Father Patrick and Trixton square off in Lexington

by Brett Sturman

This year’s Lexington Selected sale features a series of high profile sires with first crop yearlings that includes Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou on the pacing side. On the trotting side, we may be seeing the beginning of a rivalry between Father Patrick and Trixton that we regrettably never got to see on the track three years ago.

Both stablemates from the barn of Jimmy Takter, the two trotting stars from their 3-year-old season of 2014, never had a real chance to develop a rivalry on the racetrack against one another. And though Father Patrick is the one with the more complete resume and list of accomplishments, I always thought it was possible that Trixton had just as much, if not more, raw ability than Father Patrick.

From their breeding, it was no fluke that Father Patrick and Trixton were as talented on the track that they were.

Father Patrick (Cantab Hall—Gala Dream) is a full brother to 2008 foal and million-dollar earner Pastor Stephen, as well as a full brother to $475,000 Lexington purchase in 2012, the good trotting colt Whom Shall I Fear. Further, Father Patrick’s dam, Gala Dream, is a sister to the trotting champion Chocolatier.

While Father Patrick was a high-priced yearling in 2012 at $105,000, it was Trixton who was the highest priced trotting yearling selling for $360,000. Trixton is not only by super sire Muscle Hill, but also is out of the dam Emilie Cas El who comes from the fabled broodmare Amour Angus.

Following their careers, the initial stud fees worked out were $20,000 for Father Patrick and $12,000 for Trixton. Judging by the results of the Lexington sale, buyer’s valuations for offspring of these two stallions is in line with the breeders.

Through the first three nights of the Lexington sale in which all but one of Father Patrick offerings have been sold, 20 Father Patrick yearlings have averaged $83,900. Trixton, on the other hand, has had 29 yearlings sold and those have averaged just over $59,000. Even if we look at only Day 1 results which was stacked with the most high profile yearlings, five Father Patrick yearlings averaged $120,000 (4 colts and 1 filly) while six Trixton yearlings (5 fillies and only 1 colt) averaged a tad over $79,000.

Results through the first three nights between the two stallions have produced some noteworthy observations.

The highest selling Father Patrick yearling was for $330,000, a colt who is the first foal out of multiple world champion Designed To Be. On the total opposite end of the spectrum, early in Day 2 a Father Patrick colt was offered that is a half-brother to Designed To Be. But instead of selling for anything close to $330,000, this Father Patrick—Sheer Soul colt only sold for $27,000; the lowest of any Father Patrick offering. It’s only the third foal from the dam that has already produced Designed To Be and even taking into factor any confirmation or other physical appearance biases, the wide disparity between the two yearlings can’t go unnoticed.

Despite the high profile of Father Patrick and Trixton, there was still apparent value to be found. Of some of the more moderately priced yearlings, I think a number of them have the potential to outperform their sales price.

Hip 421 was a Trixton filly that brought in just $22,000. The bay filly is out of the dam Too Good For You who has produced eight foals, all of them winners, including half of them that have made over $200,000. The most notable of these is Beer Budget who shined in Canada throughout his career while earning over a half-million dollars.

Another reasonably priced Trixton was hip 302, who sold for $45,000 to Andy Miller. Perhaps what the Millers liked most about this one is that he’s a half-brother to Fly On, a $150,000 earning fringe stakes player this year that is trained by the Millers. It looks like a hunch play that could pay dividends.

On the Father Patrick side, lower priced yearlings were harder to come by, but hip 286 was one of the more inexpensive ones worth a shot. It’s a colt out of the same mare that produced Taco Tuesday who won the Townsend Ackerman last year at the Meadowlands and who has since gone on to be a winner in the rich Yonkers open this year.

While not cheap by any means, I thought it was still surprising to see a Trixton filly out of 2-year-old and 3-year-old trotting filly of the year Check Me Out go for “only” $98,000. Granted, the first foal of Check Me Out (Credit Winner) hasn’t yet done anything early in her career, but this sale as shown yearlings go for far more money with much lesser accomplished pedigrees.

The $100,000 and over yearlings are a who’s who of world champions throughout pedigrees of the Father Patrick and Trixton yearlings. Of course expectations will be sky high for Rifleman (Father Patrick—Designed To Be) who fetched $330,000, but lofty goals will be set for fellow Father Patrick colts out of Sheena’s Shadow ($130,000) and Margarita Momma ($120,000).

Hip 38 was the third highest price ($105,000) for a Trixton yearling, and it was for a filly out of world champion Possess The Magic. She’s a half-sister to Master Of Law (who once beat Sebastian K in the Centaur Trotting Classic) and her second dam Chorine Hanover is the grand-dam of current trotting stars Manchego and In Secret. Based on pedigree alone, I’d be surprised if we don’t hear things from this filly over the next year or two.

It will be a treat in the coming years, beginning with this yearling crop, to see how the offspring of Father Patrick and Trixton perform. It won’t definitively answer who the better horse could have been on the racetrack but it could hint as to the more genetically superior horse.