Lexington sale cools off, but still on historic pace

Red hot sale cools off slightly during second session

October 3, 2019

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The average and gross was off from last year’s record second session, but through two days the sale is still up nearly 18 per cent in gross and nearly 7 per cent in average.

quotes by Heather Wilder / story by Dave Briggs

The second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale — held Wednesday evening at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion — was more muted than Tuesday’s wild, record-breaking opening session that saw two yearlings sell for more than $1 million for the first time in standardbred history. While things cooled off a little in the sales ring for day two of the five-day auction, the sale is up significantly in gross and average through two days.

“It wasn’t quite as strong as last night or maybe it didn’t feel the same, but coming off a historic night like last night you’re not going to duplicate it,” said David Reid, who manages the sale with Randy Manges.

The second session grossed $13,068,000 from 174 yearlings sold, meaning the average was $75,103. The session average was down 10 per cent from the $83,748 average for day two in 2018. The gross was down 4.3 per cent from the record gross of $13,651,000 reached a year ago.

Through two sessions, this year’s sale has grossed $31,274,000 — thanks to that record-setting session on Monday (full story here) — for 292 yearlings sold. The gross is up 17.8 per cent from the $26,551,000 fetched in 2018 for 265 yearlings sold. The two-day average of $107,103 is up 6.9 per cent from the $100,192 average through two days in 2018.

“I think it’s holding up,” said Manges. “I think the horses that deserve to bring a lot of money are bringing it.”
Last year, 110 yearlings sold for $100,000 or more through two sessions. This year, 108 yearlings have reached at least six figures through two days.

“We’re through two nights and we’re through Hip number 310,” Reid said. “Now, we’re going to get into the meat of the catalogue and you’re starting to see some more out-of-towners coming in, which is good.

“The marketplace is going to tighten up a bit, but the middle market range, I think, if you do your homework… they’ll be some nice value buys and just come out (Thursday) and keep working and keep grinding away. If you’re a serious hunter, you’re going to go away with a nice horse.”

The second-session topper was hip 155, a Muscle Hill colt out of Magenta Hall named Red Redemption that sold for $320,000 to Ake Svanstedt. The colt was bred by Jeff Gural’s Allerage Farm and consigned by Preferred Equine.

“I loved the conformation of the horse and the family was good, but it was a very nice conformation,” Svanstedt said.

Asked if he thought he would have to spend that much to land Red Redemption, Svanstedt laughed.

“They’re always too expensive, but I really want the horse,” he said.

Gural said he thought Red Redemption would be the highest-priced horse from his consignment, “because everybody liked that horse, but I didn’t expect to get that much.”

Trainer Paul Kelley bought the next two highest-priced yearlings sold — hip 137 a Chapter Seven colt out of Iluvmyjimmychoos named Balenciaga for $270,000 from Crawford Farms and hip 306, a Muscle Hill filly out of Highland Glider named Captured for $250,000 bred by James Wilhite, Jr. of Kentucky and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms, agent.

Kelley said Balenciaga, “had a lot of body to him. Nice shoulder and a big hind end, but, more importantly, he had really nice leg to him – great leg. A lot of the Chapter Sevens tend to be on the short side. To me, I just thought he was a really nice colt and he got over the ground good in his video.

“We thought $250,000, so I’m not surprised. He went right were we expected.”

As for Captured, Kelley called her, “an exceptional filly. I trained a 2-year-old sister to her, a Cantab filly this year. Loved the filly, she just had some maturity issues and we had to stop with her and turn her out, but I really, really like the filly a lot and I think this filly is probably a little bit better individual so I’m really, really happy with her.”

Kelley was the third leading buyer in gross sales during the second session with $520,000, total, spent on those two yearlings.

Bill Donovan spent $717,000, combined, on six yearlings to lead all Wednesday buyers. Svanstedt ranked second, spending $710,000, total, on seven yearlings during the second session.

The top buyers through two days remains largely unchanged. Nancy Johansson has spent $1,760,000, total on five yearlings followed by Determination Stable (five for $1,445,000), Brixton Medical AB (two, $1.2 million) and The Maverick Group (one for $1.1 million).

Reid’s Preferred Equine led all consignors Wednesday with $3,249,000 in sales for 38 yearlings. Through two days, Preferred also leads the consignor list with total sales of $6,554,000 for 60 yearlings sold. Hunterton is next among consignors with $5,626,000 in sales through two days, followed by Kentuckiana with $5,419,000 in sales.

By average, Cane Run Farm leads all consignors with three of more yearlings sold with an average of $435,000 for three sold. It is followed by Kentuckiana ($159,382 for 34 sold), Hunterton ($117,208 for 48 sold) and Vieux Carre Farms ($110,235 for 17 sold).

Muscle Hill continues to reign supreme. He leads all sires in gross sales ($6,633,000 for 45 sold) and average for three or more sold ($147,400). Father Patrick is second in gross ($4,702,000 for 33 sold), followed by Somebeachsomewhere ($4,181,000 for 36 sold).

“It was good to see two Betting Lines show up in the top five (on Wednesday) and Peninsula sold a Love You for good money as well, so you’re seeing a little bit of a change in the sire pattern tonight, but it’s healthy and it’s deep and there was good energy here again tonight,” Reid said.

“We want everyone to participate at all levels and all jurisdictions and I expect traffic will continue to increase this week. So come on over, keep marching around the grounds and inspecting the horses, then be prepared when they come into the ring.

“Cumulatively, it’s just going to be a historic sale.”

Tonight’s third session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will feature 174 yearlings. It begins tonight at 7 p.m. at Fasig-Tipton. For more information about the sale, please visit: http://www.lexingtonselected.com

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