Three $200,000+ yearlings top Day 2 of the Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s yearling sale. Through two days, the average of $59,110 and the gross of nearly $28 million are both well ahead of last year’s sale.
by Dave Briggs
Trainer Linda Toscano may be a self-professed “bargain player,” but that doesn’t mean she’s not thrilled to be have Rodeo Blue Chip coming to her barn. Tuesday, the Blue Chips Farm-bred and sold colt topped the second session of the Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s yearling sale at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA after owner Ken Jacobs made the $250,000 winning bid.
Toscano said the horse was on their radar screen because his dam, Lotsa Motzah, is a sister to both Sunfire Bluechip ($1.5 million) and Heston Blue Chip ($1.78 million). Jacobs previously owned Heston Blue Chip and Toscano trained. An extra attraction is Rodeo Blue Chip is a Sweet Lou colt.
“The Sweet Lous have been good and we really like the Sweet Lous and (Rodeo Blue Chip) really stood well. He’s got a lot of chrome, but I guess that goes with the Sweet Lous. He’s got white on his face and white everywhere else.
“I’m a girl. I like greys and I like white, but at the same time the old adage is that plain is better. I think we’ve got to throw that out when it comes to Sweet Lou because he’s going to reinvent the wheel. (Rodeo Blue Chip) stands well. He’s just a great-looking colt. He moves well. Ken loved him. I loved him.”
Jacobs left the sale immediately after purchasing Rodeo Blue Chip, partly to avoid temptation, Toscano said.
“He did buy a couple of others while he was here, just because he can’t help himself. You can’t take Ken shopping without Ken coming home with a shopping bag,” Toscano said, laughing.
Toscano said she thinks she has eight yearlings from the Harrisburg sale coming to her barn, so far.
“I’m tickled with the group I got this year. I got some beautiful horses and I think we’ve got both New York and Pennsylvania covered and we’ve got a pretty nice balance of trotters and pacers. I’m really excited,” she said.
Whether she gets anymore today in the third and final yearling session will depend on the prices.
“I’m a bargain player. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed this year to have a little extra money, so we’ve been able to reach out a little bit and get some, but from here on in I’m the gatekeeper. I’ve looked at a lot of horses and if I see a bargain, I try to buy it. I look for myself and I look for groups that go together,” she said.
Last year, the two highest priced yearlings from Day 2 were sold by Blue Chip — $180,000 Quatrain Blue Chip and $150,000 Quarter Blue Chip.
This year, three yearlings topped $200,000 on Day 2 — Rodeo Blue Chip; hip 360 Third Shift, a Chapter Seven colt out of Overnight Command purchased by Ake Svanstedt for $235,000 out of the Winbak Farm consignment and hip 460 Hilly Holbrook, a Muscle Hill filly out of Winky Dink that fetched $235,000 from the Andy Miller Stable out of the Concord Stud Farm consignment.
“There were several consignors that preferred to sell on the Tuesday, so that’s why they were today. That’s fine and you can kind of mix them in,” said sales company president and CEO Pete Spears.
After a gangbusters opening session Monday, the numbers softened a bit Tuesday. In all, 303 yearlings fetched $12,095,000 in total, for an average of $39,917. The gross was down 8.2 per cent from the $13,175,000 reached on Day 2 in 2017. This year’s average was off 3.4 per cent from the 2017 average of $41,301.
Still, thanks to Monday’s strong session, through two days the sale has grossed $27,997,000 (up 10.3 per cent from the two-day 2017 gross of $25,384,000) from 473 sold for an average of $59,190 that is up 12.6 per cent from the two-day average of $52,555 reached a year ago.
Hanover tops $10 million
Hanover Shoe Farms continues to have an outstanding sale and has already topped $10 million in gross sales through two days at Harrisburg with 80 more yearlings set to sell in today’s third session.
Hanover sold 66 yearlings for $7,086,000 in total on Monday and 88 yearlings for $3,525,000 on Tuesday for a total of $10,611,00 from 154 sold for an average of $68,903.
Concord Stud Farm, agent, continues to have an outstanding sale, as well, grossing $4,653,000 from 47 yearlings for an average of $99,000 that was second only to the Fair Winds Farm Inc.’s average of $111,833 for 12 yearlings sold. Preferred Equine Marketing, agent, is third in gross with $2,608,000 in sales (averaging $54,333 for 48 sold).
Svanstedt leading buyer
Trainer Ake Svanstedt was both the leading buyer on Day 2 — spending $582,000, total, on six yearlings — he’s also the leading buyer through two days after spending $1,122,000, total, on 10 yearlings.
Day 1’s leading buyer, Myron Bell, is now in second overall with $900,000 spent, in all, on four yearlings. He topped Day 1 by spending $750,000 to bring home two yearlings.
Despite not buying a yearling on Tuesday, Determination Stable still sits third overall with $662,000 spent, in total, on four yearlings.
Muscle Hill still king
Despite having just two yearlings sell Tuesday, superstar trotting stallion Muscle Hill continued to dominate the sire averages through two days with an average of $178,938 for 16 sold. Father Patrick is averaging $119,000 through two days with 12 sold. The top pacing sire is Captaintreacherous with an average of $84,146 for 41 sold.
Today, 371 horses are scheduled to sell in the third and final yearlings session before making way for mixed sale sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Today’s final yearling session begins at 10 a.m.