There appears to be no end in sight to the incredible yearly gains of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. In five years, the sale gross is up more than 50 per cent and Friday night’s fourth session led to the all-time sale gross record being smashed by more than $3.7 million with tonight’s final session to come. Thanks to a $4.5 million night, the sale surpassed $40 million in gross sales for the first time in its history and is already north of $43.5 million.
by Dave Briggs
The Lexington Selected Yearlings took a sledgehammer to the record for gross sales on Friday night at Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion, surpassing the previous record by more than $3.7 million — and there is still one more sale session to come tonight.
“When the sale started, I was thinking that there was no way we can outdo last year. I was hoping, but you hope that every year. We had such a great year last year,” said Randy Manges, who manages the sale with David Reid.
“We have great customers. All it boils down to is that we have great consignors that bring us great horses and we’re very lucky that the buyers come. They come because we have good horses.”
Friday’s session grossed $4,581,000 for 168 yearlings sold to make the four-day cumulative sale gross $43,511,000. That’s up by 9.4 per cent over 2018’s complete gross of $39,770,000, which was a record for the sale.
Since 2015, the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale is up 50 per cent in gross sales. The gross was $29,031,000 in 2015, $32,262,000 in 2016 and $36,410,000 in 2017.
“It just keeps going. It’s nuts, but it’s great,” Manges said.
Through four sessions, the sale is averaging $68,738. In 2018, the complete sale average was $56,652.
Friday’s gross was up 24 per cent from the fourth-session gross of $3,698,000 reached in 2018. This year’s fourth-session average of $27,268 was up 17.2 per cent from the 2018 fourth-session average of $23,258.
Though the fourth session was incredibly strong, this year’s record gross was helped considerably Tuesday’s gangbuster opening session in which two yearlings were sold for $1 million, the gross of $18,206,000 exceeded the record of $12,900,000 set in 2018 by 41 per cent and the average of $154,288 was up 22 per cent from the 2018 opening session average of $126,471 and up 35 per cent from the 2017 first night average of $114,344.
“I hope we’re talking a year from now talking about ‘How can this be? How could you sell 7 horses for a million dollars?’” Manges said, laughing.
Friday’s session saw five more horses surpass $100,000 to bring the total of $100,000+ yearlings through four sessions to 121, just three less than the total number of yearlings that fetched six figures for the complete 2018 sale (124).
Two trotting colts shared the title as sales toppers for Friday’s session — both securing bids of $150,000.
Hip 512, a Googoo Gaagaa colt out of Luv U All named Captain Corey sold for $150,000 to Robert Lindstrom, agent, for SRF Stable of Boden, Sweden. Captain Corey was bred and consigned by Peninsula Farm.
Near the end of the session, hip 638, a Conway Hall colt out of Cream Puff named Stonebridge Danish also sold for $150,000. He was purchased by Brixton Medical AB, bred by Stonebridge Farm of Ontario and consigned by Spring Haven Farm.
“They were both absolutely sensational colts,” Manges said. “(The Googoo Gaagaa is a) beautiful horse and the Conway Hall colt, he was not only a beautiful horse, but he had a great video.”
Lindstrom said the fact Captain Corey is a Googoo Gaagaa was the chief attraction. The stallion is incredibly popular in Sweden and Lindstrom has been instrumental in introducing the stud to Europe.
“He had many other horses going well and the trainers in Sweden, when I talk to them, they want to train, they want to race. They are very, very positive horses to have in the stall,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom said Captain Corey is, “by far the best looking horse (selling) today and maybe in whole sale as individual. I also want to give credit to Peninsula and Carter (Duer) and his family because they went a little bit outside, off the grid (with the breeding). They dared to try Googoo.”
Googoo Gaagaa previously bred European mares with frozen semen, but this summer the stallion arrived in Sweden and will service a full book of 150 mares in 2020.
Reid’s Preferred Equine still holds a wide lead over other consignors with more than $9.5 million in total sales from 132 yearlings. Hunterton is next with nearly $7,058,000 million and Kentuckiana is third with more than $6.8 million in sales.
By average, with three or more sold, Cane Run Farm leads with $257,833 for six horses sold, followed by Kentuckiana ($96,254, 71 sold) and Vieux Carre in third ($87,217 for 23 sold).
The top four buyers are: Nancy Johansson, agent (eight, $1,980,000), Brixton Medical AB (seven, $1,680,000) and Determination Stable (six, $1,520,000).
Though the sale has been off the charts, so far, Manges said there’s still a strong final session to come.
“We’ve got some very, very good yearlings selling (Saturday),” Manges said. “David (Reid) and I said it right from the beginning, once we set up the sessions and ran the hip numbers, we were both kind of looking forward to the sale because there was so much depth to the sale.”
The fifth and final session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will feature 131 yearlings. It begins tonight at 7 p.m. at Fasig-Tipton. For more information about the sale, please visit: http://www.lexingtonselected.com.