambletonion winner Trixton became a fan favorite; world record holder Mission Brief wowed us with her speed—when flat—and took the Merrie Annabelle and a split of the ISS; Jolene Jolene, Odds On Amethyst, Cee Bee Yates and Southwind Stryker all impressed.

Andover Hall sold seven fewer this year with a slightly lower average--$42,348. As was the case last year, only one cracked the $100,000 threshold—a $200,000 half-brother to Hot Shot Blue Chip, who went to Ake Svanstedt’s Swedish connections. Seven of the 23 sold brought at least $50,000—that’s 30%, or a 10% drop from 2013.  And 26% of them failed to top $15,000—higher than last year.

Nuncio has kept Andover Hall’s name in the news. And recently last year’s Kentucky Futurity winner Creatine has come to life with wins in the Allerage open and the American-National. Bright Baby Blues and Lilu Hanover are a couple of other promising performers.

Only two by Credit Winner sold at Lexington in 2012. Last year that figure jumped to 19, at a healthy $87,789 average. And the offering grew again in 2014 as 33 sold, although his average dropped 20% to $70,182. And even there, the average is deceptive because Bernie Noren, as agent, bought a full brother to Archangel for $355,000, and a half-sister to Trixton sold for $320,000. Plus Robert Lindstrom, who paid $260,000 for a Credit Winner colt last year, took home, on behalf of a client, a half-sister to Mission Brief for the same amount. So Credit Winner, who hasn’t exactly set the sport on fire this season, was the king of high dollar purchases anyway.

Fifteen of the 33 sold by Credit Winner topped the $50,000 mark, while ten of them failed to bring more than $15,000. It was a case of the high and the low—no mister in between.

After being bottled up in a downward spiral at the sales for a few years Kadabra has started to turn that around. Two years ago seven sold for a $42,000 average; last year it was ten for an average of $31,100—kind of weak for a $15,000 stallion. This year at Lexington selected, buttressed by the $400,000 his syndicate members paid for a filly out of Pizza Dolce, Kadabra averaged $67,737 for 19 sold. Only two of the 19—10%--topped $100,000, and one of those was the filly cited above, so the son of Primrose Lane is by no means out of the woods. On the other hand, a healthy 47% sold for at least $50,000. And four failed to top $15,000. The OSS program appears to be back on solid ground and buyers are taking advantage of the dearth of quality trotting stallions in Ontario.

A dozen more Cantab Halls sold at Lexington this year than did last, but his average dropped 25%, from $85,905 to $64,394. Both years Cantab’s average was goosed by a major purchase; in 2013 it was the $450,000 Takter gave for Whom Shall I Fear, the full brother to Father Patrick, and this year it was the $400,000 Myron Bell—same difference—paid for a colt out of Dream Angel. Five, or 15%, brought at least $100,000; 15, or 45%, sold for at least $50,000; and eight of them—24%--failed to crack the $15,000 mark.

Cantab Hall’s numbers are very good but they don’t quite match those of his rival at the top of the trotting pyramid, Muscle Hill, despite the fact that Muscle Hill’s top seller brought a modest $160,000, while Cantab sold one for $450,000. For Instance, Muscle Hill only had a pair bring less than $15,000 while Cantab had eight. Still, with stars like Father Patrick, Billy Flynn and Wild Honey in his army Cantab Hall will be strong in Harrisburg—Hanover will see to that.

(to be continued)

Joe FitzGerald

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