The group is expected to be led by Always B Miki, Betting Line and Bar Hopping.
quotes by Chris Tully / story by Dave Briggs
Unlike last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale which had a dearth of first-crop sires, this year’s catalogue features a bonanza of first-timers, including Always B Miki, Betting Line, Bar Hopping, Control The Moment, Southwind Frank, Racing Hill and Creatine.
David Reid, who manages the sale with Randy Manges, said he thinks the first-crop sires will provide greater depth.
“Just on number of entries, the Always B Mikis and the Betting Lines are going to give the pacing buyers a couple of more options,” Reid said. “Obviously, then you have a bigger crop of Somebeachsomewhere this year, which is going to give more options. Then you have horses like Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou, who are in the meat of their crops. It definitely adds some intrigue to it and adds diversity. On the trotting side, you have smaller books of Bar Hopping and Southwind Frank, so they may not be as impactful, but, there again, when you mix them in with Muscle Hill, Chapter Sevens, Father Patricks and Trixtons, it adds diversity to the trotting side as well.”
Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farms is standing three stallions offering their first crops of yearlings at this year’s sales — Always B Miki, Creatine and Southwind Frank.
“We’ve got a bunch of nice ones of each, colts, which is always a good thing to have,” Bowden said. “I’ve got an Always B Miki colt, number 147 (Octave) that we’re really high on. Then number 174 (Parody) is a first-crop Southwind Frank. And then Hip 340 (Centenary) and 400 (Dazzle) are two really nice Creatines.”
“They’ll have a huge impact, I think,” Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms said of the first-crop sires. “Look at what Sweet Lou and Captaintreacherous did. Obviously, they hit and did well. There was a lot of good stock coming out of that, but if they are anything like Betting Line and Always B Miki and they take after their dads, I think it’ll be strong. I don’t know what to expect, but I just hope they go out there and do what they are supposed to do for my broodmares.”
“I think that they will add to the sale,” Hunterton’s Steve Stewart said. “Betting Line and Miki, on the pacing side, I think they are extremely well-represented in quality of mare and I think the individuals are there. I think people will give them a good rattle, as they say, bidding-wise. I think there’s some very good ones. They are well-presented, there’s quite a few of each one. I think they’ll do very well.”
“I think it’s interesting that now you have more options,” said Northwood Bloodstock’s Bob Boni, a part-owner of Always B Miki. “I think the two most obvious ones, and correct me if I’m missing one, are Always B Miki and Betting Line. They were both wonderful horses and if you like them there’s no reason not to participate and it gives you one more option against the horses — the Captaintreacherouses, the remaining Somebeachsomewheres, the Sweet Lous, the American Ideals… It gives you more options to race against them, so hopefully things get spread out and there’s a little more value.”
Steve Jones of Cameo Hills said he thinks the Always B Miki and Betting Line yearlings will play a big role in the sale.
“They’ve got the most important thing that you need to have to be successful – they’ve got a strong group of mares bred to both horses and that’s kind of the key, bottom line, in our opinion. I think both horses will sell well. Which one will get it done on the track, I have no idea,” Jones said.
Senena Esty of Spring Haven Farm said she is “super impressed” with the Betting Lines, adding that Bettors Delight, “definitely needs a son to come and replace him, so off the top that’s one I’m really watching hard… I’ve got some fancy Control The Moments, too, that I really give a shout out to. There’s two that maybe some other consignments might not be as high on as myself.”
Beth Yontz of Anvil and Lace Farm said she thinks the Always B Mikis, “are going to be hot. Some of the mares that he got bred to are just phenomenal. (Southwind) Frank, you’re going to have less numbers, so that will be interesting to see how that plays out. I’ll tell you, I have a Racing Hill, obviously he’s first crop in Ohio… Some of these Racing Hills, they have the pedigree that I think had they been bred to Captain or Somebeach, they’d be first or second day horses. Simply because they put all the Ohio and Indiana the last day, that’s the only reason they are there, not because of the individual.”
She said the class of first-crop sires should make a positive impact.
“We need some up-and-coming stallion, something new, something fresh,” Yontz said. “It makes it fun. It’s like a maiden mare and a maiden stallion. You never know – bigger, better, faster, hopefully. That’s why we breed them, to try to produce something great.”
Joe Thomson said Winbak Farms is selling a couple of Betting Line offspring and, “I think they are very nice horses. We’ve always done well with Casie Coleman stallions, so we have a couple we’re selling here and I like them very well.
“Bar Hopping, we have a few of them. Always B Miki is in and we’ve got one of them. I think they’ll be good. We’re probably with the old line that horses that have done well over time and continue to do well, that seems to be what we breed to more than anything else. It’s kind of like if you’re in the stock market, which is best: some high-flying new (stock) or is it better to be in ones that you know, stocks that you know will be money makers down the road and consistently produce good winners? It seems to me that it’s probably an easier deal than picking the new guy.”
“We love the Bar Hoppings,” said Bob Brady of Kentuckiana Farms. “They are athletic and they all have a lot of trot. And the Mikis are very nice. Overall, they are a big, athletic group. And we have a couple of Southwind Franks that are very nice, number 61 in particular.
“I think people are going to give them a try. People take a shot with the better ones, but they are very nice, good individuals,” Brady said.
“I don’t have many pacers anymore, but I have three Always B Mikis that are very, very impressive,” said Carter Duer of Peninsula Farm. “They are the only three that I’ve ever seen, but they are very nice horses, so I would think that he will be well-received. He could be okay. I really like the Bar Hoppings and I’ve only seen three of those, the three I’ve got. They are not out of anything fancy, but they are very athletic and they are nice horses. They are the ones that just come to mind, but I’m sure there are others. I think Bar Hopping could be okay.”
Art Zubrod of Brittany Farms professed some ignorance of this year’s first-crop sires just due to the fact he doesn’t have many to sell.
“I don’t know much about any of them, to tell you the truth,” he said. “We have one Bar Hopping here, which is a first-crop sire. I don’t have any Always B Mikis to sell. I’ve got two at the farm and one in a partnership with Marty Grant that they’ve decided to keep and it’s a pretty special colt. So, I really don’t know much about the first-crop sires. If I don’t raise them, I don’t get to see them.”
“The first crop of Always B Miki, we have a filly selling by him and it’s the first foal of the mare (Hip 398, Stolen Kisses),” said Elizabeth Caldwell of Cane Run Farm.