After just three of five sessions, the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale is only $1 million from surpassing its record for total gross.
by Dave Briggs
Veteran breeder Harry Rutherford of Ontario has raised and sold a lot of nice yearlings in his 82 years, but he had never sold one for $300,000 prior to Thursday night when he topped the third session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.
Rutherford sold his Kadabra filly out of Glide By named Up And Ready to a group of fellow Ontarians that includes Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and, possibly, Sam Goldband.
“For the yearling, that’s certainly top drawer for me. I can’t wait to get back to the hotel and call Joey,” Rutherford said, beaming, referring to his partner Diane Ingham.
After Katz and Co. outbid Determination’s Luc Blais to top Day 3, Katz crossed the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion to congratulate Rutherford on the sale. Just two days earlier, it was the reverse when Rutherford congratulated Katz on breeding the $1.1 million full-brother to Greenshoe named Maverick that set the record for the most expensive standardbred yearlings ever sold.
“I saw him after his horse sold and congratulated him because that was some feat, I’ll tell you, $1.1 (million),” Rutherford said. “I was just so glad that I was here to see it and be a part of it, you might say. That’s unbelievable and then, later on, another one sells for a million.”
“It’s been terrific and there’s more with the racing we’ll do over the weekend. It’s been great. We love it down here,” Katz said.
He said the chief attraction to Up And Ready was her pedigree.
“It’s a great pedigree. It’s a pedigree that we really placed a lot of value on,” Katz said. “It’s a family that we’d like to build off further, back to Maven… and we just felt like it was an excellent opportunity to add to that family.”
Rutherford agreed that Up And Ready has a strong pedigree, but even he couldn’t peg her as the best of the six fillies he brought to Lexington to sell.
“This is coming from a breeder, but honestly, they were the nicest group of fillies I’ve had,” Rutherford said. “I said to everybody, ‘We’ve got six very nice fillies, but we don’t have a headliner.’”
He does now.
“I think we’re down to eight broodmares now,” Rutherford said. “We retired one and another one we’re just not going to breed her anymore, so we’re down to eight. I would like to get a nice, high-quality broodmare that we could breed to one of the new stallions coming on… but before I left, (Joey said), ‘Now, Harry, you’re not bringing anything home.’”
Preferred Equine consigned Rutherford’s yearlings.
“We represent a lot of small breeders and here’s a perfect example of Harry Rutherford from Ontario,” said Preferred’s David Reid. “He’s been a long-time customer of ours. Some years he comes down here and we don’t have the best of luck for him, so to see him and his operation, his whole crew back home, sell one for $300,000… that’s pretty impressive.”
In all, 173 yearlings went through the ring Thursday. The session gross was $7,656,000 and the average was $44,254, which is up 5.8 per cent from the $41,704 fetched on day three in 2018. The gross was up 13.3 per cent from the $6,756,000 fetched on day three last year.
Just another very good session,” said Reid, wearing his sale co-manager’s hat. “Similar to last night, credit goes to the auction crew. They kept a really good pace. We got done the last horse through the ring at 11:20. The bidders came right at you again, for the most part. It had good flow, good mix.
“There were maybe a few more Ontario eligibles and New York eligible in there tonight and the crowd was a little different. The sale was very, very good. Obviously, the top buy was a Kadabra filly. They got into a spirited bidding war between Determination and Katz and Libfeld… It’s very encouraging to see a sign like that, competitive bidding for a top filly with a female family.”
Through three sessions, the 2019 sale has grossed $38,930,000 for 465 yearlings sold and produced an average of $83,720 that is up 7.3 per cent from the three-day average of $78,002 from a record 2018 sale. The gross is up 16.9 per cent from the 2018 three-day gross of $33,307,000.
“The gross is within a million, after three sessions, of the total sale last year,” Reid said of the 2018 auction which grossed $39,770,000.
“I think we’re going to be ahead, but it ties into everything. We can’t do it without the breeders and we’ve been saying it all along, like a broken record, it’s a deep catalogue with a lot of new sires to choose from. There’s a lot of diversification between pacers and trotters, first-crop sires and the existing sires that are just very successful.
“The consumer hasn’t had this much product to choose from in a long time.”
The fourth session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will feature 171 yearlings. It begins tonight at 7 p.m. at Fasig-Tipton. For more information about the sale, please visit: http://www.lexingtonselected.com.