Stallions rising or falling?

An analysis of how the stallions fared at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.

By Joe FitzGerald

The numbers at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale just keep heading skyward: The sale was up 12.5 per cent in 2013, 10.6 per cent in 2014, 13.46 per cent in 2015, 11 per cent last year, and 12.9 per cent this year. Muscle Hill and Somebeachsomewhere continued to rule, but new players Father Patrick, Sweet Lou and Captaintreacherous also excelled. Did all that top-end attention hurt the other stallions? Let’s see.

Muscle Hill and SBSW have been taking turns leading the sale over the last four years. It was the trotter’s turn in 2017 with a $115,857 average for 49 sold, up two per cent over last year when he sold 52 yearlings. His average is up 40 per cent since 2014. The sire of Ariana G and Manchego sold one each in the $400,000 and $300,000 range and 10, or 20 per cent, for at least $100,000. Half of them topped $50,000, while all but one beat $25,000. A smaller offering of 12 colts and 11 fillies will sell at Harrisburg.

Somebeachsomewhere, who was front and center this year with sophomore standouts Downbytheseaside and Huntsville, actually saw his average drop 16 per cent while selling 10 fewer yearlings. Still, the 29 sold averaged $103,448. He’s up 17 per cent since 2015. Did the drop have anything to do with the introduction of his son Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou? There will be 24 colts and 23 fillies by SBSW to choose from at Harrisburg.

New Jersey-based Father Patrick, who stood and raced in 2015, bred an abbreviated book that year, so he only brought 22 yearlings to Lexington. The 12 colts and 9 fillies that made it to the ring averaged a stellar $82,048. A colt out of the former world record holder Designed To Be fetched $330,000; five, or 24 per cent, sold for at least $100,000; and 17, or 81 per cent, beat $50,000. None sold for less than $25,000. Next year’s crop will be eligible to the more stable Pennsylvania program. Only eight by Father Patrick will sell in Harrisburg this year.

Sweet Lou, the only pacer to ever win his division at two and five, sold an initial offering of 27 for a $76,778 average. This was almost $6,300 higher than Captain T’s average, but the latter sold almost twice as many. Lou sold one, a half-sister to Rock N Roll Heaven and Clear Vision, for $235,000; eight, or a healthy 30 per cent, topped $100,000; and 18, or two-thirds, beat $50,000. All but one brought at least $25,000. Fourteen colts and 19 fillies will be available at the Harrisburg sale.

Captaintreacherous sent a sale-topping 52 yearlings to Lexington Selected — 29 more than his daddy showed up with. His $70,481 average for a first-crop group that size was very good. There were no $200,000 or $300,000 sale busters, but nine colts and five fillies (27 per cent) brought at least $100,000. His sire sold 41 per cent in that range. Thirty-three, or 63 per cent, cracked $50,000. Again, that was 83 per cent for SBSW. Forty-three of the 52 topped $25,000. Forty-five more are up for grabs in Harrisburg.

Chapter Seven, the sire of star-crossed Walner, Fourth Dimension, Swell Chap and Alarm Detector, saw his average rise by 18.6 per cent to $65,083 on a dozen sold — half as many as last year. Three fillies beat $100,000 while seven all told, or 78 per cent, topped $50,000. All but one brought at least $25,000. One colt was an RNA, so only three were sold. This crop consists of 49 registered foals, down from 71 last year. Chapter Seven, who stands in New York for $7,500, is currently number one among 3-year-olds and second among 2-year-olds in the NYSS. Twenty-three will sell at Harrisburg.

Cantab Hall, the sire of first crop stallions Father Patrick and Uncle Peter, continued to be very consistent at the Lexington sale. His average dropped 5 per cent to $64,167. A half-sister to Peter Haughton winner You Know You Do brought $300,000, while a sister to Barn Doll brought $200,000. Seven, or 17 per cent, sold for at least $100,000, while almost half beat $50,000. Muscle Hill keeps drawing off from Cantab Hall at Lexington. In 2015, the former’s average topped Cantab’s by $28,000; this year he fell more than $51,000 behind Muscle Hill. Nineteen colts and 24 fillies are slated to sell in Pennsylvania.

A Rocknroll Dance, the sire of Metro winner Lost In Time and KYSS champ Band Stand, saw his average jump 37 per cent as he sold 17 from his second crop for an average of $57,706. There were six colts and 11 fillies. A three-quarter sister to Boston Red Rocks brought $100,000. In total, two of them sold for $100,000, five, or 30 per cent brought at least $50,000, and 10 (59 per cent) topped $25,000. ARNRD stood for $5,000 in Pennsylvania in 2017. Ten more will sell at Harrisburg.

Hambletonian winner Trixton entered the fray with 38 from his first crop and they averaged $54,395. Five, or 13 per cent, sold for at least $100,000; 18, or 47 per cent, cracked $50,000; and 27 of the 38 brought at least $25,000. The first son of Muscle Hill to bring a large crop to market, Trixton stands for $12,000 in New Jersey. Twenty more will be available in Harrisburg.

Kadabra averaged $56,789 for 19 sold. That was down 31 per cent from last year when he averaged better than $82,000 at this sale. He’s had an up and down ride in Lexington: Kadabra is down 16 per cent since 2014, but up 12 per cent since 2015. Three (16 per cent) cracked $100,000, while seven beat $50,000 and 93 per cent topped $25,000. The sire of Kadabra Queen and Magic Presto stands in Ontario for $16,000 U.S. He’s on top of the OSS leader board and will be rid of number two Muscle Mass for the next couple of years. On the other hand, Archangel, E L Titan and Royalty For Life will join the rotation in 2018. Kadabra will sell a baker’s dozen at Harrisburg.

American Ideal, the sire of Casual Cool, Funknwaffles and Hitman Hill, saw his average rise by four per cent to $50,300 on the sale of 20 yearlings — a dozen fewer than last year. Crawford Farms paid $150,000 for a colt, while their trainer Chris Oakes paid $170,000 for another. Forty per cent topped $50,000 and 80 per cent brought at least $25,000. The very consistent son of Western Ideal is the leader among both two and three-year-olds in the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) and is number three on the all-age pacing sire money list. He’ll sell 20 colts and 17 fillies in Harrisburg.

Credit Winner was down 20 per cent from last year on 11 fewer sold. He averaged $47,926. A full sister to To Dream On brought $230,000 and a colt out of No Pain No Gain sold for $110,000. Thirty per cent cracked $50,000 while two-thirds beat $25,000. The sire of the leading sophomore money winner, Devious Man, is third on the NYSS 2-year-old list and fourth among 3-year-olds. There are 34 in the Harrisburg catalogue.

After being up 24 per cent last year in Lexington, Bettor’s Delight dropped 28 per cent on nine fewer sold. He sold 20 for a $40,000 average. Last year’s group was eligible to the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS), while these are Ontario-sired. PA champ Caviart Ally won the Jugette and a split of the Bluegrass. Bettors Up won the Fan Hanover and Simcoe, but there was no Betting Line in the ranks this year. Only one Bettor’s Delight offspring topped $100,000 at Lexington; six, or 30 per cent, beat $50,000; and 11, or 55 per cent, topped $25,000. Last year, there were three above $100,000, 55 per cent beat $50,000 and 80 per cent topped $25,000. Bettor’s Delight is second behind SBSW on the all-age pacer earnings list. Fifty more sell in Pennsylvania.

E L Titan (Muscle Hill), who is now standing in New York for $6,000, but is selling Ontario crops this year and next, averaged an eye-opening $79,833 for a half-dozen sold. Jimmy Takter paid $145,000 for a colt out of Christiana Hanover.

McArdle, who is doing well in the Ohio Sire Stakes, sold only two, a filly for $13,000 and a colt for $300,000. This is only the second time the son of Falcon Seelster has cracked $100,000 with a yearling in a North American auction. A colt sold in Lexington for $105,000 in 2007. This tops that sale by $195,000. Can you say outlier?

Muscle Mass continues to impress, both on the track and at the sales. The paternal brother of Muscle Hill, who is back in Canada but selling this crop for the NYSS market, saw his average rise a stunning 55 per cent from last year. Only eight were offered — half as many as in 2016 — but they averaged $72,125. He’s up 62 per cent since 2014. Ten more sell at Harrisburg.

Muscle Mass’s younger brother Muscle Massive, who won the Hambletonian and out-earned him by about a million dollars, averaged $18,364 for 11 sold. His son Snowstorm Hanover was a surprise winner of the Kentucky Futurity. He’ll sell 39 in Harrisburg.

Sportswriter sold eight more than he did in 2016 and his average dropped 33 per cent to $36,706. The number one pacing stallion in the OSS going into the Super Finals is down 38 per cent in Lexington since 2014. Thirty-one more will be introduced at Harrisburg.

Shadow Play the sire of Kendall Seelster and Percy Bluechip, only sold six, after selling five in 2016. His average fell 43 per cent. Fifteen will sell in Pennsylvania.

Archangel, who has no 2-year-old crop since he raced in 2014, is number two on the NYSS sophomore money list, thanks to the likes of Guardian Angel AS, Top Flight Angel and Celebrity Ruth. He sold five Ontario breds for a $51,600 average. Another small contingent of six colts appear in the Harrisburg catalogue.

Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life sold six from his first crop for a promising $51,167 average. Another dozen will sell at Harrisburg.

Conway Hall sold nine for a $41,889 average, which was down 33 per cent. The sire of Barn Bella, who is number three on the NYSS sophomore list, will sell a dozen at Harrisburg.

Donato Hanover, who sold 19 for a $37,263 average, was down seven per cent. He’s been very consistent in Lexington the past three years, right around $40,000. He’ll be offering 33 more in Pennsylvania.

Betterthancheddar dropped 16 per cent from last year, when he introduced his first crop in Lexington. That crop was New York eligible, where he’s number four on the NYSS 2-year-old list, but this one is Ontario eligible. He sold eight last year and six this year (one was an RNA). Eight more are up for grabs in Harrisburg.

Western Terror, the sire of Agent Q, who sold 41 yearlings at a very soft $15,146 average in Lexington in 2014, sold one colt for $17,000 this year.

Well Said’s average rose 20 per cent to $29,333 on nine sold. He sold twice as many in 2016. The sire of Boogie Shuffle has no Control The Moment this year. Twenty-seven colts and 15 fillies will sell in Pennsylvania.

Roll With Joe only sold five, down from nine in 2016. He’s down 44 per cent since 2015. Miso Fast generated interest, but Racing Hill is missed. Nineteen sell at Harrisburg.

Sunshine Beach, who will sell 15 at Harrisburg, got $185,000 for one of his three colts.

Yankee Glide, who is offering 15 more in Pennsylvania, held his own, selling 20 for a $29,500 average.