Two $400,000 yearlings highlight record breaking second session

Beyond selling two yearlings for $400,000, the second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale set an all-time session record for gross ($13.65 million). Through two days, the average of $100,192 is up more than 10 per cent and the sale has already smashed the record for most $100,000 yearlings sold.

by Dave Briggs

Just like last year, the second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale — held Wednesday evening at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion — was full of surprises.

The second session was the highest grossing session in the history of the sale. The record gross of $13,651,000 came from 163 yearlings, meaning the average was $83,748.

“We grossed $13.5 million, most ever for any session, because last night was $12.9 million,” said Randy Manges, the co-manager of the sale. “For two nights, we grossed $26.5 million and we sold more $100,000 horses the first two nights than we sold all of last year and that was a record last year for $100,000 horses.”

The average was up 8.9 per cent from last year’s second-session average of $76,873.

Through two sessions, the 2018 sale has grossed $26,551,000 for 265 yearlings sold and produced an average of $100,192 that is up 10.4 per cent from the 2017 two-day average of $90,757. The two-day average is up 30.4 per cent since 2015.

“We sold a few more horses than we did last year, but the average is up over 10 per cent year over year, which is always good when you increase horses, number of head sold,” said co-manager David Reid.

“You never really know what to predict and I think that gets back to the depth of the catalogue. You get through the first night and people can regroup, come back in and reassess where they are – what they have and what they didn’t get, maybe they readjusted their budgets or maybe you had someone else come in from out of town… there’s a hundred factors that go into it. You always learn something new every sale and today is no different.

“We also surpassed the number of $100,000 yearlings sold last year (for the entire sale). We are at 110 for the two nights.”

Last year, 103 horses sold for $100,000 or more through all five sessions.

“It didn’t hurt to sell two horses for $400,000,” Manges added about Wednesday’s session.

Last year, the overall sale topper came out of the second session rather than the premier opening night. The $480,000 Muscle Hill filly out of Sina named Beautiful Sin bred by Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural, his wife Paula Gural and Monica Reschke, the wife of trainer Bob Bencal was sold out of Bob Boni’s Northwood Bloodstock consignment to Swedish agent Robert Lindstrom.

This year, the sale did one better. Not one, but two, yearlings sold for $400,000 or more from the second session — both bred, in part, by David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and both sold by Peninsula Farms of Lexington.

Both yearlings surpassed the opening-night topper — the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Worldly Treasure — a full-brother to Captaintreacherous — that sold to John Cancelliere of New Jersey for $360,000.

The fireworks started with just the fourth yearling in the ring Wednesday when the Muscle Hill filly out of Bella Dolce named Bellareina Dolce danced her way to a $400,000 payday.

Lina Alm purchased the filly on behalf of SRF Stable of Sweden, the owners of Beautiful Sin.

Alm said she has a unique way of inspecting horses.

“When I look at a horse I never look at the pedigree first,” Alm said. “I try not to look at the pedigree because I don’t want to have anything in the back of my head that’s turning me this way or that way. So, I approach the horse and I just look at it as an individual.

“I feel very right when I get the right feeling (about a horse). It feels so obvious that this horse has a good spirit. (The ones I like) have something and I can never explain what it is.”

That Bellareina Dolce’s pedigree page matched the strong, positive feeling Alm had about the horse made for a perfect union.

“That is the jackpot,” Alm said. “When I find the individual and then I look and then I see (the family is strong)…. Yes!”

The second yearling to surpass $400,000 stands as the sale topper through the first two sessions.

Chestnut Hill, a Muscle Hill colt out of Poof She’s Gone sold for $410,000 to trainer Nifty Norman as agent on behalf of the colt’s breeders Mel Hartman of Ottawa, ON and McDuffee, who raced and own Poof She’s Gone, a winner of $1.3 million.

“We bred the colt, we brought him down here to sell and I said to Nifty tonight, ‘Nifty, if you want to buy the colt, we’ll buy it and stay in for part of it, so we’ll see how it works out,” McDuffee said. “There may be some other partners, we don’t know that yet.”

McDuffee, who typically keeps his top homebreds to race, said he decided to sell Bellareina Dolce and Chestnut Hill because he has, “a bunch of broodmares, all pretty much interrelated. In the Pizza Dolce family, I’ve got daughters and more daughters and granddaughters, yearlings and weanlings on the ground… I’ve got Muscle Hills in the bellies and I can only have so many of these.

“I made a decision to sell a couple high-end yearlings this year. I’m selling the sister Sunday (in the mixed sale) of Bella Dolce, Mega Dolce, for the same reason. She’s probably, for a broodmare, the top line you can find in this business, but you can’t have too many of all the same thing.”

McDuffee said Poof She’s Gone is, “a great looking horse. This colt looks the part because of her. She’s a magnificent-looking mare. This is the first really nice colt that she’s sold.

“(Poof She’s Gone) was such a great race mare — beautifully gaited and she was just determined to win. If he has any of that, then he’ll be cheap at $410,000.”

As for selling two $400,000 yearlings in one night, McDuffee said he was extremely happy.

“I’ve done very well tonight,” he said. “And we just bought a beautiful Kadabra colt.” That colt, out of Magic Marker, is named Magic Bob and cost $170,000 to buy.

Owner Ken Jacobs of Baldwinsville, NY was particularly active on Wednesday, spending $935,000 on four horses to put his two-day expenditure at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at $1,075,000. He sits second, just behind Burke Racing Stable LLC, on the top buyers’ list through two days. Burke has spent $1,085,000, total, on nine horses. Dana Parham has spent $840,000 on six yearlings through two days.

Four of Jacobs’ purchases are trotters. Asked if he was still on a mission to win the Hambletonian that he felt he was so close to winning with Walner in 2017 before the horse was scratched, Jacobs laughed.

“Yeah, definitely. When you come that close and you know you would’ve won it… I’d love to win it,” he said. “It is one goal that I’d like to achieve. That’s why I buy (trotters) and I like the Chapter Sevens.”

Jacobs spent $140,000 to buy the Father Patrick—Vintage Oaks colt Carve The Sky from Kentuckiana on opening night. On Wednesday, he spent $205,000 on the Chapter Seven colt out of Southwind Catlin named Realdeal Blue Chip sold by Blue Chip via Northwood Bloodstock; $245,000 on the American Ideal colt out of Think Pink named American Lindy sold by Preferred Equine on behalf of Lindy Farms; $285,000 on the Chapter Seven filly out of Lindys Head Nurse named Seven Links sold by Spring Haven Farm and $200,000 on the Chapter Seven filly out of L Dees Maggie named Seventh Wonder also consigned by Spring Haven Farm.

“I liked all the Chapter Sevens, he’s the best in New York,” Jacobs said. “I usually buy the same quantity that I sell and I’m going to sell nine this year, so I’ll buy nine to replace them. That’s what I do. I don’t buy a lot of horses, but whatever I’m selling I usually replace.”

Jacobs said he’s anxious to see Walner’s babies.

“He’s been very productive, 95 per cent getting the mares in foal and that’s pretty high. I don’t think any other stud has got that many impregnated, so we’re pretty happy with his swimmers, so to speak,” Jacobs said. “I think he’s going to be an outstanding stud for the future. We need to replace Muscle Hill or Chapter Seven (at some point), so he might be a good replacement.”

Reid said, “the trotters stole the show tonight, the Muscle Hills and the Chapter Sevens were very, very strong.”

Reid’s Preferred Equine led all consignors Wednesday with $3,540,000 in sales for 41 yearlings. Through two days, Preferred has grossed $6,504,000 for 62 yearlings sold. Hunterton is next among consignors with $3,689,000 in sales through two days ($1,162,000 on Wednesday alone), followed by Kentuckiana with $3,392,000 in sales ($2,332,000 on Wednesday).

By average, Peninsula leads all consignors with three or more yearlings sold with an average of $171,000 for 12 sold. They are followed by Hunterton ($111,788 for 33 sold), Kentuckiana ($109,419 for 31 sold) and Preferred ($104,903 for 62 sold).

Muscle Hill continues to reign supreme. He leads all sires in gross sales ($5,557,000 for 42 sold) and average ($132,310). Captaintreacherous is second in gross ($4,313,000 for 42 sold), followed by Father Patrick ($3,522,000 for 32 sold).

Reid said, “there was a lot of energy in the building” for the second session. “I thought it was a positive sale on multiple levels and we look forward for it to continue, that’s for sure.”

The third session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will feature 165 yearlings. It begins tonight at 7 p.m. at Fasig-Tipton. For more information about the sale, please visit: