Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale grosses more than $6.91 million; average up 6.5 per cent

Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale grosses more than $6.91 million; average up 6.5 per cent

October 25, 2020

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by James Platz

Uncertainty has marked much of horse racing in 2020, and has filtered into the sales arena. Leading into the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, consignors were uncertain as to what Indiana-sired trotters and pacers would bring in the marketplace. Saturday afternoon (Sept. 24), at the conclusion of the two-day session, it was clear that despite the pandemic, money was still available to spend on top-quality babies. Last year, the Hoosier Classic sale made history in selling a pair of trotters for $175,000 apiece. This year, JK’s Speed, a colt from the second crop of JK Endofanera eclipsed that standard in the opening session, purchased by Nancy Takter for 3 Brothers Stable for $240,000. She also bought another colt from the sire, Royal JK, for $115,000. Victory Hill Farm consigned both colts and stands JK Endofanera for 3 Brothers Stable, who owns and campaigned the double millionaire.

“We thought they were our two nicest colts. Our expectations were nothing like what they brought,” said a surprised Maria King, who owns Victory Hill with her husband, Jeff. “The JK’s have raced very well. We’re very excited about that. When you breed three years ahead of time, you have no way of knowing what will be in demand. If the JK’s didn’t race well, they wouldn’t have attracted the attention.

“With the way this year has been, I’m just so grateful that we’ve been able to keep racing and sell horses and continue on. I think that’s great that we can stay where we were last year or be a little better.”

Offspring of JK Endofanera and trotting stallion Swan For All led the way during a two-day sale that produced a 6.5 per cent increase in average over 2019 levels. A total of 360 yearlings passed through the ring, grossing just over $6.91 million and averaging $19,202. Last year Hoosier Classic Sale Company LLC sold 358 yearlings for a gross of $6.45 million and average of $18,028. This year’s average still trails numbers from 2017 ($19,527) and 2018 ($19,449) when the median reached $15,000, up from the $12,000 achieved this weekend.

“I am amazed at the resilience of horsemen as they continue to forge ahead and stay focused on brighter days ahead,” said sale manager Steve Cross. “I’m very optimistic about the Indiana program as Grand Circuit owners continue to buy into the program.”

A group of 48 sired by JK Endofanera sold Friday and Saturday, bringing a gross of nearly $1.34 million and averaging $27,900. Spurred by the success of his first crop, auctioneers hammered down two dozen colts for an average of $38,021, while another 24 fillies averaged $17,779. The sale topper, cataloged as Hip #116, is out of 100 per cent producing Always A Virgin mare Safta Perry. The colt is a brother to Rockin Speed, a gelded son of Rockin Image with a mark of 1:49.1 and earnings exceeding $280,000. Royal JK, Hip #105 in the catalog, is a brother to Little Rocket Man, now co-owner of the all-age track record at Harrah’s Hoosier Park and winner of $288,530. Besides the pair of six-figure colts, the sire produced four other yearlings that brought $50,000 or more.

Swan For All yearlings are always in high demand, and the trend continued this weekend with two bringing six figures. Happy Space, part of the Wilt Standardbred consignment as Hip #150, fetched $112,000, sold to S & R Racing Stable. The filly is the first foal from a Muscles Yankee mare that is a sister to Somebody To Love, a winner of more than $600,000 in her career. Bo DeLong purchased Swan Captain, cataloged as Hip #184, for a $100,000 final bid. The colt is a brother to Father Patrick filly Shishito ($297,383) and Warrior One ($191,526). Cumulatively, 47 Swan For All progeny passed through the sale ring, grossing $1.32 million and averaging $28,085, with colts averaging less than $1,000 more than the fillies.

The first crop of Dover Dan was well received by buyers Friday and Saturday. A total of 42 offspring from the trotter were auctioned for an average slightly under $20,000. A quartet garnered bids of $50,000 or more led by Hip #81, Ponda Gonzalez. Consigned by Pond A Acres, the colt is a brother to Indiana Sires Stakes final winner Ooh La Lala, and the dam, Dandelion Dust, is a sister to millionaire Hez Striking and Tady Strikes Again. Tom Pollack made the final bid for $65,000.

Lady Bellatrix, a sister to Kaks Rockin ($69,939) and freshman JK She’s Gordjus ($52,242) led a group of eight sired by Odds On Equuleus. Bluebird Meadows consigned the filly, purchased by Brian Brown for $50,000. First crop sire Luck Be Withyou was represented by 41 babies sold for an average of $10,097. Fox Valley Monaco, a colt consigned by Walker Standardbreds topped the group with a $30,000 final bid. Benita Simmons signed the ticket.

DeLong spent the most of any buyer over the course of two days. The Clinton, WI resident signed a dozen slips totaling $460,000. Pollack purchased seven yearlings. He fell short in an attempt to land the sale topper, but went to $82,000 on Shared By Me, a JK Endofanera colt consigned by Victory Hill that topped the second session. All told, his purchases amounted to $392,000.

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