by Dave Briggs
Hanover Shoe Farms’ consignment at Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s (SHSC) auction in Timonium, MD is as loaded with talent as ever, but Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, the farm’s executive vice-president and syndicate manager, said Hanover is particularly deep in the trotting filly department this year, which includes a filly that is “about as impressive a package as you can get.”
“I think the best one in our consignment is number (hip #) 86 (Delilah Hanover), a Muscle Hill out of Danielle Hanover. She’s just beautiful, great conformation, great in the paddock… There’s no holes,” Jablonsky said. “I’ve had several people say that she’s the nicest trotting filly that they’ve seen this year, so we’re very excited and hopeful for her.”
Danielle Hanover is a Cantab Hall-sired half-sister to 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover.
“We have another Muscle Hill filly, number 9 (Peyton Hanover), again out of a Cantab mare,” Jablonsky said. “We have two Bar Hopping fillies that I think are tremendous, Hip 23 (Stowe Hanover), she’s only the second foal from the dam of Snowstorm Hanover. She’s a gorgeous filly. And then Hip 155 is a beautiful Bar Hopping filly (Mimi Ocean Hanover). She’s a great-gaited filly.
“It doesn’t always happen that your best-looking horses have the best pedigrees, but that’s what we have. Trotting filly-wise it’s extraordinary. If you’re looking for a trotting filly, we have choices galore. I mean, 86 is a standout, but right below her all of them are great.”
Hanover is selling 237 yearlings this year. In the pacing colt department, Jablonsky said her favorite is Hip #93 Energetic Hanover, a Captaintreacherous out of Eloquent Grace.
“I think he’s just beautiful. He’s a great moving colt and he’s got that wow factor when you look at him. He’s just got presence. I really like him.
“And then the brother to Papi Rob Hanover, number 5 (Pompeo Hanover), he’s a really nice-looking colt. And the full brother to Filibuster Hanover (Hip #101 Frozen Hanover). That would be the only full brother that Filibuster will have and he’s a very, very nice colt.”
Frozen Hanover is from the final crop of the late, great Somebeachsomewhere and was conceived with frozen semen.
“Also, there’s kind of a sleeper pacing colt and it’s the very first horse selling on the second day, Hip 160 (Nautical Hanover), a Captaintreacherous colt out of a Western Ideal mare. He’s a great-looking colt…. I think he’s really nice,” Jablonsky said.
“Pacing filly-wise, I think we have a real standout in Hip 65 (Boudoir Hanover), the first foal out of Bedroomconfessions and it’s a Captain filly and what better filly sire is there out there right now than Captaintreacherous? His fillies just dominate things. She’s a big, beautiful filly. A very, very classy filly. She’s a real standout if you’re looking for a high-end pacing filly.
“Other pacing fillies, Hip 148 (Marlys Hanover), another Captain filly out of a mare that’s done really good things.”
In the trotting colt department, Jablonsky highlighted Hannelore Hanover’s half-brother, H O Y Hanover (Hip #119) by first-crop sire Walner.
“He’s a beautiful colt but he’s not a typical Walner. He’s a little bit more refined, with a little bit less size to him than what I’ve seen of Walners,” Jablonsky said.
“Then we have the full brother to Manchego, Hip 20 (Stilton Hanover). We have two beautiful Father Patricks, 84 (Dustin Hanover) and 113 (Gonna B Hanover). We have a beautiful Bar Hopping at 51 (Whiskey Hanover).
“And a colt that just for some reason grabs me… he’s out of an older mare, but he’s E L Titan and New York-bred at Hip 134 (Lets Go Hanover). I just like him. Since he was a baby, I have liked him.
“For our Canadian customers, I think Hip 81 (Creed Hanover) is a really beautiful Kadabra colt.”
As for selling in a different facility this year, Jablonsky said there was a lot to like about the Maryland State Fairgrounds.
“The horses are in permanent stalls and they really seem to like that and there’s a lot of room for showing. In this year, with the threat of COVID-19, people are spread out, people are in the fresh air. I’m sure a less people are going to go home sick than from the regular Harrisburg,” she said. “The sales pavilion itself is quite nice. It’s an amphitheater-style with nice seats. It’s sort of a toned-down, miniature Fasig-Tipton. That’s what it reminds me of. Quite nice.
“I was just telling someone, if we were sitting here and it was September and it was 70 degrees and sunny, this would be the absolute best place besides Lexington that you could be.
“It’s weather-dependent. That’s the advantage that Harrisburg has. People complain about Harrisburg and it does have its negatives – the horses are in temporary stalls, the horse are standing on concrete for a week, which I anticipate a lot less swollen legs and injuries because the horses are in their stalls. But the one thing about Harrisburg is that it’s indoors and it’s not weather-dependent and I think it’s easy to navigate.”
Jablonsky said she expects the SHSC sale is, “going to mirror Lexington. The good horses are going to sell as well and there’s going to be bargains to be had in the lower echelons of yearlings. The mid-to-lower is going to hold up as well as it sometimes does. Having said that, when you’re consigning 237 yearlings, what you hope for is that the high-end horses and the middle-high-end horses, maybe top 50-60 per cent of your horses sell well enough in a year like this that they prop up the bottom. It’s your gross, it’s not any individual horse. You can’t get hung up on your $300,000 horse or your $3,000 horse. At the end of the day, you’ve got to go home and see what your total sales were.
“It’s not going to be 2019. People would be foolish if they think it’s going to be 2019 with the results, but it’s not going to be the disaster that it could’ve been.
“I’m really just hoping that everyone gets through the week safely and we just have a good week here. I just really want to reach out and applaud the industry for being so resilient. We’ve had so many come through the fairgrounds and they are complying with the masks and social distancing and they are just enthusiastic to buy horses. It really makes me proud to be in this business because we haven’t let what a sorry state the world is in get us down. We still love great horses and we still want to buy great horses. Everyone is so enthusiastic and it makes me happy.”