A late scratch from the Lexington sale, the colt will sell at the end of today’s opening session at the Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s yearling sale in Harrisburg, PA.
by Dave Briggs
David Reid said it’s difficult to handicap which of Preferred Equine Marketing’s 80 yearlings will sell for the most money, but he’s rooting for one that will be the last one in the ring this afternoon at the Standardbred Horse Sale Company’s 80th annual yearling sale at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.
Hip 173, a Somebeachsomewhere colt out of My Little Delight (the dam is a half-sister to Stay Hungry who won the first two legs of the pacing Triple Crown) named Betterthanthebeach was originally thought to be one of Preferred’s star yearlings from its consignment at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, but just before he was set to sell, there was a problem.
“An hour-and-a-half or two hours before the sale he just had a little hiccup, where he just had a little minor issue that was just bad timing so we left him in Lexington,” Reid said. “So, we re-videoed him and just left him (in Lexington) to prepare to come up here. He shipped up here and he’s in good shape. He’s selling as the last horse on Monday, as a supplemental entry.”
“He shipped in Friday morning and we’ve been showing him every day. He’s obviously a very good-looking individual and we expect good things from him.”
Also near to Reid’s heart is hip 145 Queentrix, a Trixton half-sister to The Ice Dutchess, a 2-year-old that shared the billing as the sale-topper at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sales Company yearling sale thanks to a bid of $320,000 by John Floren. The Ice Dutchess, a daughter of Muscle Hill, has earned nearly $425,000 in her rookie season on the track, including a victory in the final of the Peaceful Way at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“The pedigree is just very live, because not only you have the Ice Dutchess, but Tactical Landing is from the same family and Mission Brief… so we’re excited to sell her as well,” Reid said of Queentrix.
On a more somber note, Reid said he is hoping the 12 yearlings he is selling for White Birch Farms will sell well as a tribute to the farm manager Steve Williams who died of a heart attack two weeks ago at age 60. It’s the latest in a string of tragedies for the farm that bred Captaintreacherous, Bee A Magician and many other champions.
“We’ve been selling horses for White Birch for a long time. Since the death of Michael (Parisi), I’ve been working with the estate and, you know, it’s just another chapter in their story because you really can’t believe it. First Marie, then Joe, then Michael Parisi dying unexpectedly young, then Steve has been with them 13 or 14 years… It’s unfathomable to think that one operation would have gone through four deaths.
“That being said, people that know White Birch was always uniquely run, uniquely managed and the people were unique in their own ways, but yet everything seemed to get done at a high level. They had a great year… as the breeder of Captain, to have all the Captains come out and be so good. They had a terrific sale in Kentucky.”
Preferred Equine will sell some 80 yearlings and more than 300 horses in Thursday and Friday’s mixed sale sessions — about 420 horses in all.
“Obviously, you need a good staff and I have a loyal staff that have been with me a long time. It’s a good core. Obviously, we couldn’t do it without them and we run an efficient operation and have a good flow for the consignors… shipping in on a timely basis to show the horses to the prospective customers and clients here,” Reid said.
“We started showing (Saturday) afternoon and we had a good show day… It’s challenging when you have the changeover on Wednesday to get ready for Thursday, Friday… It’s a busy night. Then, I think we’re selling 59 mares or something on Thursday and then some weanlings and yearlings on Thursday as well, then Friday it’s the racehorses and fabulous fillies.”
As for the mood of buyers coming into the sale, Reid said it hasn’t changed a lot from recent years.
“I think it’s really on par. I really don’t feel anything different. There’s been no Jersey announcement (about possible state funding), which everyone was kind of hoping for (before the sale started). That doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case. Then we’ve got the election coming up on Tuesday and I think that’s weighing on some minds. The stock market has been a little volatile lately.”
That said, the Preferred consignment was busy with lookers all Sunday afternoon leading Reid to believe his horses will sell well and the sale will be strong.