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Friday, November 6, 2015

Pacing Sires In Harrisburg

Last year, after promising results at Lexington Selected, the Harrisburg sale inexplicably got slammed on the first couple of days and never recovered, finishing down 4% from 2013. A similar scenario seems to be playing out this year as the yearling portion of the sale showed a 6.7% decline, and Pennsylvania sired stock was off almost double that. Some blame the poorly timed dust up over racetrack funding in that state. Regardless, let’s look at how some of the pacing sires fared.

Somebeachsomewhere sold 50 yearlings for an average a shade under $60,000. 12%--three colts and three fillies—brought at least $100,000. At Lexington 34%--eight colts and seven fillies--topped $100,000. And three of them sold for more than $200,000. Last year at Harrisburg SBSW sold a colt for $300,000 and another for $240,000. Still, 60% sold for at least $50,000 at Harrisburg this year. That figure was 46% in 2014.

His average was down less than 4% from 2014, which is good considering the pounding  Pennsylvania based sires endured, but he’s off 27% from 2013 and 30% from 2012. SBSW leads the freshman money list, thanks in part to Pure Country, but he’s seventh on the three-year-old list. Limelight Beach was a surprise Jug winner, but aside from Captaintreacherous SBSW hasn’t been a player in the sophomore classics.

American Ideal, the sire of He’s Watching , American Jewel, Heston Blue Chip, Dude’s The Man, In The Arsenal and American Passport, saw his average jump 25% from what it was last year at this sale. It’s up 28% from 2012. Only two, both colts, of 41 sold topped $100,000 and just 15% topped $50,000. He lived in the middle as 24, or 58%, brought at least $25,000. Last year only one of 32 brought $100,000 and one other topped $50,000.

Well Said was the volume leader among pacing sires with 61 yearlings. His average was down 10% from last year. The sire of Lost For Words and Control The Moment sold only one filly for more than $100,000, while 18 % topped $50,000, and 41% brought at least $25,000. 30% failed to bring more than $15,000. The days of the Cancelliere brothers paying $300,000 for a half- brother to Bettor Sweet are long gone. The journeyman stallion stands for a $15,000 stud fee and his average is down 47% from what it was when his first crop was sold at Harrisburg in 2012.

Art Major sold 45 yearlings in Harrisburg, up from 30 in 2014. His $41,000 average represented a rise of about 4% from last year. He averaged $55,000 for 32 sold in Lexington. The sire of last year’s Horse of the Year, JK She’salady, sold a third of his Harrisburg offering for $50,000 or more and 71% for at least $25,000. Only two topped $100,000. He’s been up and down at this sale over the years: His average is up 25% since 2012, but down 16% since 2013. At $12,000, he’s the most expensive pacing stallion in New York.

Bettor’s Delight, who has bounced back and forth between New York, Canada and Pennsylvania, and is now back in Ontario, sold 59 from his first Pennsylvania crop. Typically selling Pennsylvania stock would be preferable to an Ontario crop, but that situation flipped this year, to his detriment. His average was down 27% from 2014, when his offspring were Ontario eligible. His average was up slightly in Lexington. The leading sire of all-age pacers in North America, who gave us freshman star LA Delight, as well as Betting Line, Betting Exchange, Bettor Be Steppin and Venus Delight, typically doesn’t sell much at the top end. There were two colts who topped $100,000 here and none in Lexington. Sixteen, or 27%, brought at least $50,000 while 31, or 52%, brought at least $25,000. He was the leader on the two-year-old money list in the Ontario SS this year. Bettor’s Delight stands for $12,000.

Rock N Roll Heaven sold 38 for an average of $17,447—down 53% from last year. And that was down 63% from what his initial offering sold for in Harrisburg in 2012. Only two, a pair of fillies, topped $50,000. 18% brought at least $25,000. The sire of probable Dan Patch winner Divine Caroline, as well as Sassa Hanover and Band Of Angels, has relocated to New Jersey for 2016.

Rocknroll Hanover, who passed in March, 2013, sold his only Pennsylvania crop. Eighteen yearlings brought an average of $46,500, which was up 35% over last year. It was 42% higher than the 62 sold in Harrisburg in 2012. A half-sister to He’s Watching brought $200,000 and another filly and a colt also sold for at least $100,000.

Dragon Again, a high volume stallion, sold 50 for an average of $21,310. That average is about the same one he had for 47 offered here in 2014. Only two topped $50,000, while 34% brought at least $25,000. This was the last Pennsylvania crop by the twenty-year-old journeyman sire of Foiled Again and Wakizashi Hanover.

Mach Three saw his average jump 38% over last year as ten sold for an average of $52,200. 70% brought at least $25,000. The sixteen-year-old sire of SBSW gave us Mach It So and Wrangler Magic. The Ontario stallions did very well in Harrisburg.

Roll With Joe, who was the leader in the freshman pacing division of the NYSS with his first crop, experienced a modest 6% loss; 33 sold for an average of $31,750. Four, or 12%, topped $50,000 and 18, or 55%, brought at least $25,000. He fared better in Lexington.

Sportswriter had a very good sale with a small offering of nine. They averaged $47,444—up 22% over 2014. His average is up 51% over his first crop’s sale in 2013. A third of them sold for at least $50,000 while seven of the nine brought at least $25,000.

Shadow Play was up 15% over last year, but the six colts and seven fillies still only averaged $18,385. His average is down 43% from 2013 when his freshman class dominated the OSS. None of the 13 sold for more than $50,000. Five of them failed to clear $15,000.

Western Ideal, who gave us Artspeak, Shezarealdeal, Ideal Jimmy, Big Top Hanover and Spider Man Hanover in 2015, sold 22 for an average of $33,114—down 10% from last year. His average has jumped 66% since 2012, when he relocated to Hanover from New Jersey. 23% sold for at least $50,000 and 45% for more than $25,000.

Western Terror has a schizophrenic history in Harrisburg. He sold nine for a $17,500 average this year—down 47% from his $33,188 average for 24 sold in 2014. And the previous year he only sold four for a $7,375 average. He’s all over the map. Four of the nine failed to top $15,000. The sire of Drop The Ball, Economy Terror and Safe From Terror stands in Pennsylvania for $7,500.

Ponder, who offered his first Pennsylvania crop, sold his first yearlings at Harrisburg since 2010. Thirteen averaged $14,654. 85% of them failed to top $15,000. Welcome back.

Yankee Cruiser, who will be more at home in Ohio, sold 30 for an average of $14,717—down 15% from last year. 17% topped $25,000. This is his last Pennsylvania crop.

Joe FitzGerald





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