Marlboro Seelster becomes the most expensive yearling ever sold in Canada as day one of the London Selected Yearling Sale is on par with the 2018 opening session average of $28,370.
by Dave Briggs
Two years ago, Mohawk Seelster set the record for the most expensive standardbred yearling ever sold in Canada. On Saturday, his younger brother did him one better at the London Selected Yearling Sale at the Agriplex at The Western Fair District in London, ON. Marlboro Seelster, a Bettors Delight colt out of Macapelo Rose, fetched a bid of $270,000 from trainer Dr. Ian Moore on behalf of owner Jeff Snyder of New York, NY.
“London is excited to hold the Canadian record for the highest price yearling to sell. He is by a proven quality sure, Bettors Delight, and from a great maternal line. Buyers are very confident in those types of purchases,” said sale manager Ann Straatman.
The $270,000 bid bested the old Canadian record by $50,000. At the inaugural London Selected Yearling Sale in 2017, Mohawk Seelster a Sportswriter colt, sold for $220,000. He has earned some $15,000 to date for Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON.
“I know (Marlboro Seelster’s) brother went for a lot of money at this sale two years ago and it didn’t work out,” Moore said. “But (Marlboro Seelster) is an outstanding individual and he’s a Bettors Delight.”
Seelster Farms bred and consigned both colts and Moore said that was key in his purchase decision. He said he likes buying from Seelster Farms because they raise nice yearlings and the Lucan, ON operation does not retain any of its yearlings to race.
“I like that they sell everything and I think that matters to other buyers, too,” Moore said.
Seelster Farms led all consignors on day one in both gross ($1,257,000) and average ($52,374) with 24 yearlings sold. Winbak Farm LLC was second in gross with $400,000 in sales for 17 sold. Preferred Equine Marketing sold $308,000 worth of yearlings.
Moore led all buyers, both as an agent for Snyder — thanks to the session-topper alone — and solo with $170,000 spent on three yearlings.
He said he was encouraged that Snyder wanted to buy in Ontario and said the bright spot is Snyder would get a premium on his U.S. dollars buying in Canada.
“Mr. Snyder originally told me to go to $150,000, but I told him, ‘I don’t think that’s going to get it done. This is a very nice individual.’ So, he said, ‘Okay, put me on the phone when you’re bidding.’ When it got to $260,000, he said, ‘Well, that’s it,’ but I said, ‘Just go one more bid’ and that was the final one,” said Moore, who will own a piece of Marlboro Seelster with Snyder and Snyder’s son, Michael.
Marlboro Seelster is a half-brother to Mach Three filly Mayhem Seelster trained by Tony O’Sullivan. Mayhem Seelster was third in the 2015 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old pacing fillies (won by Pure Country) and earned over $300,000 in her career.
Saturday’s first session saw 119 yearlings sold for a total gross of $3,376,000, and an average of $28,370 that was on par from the opening session of 2018 (off only 1.2 per cent) when 100 yearlings grossed $2,870,00 for an average of $28,700.
“We’re thrilled with Day One at the sale,” Straatman said. “We had a super crowd and enthusiastic bidders. The London Selected Yearling Sale continues to prove that breeders can sell Ontario-sired yearlings right here at home in Ontario for outstanding prices. (Sunday’s) roster is every bit as exciting as (Saturday’s) offerings, so we look forward to seeing everyone back at the Western Fair Agriplex.
Marlboro Seelster sold as hip 25. The highest-priced trotter sold came just 14 yearlings later when Muscle Mass—Windsong Nolween colt Full Of Muscles sold for $140,000 to Ben Baillargeon.
Those were the only two yearlings to fetch more than $100,000 on the day.
Today’s second and final sale session, with 172 yearlings offered, begins at noon.