Harrisburg: Day 3

Harrisburg yearling sale smashes all-time average record

November 8, 2018

The Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s yearling sale concluded Wednesday with an average of $42,675 that is 4.5 per cent higher than the previous record set in 2007 and 8 per cent higher than the average of $39,516 at last year’s yearling sale.

by Dave Briggs

Despite an uneven final session on Wednesday, the Standardbred Horse Sales Company yearling sale concluded with an all-time record for average of $42,675 that surpassed the previous record of $40,824 (set in 2007) by 4.5 per cent (though 218 more horses sold in 2017).

Through three sessions at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, 830 yearlings sold for a total gross of $35,420,000 this year.

The average was up 8 per cent and the gross was up 5.3 per cent from 2017 when 851 yearlings grossed $33,628,500 in total to average $39,516. Officially, the gross was up nearly $1.8 million from last year.

“It was a fantastic sale reflecting confidence in the industry and the economy especially on the high end,” said sale president and CEO Pete Spears.

This year’s median of $25,000 was down from 2017’s median of $27,000.

“The lower market could be improved by additional opportunities in NW1/NW2 classes nationally,” Spears said.

Wednesday’s session grossed $7,423,000 for 357 yearlings sold, an average of $20,793, which was down 7.1 per cent over last year’s same session average of $22,387. The gross was down 10 per cent from last year’s third session total of $8,238,500, though this year 11 fewer yearlings were sold.

Fifty-four yearlings sold for $100,000 or more, up from 53 in 2017, but down from 56 in 2016

The key to increased numbers overall is due to Monday’s terrific opening session which outpaced 2017’s opening session by 29 per cent in gross and 24 per cent in average. (full story here)

Winbak-bred Chapter Seven colt tops Wednesday’s session

For the third year in a row a Chapter Seven colt topped the third session. This year, it was hip 806, a colt out of Tantalizing Donna that was purchased by Stroy Inc. for $157,000. The colt was bred and consigned by Winbak Farm.

The only other yearling to reach six figures on Wednesday was hip 705 Sports Style, a Sportswriter colt out of Nothing But Style purchased for $100,000 by Adriano Sorella of Guelph, ON out of the Spring Haven Farm consignment.

Sorella had incredible success this year and last racing Sportswriter colt Jimmy Freight, a winner of $793,544 that sports a mark of 1:48.3. He is both the fastest and richest son of Sportswriter.

“I absolutely loved (Sports Style) from the day I saw him,” Sorella said. “He had so many Sportswriter and Jimmy Freight features I knew I had to have him at whatever the price.

“He reminded me so much of Sportswriter, not just in person, but also on his video. I got him checked out and thought he would be an easy $100,000 to $120,000 colt. He looks well-built and I like that. Having the fastest, richest Sportswriter ever with Jimmy Freight, it’s hard to pass up one like this.”

Sorella purchased three yearlings in Harrisburg and is in on a couple of others.

“I bought hip 160 for $100,000, a Bettors Delight colt, this hip 705 Sportswriter colt for $100,000 and also an Artspeak filly, hip 793, for $12,000. I bought a few fillies as I think it would make sense to have some mares for Jimmy Freight to breed to. I bought a beautiful Captaintreacherous—Shebestingin filly in Lexington for $100,000 for that same reason.

“Andrew Harris will break and train the babies down. The American ones will stay with him and the Ontario-breds will go to (Richard) Moreau after they are broken. I also bought in on two with (Ron) Burke — hip 70 they paid $170,000 for and hip 140 that they gave $55,000 for.”

Hanover leads consignors with $12 million

Hanover Shoe Farms grossed $12,097,000 from 230 yearlings sold to average $52,596. The farm grossed some $2.5 million more than it did in 2017 when it sold $9,585,500 worth of yearlings at the sale.

The farm’s 2018 yearling total just at Harrisburg was $7.26 million more than the second leading consignor, Concord Stud Farm ($4,838,000, average of $86,393). Preferred Equine Marketing was third on the gross sales list with $3,474,000 earned from 86 yearlings, an average of $40,395.
Concord Stud Farm was second by average among consignors behind only Fair Winds Farm which averaged $95,667 for 15 yearlings (gross sales of $1,435,000).

Svanstedt tops buyers

Trainer Ake Svanstedt was the yearling sale’s leading buyer, spending $1,196,000, total, on 12 yearlings. He was followed by Myron Bell, agent, who spent $900,000 to collar four horses.

Though, a slightly concerning statistic is that $701,000 worth of horses were marked as “not sold” to out-page the $695,000, total, spent by the Burke Racing Stable LLC on 11 yearlings.

Beach, Captain and Muscle Hill top sires

The late, great Somebeachsomewhere topped all sires by gross sales with $3,684,000 for 51 yearlings sold. His son Captaintreacherous was next with $3,568,000 (44 yearlings), followed by Muscle Hill at $2,863,000. Muscle Hill was, far and away, the top sire by average with his 16 yearlings fetching, on average, $178,938. The only other sire with a six-figure average was Father Patrick who averaged $119,000 for 12 yearlings.

Pacing colts led all segments with 226 grossing $11,179,000 for an average of $49,465. Trotting fillies were next with 177 grossing $8,357,000 in total, an average of $47,215. Pacing fillies were next at $8,254,000 for 242 sold ($34,107 average). Trotting colts grossed $7,634,000 for 185 sold, averaging $41,265.
Mixed sale starts today

The first of two mixed sale sessions begins today in Harrisburg starting at 10 a.m.

Last year, the mixed sale grossed $19,451,000 for 660 horses / stallion shares sold.

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