This year marks the first time Concord Stud will sell some of its yearlings in Lexington.
by Jay Wolf
Yearling sales are full of optimism – from the buyers looking for the next champion to the consigners that look to build on their farm’s legacy.
While the 2020 yearling sales will have some unknowns due to COVID-19, Crawford Farms and Concord Stud Farm believe it being another successful sale.
Michelle and Al Crawford will be sending 54 yearlings through the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion sales ring, including eight on the opening night.
“On the opening night, I am excited about every single one of them honestly,” said Michelle Crawford. “We are really excited about the first colt out of Blue Beach (Beach Vibes – Hip #39). He’s super special.”
Beach Vibes is a bay son of American Ideal whose second dam is the Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue.
The Crawfords are also excited about their Chapter Seven yearlings and the first crop of Huntsville.
“Huntsville has those Somebeach traits and Huntsville is a big boy himself, a beautiful individual. Our Huntsvilles are probably as good looking a yearling as we have ever produced,” said Al Crawford.
Crawford Farm will send three Huntsvilles out on the opening night – Bounty Hunter (Hip #56), Foxhunt (Hip #67) and All About The Hunt (Hip #78).
All three colts are first foals. Bounty Hunter is out of Stonebridge Sundae (1:52.1; $115,998) and Foxhunt is out of Wrangler Magic (1:50.2; $897,021). All About The Hunt is out of All About Kisses (1:50.4; $520,503).
“(All About The Hunt) is probably one of the best looking, pound for pound, drop dead gorgeous. He’s probably the number one athlete when we shot the yearling tapes,” said Al.
An American Ideal filly that is also drawing the buyer’s attention is Hamptons Babe (Hip #105).
She is the second foal out the world champion mare, Anndrovette (1:48; $3,544,930).
“She’s stunning too,” added Michelle.
On the trotting side, the Crawfords are also excited about Pure Wow (Hip #91 – by Father Patrick out of No Pan No Gain).
“She is fabulous,” said Al. “She has had a lot of compliments. Several have said she could be our sale topper. She is Crazy Wow’s half-sister. She’s a gorgeous individual. She’s big and strong and absolutely flies.”
Despite what happens over the next few nights, the Crawfords may be one of a few folks not looking forward to seeing 2020 end.
Crawford Farm co-owns and bred the Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill, co-owns Sorella, the Hambletonian Oaks winner and the sophomore pacing star, Tall Dark Stranger.
“We went from COVID to no racing to a huge recession. It was painful in May and June, for the whole industry, including us,” said Al.
“We have broken all of our records in terms of earnings from our racing stock. To have the Hambo, the Oaks, the Meadowlands Pace, the Cane Pace and North America Cup all won in the same year is unbelievable.”
Concord new to selling in Lexington
A new consignment at this year’s sale will be the 13 trotters and a pacer offered by David Meirs III’s Concord Stud Farm.
It will the first time the Cream Ridge, NJ nursery will sell at the Lexington Select Sale.
“We had a couple of owners that wanted to sell their yearlings in Lexington this year. That’s the long and short of it,” said Meirs. “They wanted to try a different place to sell their yearlings. You can’t beat the atmosphere in Lexington that is for sure.”
Concord Stud Farm will sell nine trotters on the opening night – four Muscle Hills, three Chapter Sevens and a pair of Cantab Halls.
“We sure hope to have a very nice opening night,” said Meirs.
Headlining the ennead will be Monkey Queen (Hip #62). The Chapter Seven–Steamy Windows filly is the full sister to Gimpanzee.
“I would think she would be one of them at the top.”
Meirs is also high on is the sixth foal of Order By Wish, this one by Muscle Hill. Ghetto For Life (Hip #65) is a full sister to Marseille (1:51.4; $516,791) and Rome Pays Off (1:52.3; $402,934).
Meirs said he also thinks there could be plenty of bargains available in this year’s sale.
“I think there are several sleepers in the group. That is why buyers and the agents come look for those sleepers. Last week we had Chuck Sylvester’s colt (Arnold N Dicky a $17,000 purchase in the 2019 sale) set a world record at Delaware.”
Peninsula selling Maven’s baby
Carter Duer’s Peninsula Farms from nearby Georgetown, KY is a long-time fixture at the Lexington sale.
Last year, Peninsula Farms sold 43 yearlings for a $62,837 average. They will be selling 53 yearlings (46 trotters and 7 pacers) this year, including six during tonight’s opening session.
Peninsula Farms’ offerings include Pretender (Hip #114), who is by Muscle Hill out of the world champion Maven.
In 2018, Peninsula topped the Lexington sale when it sold Chestnut Hill for $410,000. The son of Muscle Hill out of Poof She’s Gone recently won the Canadian Trotting Classic.
Thoughts on online bidding
Do the consignors have any concerns with the COVID-19 economy or the new online bidding process?
“I am excited about online bidding, considering the situation. Both of the previous sales (Ohio and Goshen), I heard that online bidding was an important part of those sales and their success,” said Meirs.
“I think this sale is going to be firm. Kudos to all of the breeding farms for all of the videos, the 360 degree views and the vet reports. It’s giving the buyers a huge look at the yearlings without having to be there (in person). Most people have a trainer, an agent or another owner that they use to get one last look at the consignment,” said Al Crawford. “The New York breds should sell well, the Ohio breds are selling well. Pennsylvania is still in good shape. New Jersey looks like it is firm and Kentucky looks like it’s okay.”
“Al and I went to the thoroughbred sale at Fasig-Tipton to get a feel. People showed up,” said Michelle Crawford.
“I spoke with David Reid (who manages the Lexington sale with Randy Manges) and others and everyone feels we will hold our own. Horses that are going to warrant it will sell well.”