The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale concluded Saturday with a new high-water mark for gross, but the average and median slipped slightly from a year ago.
by Dave Briggs
The 2018 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, which concluded Saturday, smashed the record for gross with nearly $40 million in sales, but co-manager Randy Manges said the numbers, both good and bad, are slightly deceiving.
“The gross was a record, but, of course, we sold more horses this year,” Manges said.
For the complete sale, 702 yearlings grossed $39,770,000. The gross surpassed last year’s record gross of $36,410,000 by 9.2 per cent. Prior to 2017, the previous record for the sale’s gross was set in 2007 which had total sales of $35,648,962 when 791 yearlings were sold.
“Overall, for the whole week, to be up to nearly a $40 million yearling sale is really good for breeders,” said sale co-manager David Reid.
This year’s complete sale average of $56,652 was down 3.2 per cent over the record of $58,537 set in 2017.
“We sold 80 more horses this year, which always changes your averages a bit,” Manges said. “The more horses you sell, usually the average drops.
“We’re slightly down from last year but we had such a great sale last year and we had another great sale this year. It’s a wash.
“Of course, gross is the big thing for me. Averages, ups and downs, don’t do a lot for me. I like the gross and it looks pretty damn good to me.
“One of the big things that I take into consideration for the sale is the fact that this year we had a couple of new sires, but they weren’t really the high-profile sires like they were last year. Last year, we had two outstanding pacing sires (Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou) and two top trotting sires (Father Patrick and Trixton). All four of those horses had good years, but there’s always the excitement of the first-year sires. In my opinion, that had a lot to do with it. We just didn’t have a lot of a new product to give. Artspeak, it was his first year, but we didn’t have that many. I think that factors in.”
The number of yearlings that sold for $100,000 or more was 124, up 20.4 per cent from the record of 103 set in 2017 and up 61 per cent from the next highest mark of 77 set in 2016.
The median of $35,000 was down 16.7 per cent from the previous record of $42,000 set last year.
In the final session, 116 yearlings grossed $2,765,000 in total. The session average of $23,836 was down 11.4 per cent from the 2017 final session average of $26,908 and up 14.4 per cent over the 2016 final session average of $20,841.
While the final two sessions were both down from a year ago, the first two nights were “crazy off the charts,” Manges said.
Saturday’s session saw four more horses surpass $100,000 — though one was a buy-back listed as Reserve Not Achieved (RNA).
Saturday’s session-topper was Coventry Hall, a Cash Hall colt out of Canland Hall that brought a bid of $210,000 from Keld Gregersen of Denmark. The colt was bred and sold by Walnut Hall Ltd, which took home the next highest priced yearling, RNA Oxford Hall, an E L Titan colt out of On With The Show, that reached $145,000 before the bidding stopped.
Jodi Schillaci of Macedonia, OH tied for the third highest priced yearling sold Saturday, a McArdle colt out of Fancy Creek Funny named Ridicule Blue Chip bred by Blue Chip Farms and sold by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Inc. that fetched $100,000.
Also selling for $100,000 was Queen Paige, a Muscle Yankee filly out of Commando Queen purchased by Lina Alm, agent for SRF Stable of Sweden from the Winbak Farm consignment.
Reid’s Preferred Equine led all consignors with more than $8.88 million in total sales from 140 yearlings. Hunterton Sales Agency was next with nearly $5.7 million and Kentuckiana Farms was third with more than $5 million in sales.
“That is outstanding,” Reid said. “You get down here in the sale scene and you just get wrapped up in it between the sales and the racing and everything that’s going on, trying to monitor everything and you kind of lose sight of what you’re actually achieving, but it’s a credit to all of Preferred Equine’s clients.
“Several of them are leading breeders of the sport and without the participation of the White Birch Farms, the Southwind Farms, the Deo Volente Farms, the Crawford Farms, the Lindy Farms et cetera, our success wouldn’t be possible. We represent several small breeders and it’s just been really an outstanding week for our stakes graduates, winning at The Red Mile, including Warrawee Farms. Warrawee Ubeaut setting a world record. It’s been exciting and gratifying to be able to represent these breeders. To have a successful sale for the majority of them helps them to run their operations and keeps them going. We need healthy breeders to have the business go around.”
By average, with three or more sold, Peninsula Farm Inc. led with $113,850 for 20 horses sold, followed by Walnut Hall Ltd. ($97,600, five sold), All American Harnessbreds ($84,375, eight sold) and Vieux Carre Farms ($83,143, 14 sold).
The top four buyers remained unchanged from the previous night. Burke Racing Stable topped all buyers, spending $1,216,000, total, on 13 yearlings, followed by Ken Jacobs ($1,192,000 for six yearlings), Bryan Montgomery, agent ($995,000 for six) and Dana Parham ($840,000 for six).
Stallions Muscle Hill and Somebeachsomewhere continued to top the sire list as in previous years. Muscle Hill averaged $121,000 with 48 sold. Somebeachsomewhere is second on the list (for stallions with three or more offspring sold) with an average of $106,269 for 26 sold. Father Patrick was third with an average of $87,208 for 48 sold, followed by Chapter Seven ($86,963) for 27 sold and Captaintreacherous averaged $86,931 for 58 sold.