Harrisburg sale concludes up in total gross and average

With racehorses in top demand during Friday’s final Mixed Sale session, the Standardbred Horse Sales Company celebrated a total gross of $53.6 million and an average of $37,040 that was up 5.4 per cent for the week compared to the 2017 auction in Harrisburg, PA.

by Dave Briggs

Despite selling fewer horses than a year ago, the Standardbred Horse Sales Company out-earned the 2017 sale by a slim margin. Combining the two-day Mixed Sale with the three-day Yearling Sale that proceeded it, the Harrisburg, PA sale, which concluded Friday, grossed $53,672,000, up $592,500 from the $53,079,500 collected in 2017 despite 62 fewer horses/stallion shares being sold this year. The combined average of $37,040 was up 5.4 per cent from the 2017 combined Mixed and Yearling average of $35,129.

“Overall, consignors were quite pleased. I heard a lot of people who were happy to buy good horses and they paid good prices, too. I think all the way around it was just a very strong sale,” said sale president and CEO Pete Spears. “I can’t say there was a particular part of the market that surprised me. I count all segments sold strongly, overall, so it was just a good, solid sale.”

On Friday, during the second of two mixed sale sessions, 378 horses grossed $13,054,000 total, for a session average of $34,534. The gross was off over $784,000 (5.7 per cent) from the $13,838,000 fetched in the second mixed session a year ago and the average was down 1.6 per cent from the $35,122 reached in last year’s final session.

The two-day Mixed Sale ended with 619 horses/stallion shares grossing $18,252,000 in all for an average of $29,486 that was up marginally over the 2017 Mixed Sale average of $29,474. This year’s gross was off more than $1.2 million (6.2 per cent) from the $19,453,000 fetched last year, but 41 fewer horses sold this year compared to last when 660 horses/stallion shares were sold. This year’s mixed numbers were undoubtedly impacted by the inaugural Lexington Selected Yearling Sale held in October. That sale grossed $4,759,000 and averaged $45,323.

Come See The Show, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of world champion Put On A Show, topped Friday’s session with a bid of $425,000 by Steve Jones of Cameo Hills Farm of Montgomery, NY. The mare was consigned by Concord Stud on behalf of owner Joanne Young and Richard Young of Florida.

Sweet Lou’s half-brother, sophomore pacing colt Nutcracker Sweet, a winner of $389,094 under the tutelage of Jimmy Takter, was the second highest sold with a bid of $300,000 by John Cancelliere of Bloomfield, NJ. The son of Bettor’s Delight out of Sweet Future was consigned by Concord Stud Farm, agent, on behalf of owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable and Richard Lombardo.

A string of fillies were the next highest sold on Friday. Alexis Faith, a $514,000-winning daughter of American Ideal out of Cannae Cammie was purchased by Crawford Farms for $215,000 out of the Preferred Equine Marketing consignment.

Virgil Morgan, Jr., agent, bought Lady Shadow, a $2 million-winning daughter of Shady Play out of Lady Camella, for $210,000 out of the Northwood Bloodstock consignment.

Fair Winds Farm bought 3-year-old Somebeachsomewhere—Mcgibson filly from Preferred for $200,000.

Concord Stud’s Julie Meirs purchased Dudesalady, a $284,000-winning daughter of Shadow Play out of Accountable for $185,000 from Preferred and Thursday’s top buyer, newcomer Shmuel Farhi of London, ON bought 3-year-old filly Tiffany’s Flash (Cantab Hall—Up Front Laura) for $170,000.

Preferred racked up $7,801,000 in sales on Friday, with a whopping 201 horses going through the ring on Friday alone, to surpass Hanover Shoe Farms as the week’s top consignor with $13,754,000 in sales. Hanover grossed $12,097,000 in sales, followed by Northwood Bloodstock at $6,318,000 thanks to sales of $3,272,000 on Friday.

“As far as today was concerned, I felt the Fabulous Fillies held up very well and that’s a great indicator for the breeding market,” said Preferred’s David Reid. “Also, it was probably a reflection of the yearling sale and the breeders realizing that you need youth and need to be replenishing your broodmares. I thought it was a very healthy market for fillies, the female side of the business.

“The racehorses, obviously, for Preferred, we had a lot of horses that were racing and winning. A number of them had wins over the last two or three weeks… so I thought the energy was good. I thought the crowd was good and I was really, really happy overall for the day.”

Preferred sold 366 horses/stallion shares through the week.

“I’ve got to give a shout out to all the consignors that entrusted us with their horses,” Reid said. “For the most part, everyone had a good day. We couldn’t do without them and, more importantly, we hope the ones that we sold today will go on to produce for the new owners and produce champions for the new breeders. That’s what it’s all about and it was just a good, solid day of trade, in my personal opinion.”

Fair Winds Farm led all consignors by average at $95,667, followed by Concord Stud at $71,755, Blue Chip Farms at $56,714, Twinbrook Farms at $53,727, Hanover at $52,596, Blue Chip at $41,417 and Preferred at $37,579.

Ake Svanstedt led all buyers with $1,196,000 spent on 12 yearlings, followed by Myron Bell with $950,000 in expenditures, total, on five horses and Ron Burke with $933,000 spent, in all, on 15 horses. Swedish agent Robert Lindstrom spent $819,000, followed by Determination of Montreal that spent all $662,000 in the opening session.

Combining the Yearling and Mixed sales, U.S. buyers spent more than $38 million and made up just shy of 74 per cent of the total market — led by buyers from New Jersey ($11,069,000), Pennsylvania ($7,312,000), New York ($4,541,000) and Florida ($3,691,000).

Canadians, led far and away by Ontarians, spent more than $10.4 million over five days to make up just over 20 per cent of the total purchases. Europeans spent just under $3 million and made up 5.8 per cent of the total sale purchases.