Trotting Sire Trends at Lexington

An analysis of how the top trotting sires fared at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale this year compared to 2015.

by Joe FitzGerald

The average at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale was a record $56,304, up 24.5 per cent over last year, when the sale was up 13.46 per cent over 2014.

Last week (Oct. 15 issue), we brought you an analysis of the pacing sires. Here’s how the trotting sires stacked up compared to a year ago:

Muscle Hill was far and away the leader as he sold 52 from his fifth crop for a weighty $114,385 average. That represents a 25 per cent increase over last year. The fact that this is the first crop eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes adds considerable value to each purchase. And many of the yearlings sold at Lexington, from a variety of stallions, have dual eligibility to resident programs such as Kentucky and New Jersey. A brother to Mission Brief brought $800,000, while two other colts sold for $350,000 and $300,000. Last year in Lexington, a half-brother to Father Patrick, who went for $350,000, was the only plus $300,000 sale. In addition, three colts and a filly topped $200,000 and 10 colts and five fillies broke $100,000. In all, 22 yearlings, or 42 per cent of his offering, sold for more than $100,000. Twenty-five colts and 14 fillies — 75 per cent — broke $50,000, while all but four of the 52 topped $25,000. The sire of Ariana G, Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping sold 26 at Lexington and 31 in Harrisburg in 2014, but last year it was 49 at Lexington to 17 at Harrisburg. In 2015, his average jumped $16,000 in Lexington, while it declined 18 per cent in Harrisburg. Only 22, or 42 per cent as many, will sell in Pennsylvania.

Cantab Hall, who averaged $28,000 less than Muscle Hill last year at this event, while selling 48 yearlings, fell $46,705 behind this time around. Cantab Hall’s 48 averaged $67,680, up $9,451, or 14 per cent, from 2015. A colt out of a sister to Muscle Mass and Muscle Massive brought $350,000; a colt and a filly exceeded $200,000 and two colts and three fillies topped $100,000. That represents 16 per cent of the offering crossing the $100,000 threshold. Twenty-two — 44 per cent — broke $50,000, while 92 per cent topped $25,000. This is an improvement over last year when 34 per cent topped $50,000. Cantab Hall, who stands for $20,000, the highest published fee for a trotter (Father Patrick also stands for $20,000), had a very good sale; it’s almost unfair to compare his figures with those of the behemoth with the bulging muscles.

Kadabra sold 11 yearlings from his 11th Ontario crop for an impressive $82,091 average, up 32 per cent from last year. A pair of fillies topped $100,000. Nine brought at least $50,000 while all of them beat $25,000. There will be no Muscle Mass freshmen to compete with in the OSS next year, and no Muscle Mass get at all in 2018. The Ontario trotting stallions aren’t exactly a murderer’s row of talent so Kadabra will have free reign. He stands for $12,000 (U.S.).

Archangel sells his first Ontario crop next year. The same goes for E L Titan.

Credit Winner sold 38 for a $59,842 average. He sold the same number here in 2015 for 14 per cent less. A filly out of Pizza Dolce, eligible in New York and Kentucky, brought $350,000, while the first foal—a filly—out of world champion Check Me Out sold for $260,000. Four, or 12.5 per cent, brought at least $100,000, while 20, or 62.5 per cent, commanded $50,000 or more. And 94 per cent topped $25,000. The sire of Devious Man and Fad Finance saw his fee drop from $14,000 to $10,000 in 2016.

Chapter Seven sold 24 from his second crop of 71 for an average of $53,042 — down 13 per cent from last year’s sale. A colt and a filly topped $100,000 and 42 per cent beat $50,000. Twenty of the 24 exceeded $25,000. The sire of world champion Walner was second to Credit Winner on the NYSS points list. Chapter Seven stands for $7,500.

Donato Hanover sold 34 — eight more than last year — at a $40,029 average. That’s about the same as last year. A half-brother to Snow White sold for $200,000, while a colt and a filly topped $100,000. Nine, or 35 per cent, exceeded $50,000 and 15, or 58 per cent, broke $25,000. Last year, only one topped $100,000. The same 35 per cent cracked $50,000 in 2015. The sire of Broadway Donna, CMO, D’One, Shake It Cerry and The Bank isn’t exactly knocking them dead in Kentucky. The results weren’t any better last year in Harrisburg, where he will sell 42 in November. Forty averaged $38,744, and there were three in the supplemental offering. Only a third of them exceeded the $50,000 level. Donato stands for $15,000.

Conway Hall only sold six — half as many as last year — but his average jumped 45 per cent to $62,833. One sold for $120,000; four of them beat $50,000; and all six topped $25,000. The sire of Wishing Stone, Habitat and Dayson, who ranked third in the NYSS, will sell 14 in Harrisburg. His fee was cut from $7,500 to $5,000 this year.

Andover Hall didn’t spark any parades as 14 — four more than 2015 — averaged $39,143, which was slightly more than last year. One colt brought $120,000, while 21 per cent beat $50,000 and half of them failed to top $25,000. Twenty-nine will sell in Harrisburg where his average for 26 sold dropped 23 per cent to $31,808 in 2015. His fee was reduced from $10,000 to $8,000 in 2016.

Explosive Matter, the sire of Pinkman, Love Letters and Iron Mine Bucky, averaged $35,067 for 15 sold — up 10 per cent from last year. One topped $100,000 and three beat $50,000. Seventeen averaged a disappointing $17,564 at Harrisburg in 2015. A large offering of 39 will be served up in Harrisburg. He stands for $7,500.

Muscle Mass, who is back in Ontario, but has two New York crops to peddle, averaged $31,688 for 16 sold. Last year he only offered one at this sale. A couple topped $50,000 and 69 per cent broke $25,000. This is his sixth crop — the first from New York. Muscle Mass, who has been more successful than his more celebrated brother, is second to Kadabra in the OSS, and while his offspring haven’t wandered far from the provincial program, he has been very successful in it.

Twenty-two-year-old Yankee Glide, who is moving from Pennsylvania to Kentucky for the 2017 season, averaged $30,148 for 27 sold in Lexington — down slightly from last year. A brother to Manofmanymissions sold for $120,000 and 22 per cent broke $50,000. Only 41 per cent sold for $25,000 and up. Yankee Glide stood for $20,000 in 2011, but that fee has gradually dropped over the last several years. It was $7,500 in 2016 and will revert to “private treaty” status in the Bluegrass State.

Lucky Chucky sells his fourth crop this year. Last year’s group was bred in Pennsylvania, but this one is eligible to the NYSS, as well as the Kentucky and Maryland programs in some cases. After seeing his average drop by 43 per cent in 2014 and more than half last year, he came out of his tailspin — relatively speaking — and registered a 44 per cent rise to $24,917 for a dozen sold. One, a filly out of a sister to Windsong’s Soprano, cracked $50,000, while 42 per cent of them topped $25,000. Dog Gone Lucky, who showed great promise at two with late season wins in the Valley Victory and Matron, came up empty at three, but NYSS champ Non Stick met with much success. Eighteen will sell in Pennsylvania. Chucky’s fee went from $7,500 to $6,000 and is now at $4,000.

Muscle Massive sold 12 for a $19,500 average—down 13 per cent. Two beat $25,000. His fee was cut from $7,500 to $4,000 in 2016. Twenty-nine will sell in Harrisburg.