New owner Matt Morrison tops Summer Mixed Sale with $205,000 bid

New owner Matt Morrison tops Summer Mixed Sale with $205,000 bid

July 19, 2021

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Morrison purchased the French-bred sale topper Eurobond and three others at Sunday’s sale at the Meadowlands. Gino Toscani was the leading buyer, spending $290,000, total, to buy four horses via the sale’s online bidding portal.

by Dave Briggs

New owner Matt Morrison of Indiana, PA had a memorable day Sunday (July 18) at the Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale in the paddock at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.

Morrison, who bought his first horse in November of 2020, walked away with the sale-topper when he bid $205,000 for Hip #65 Eurobond, a 6-year-old son of French stallion Love You out of True Diva.

Eurobond, consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing, has earned more than $360,000 lifetime and sports a 1:50.1 mark set at 4 and a record of 17-5-5 in 57 career starts. This year, racing for his breeder Lindy Farms, along with Robert Rudolph, Eurobond has won five of six starts and $53,750 at Plainridge Park under the tutelage of Domenico Cecere.

Morrison bought 4-year-old Muscle Hill stallion King Alphonso for $145,000 at the Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale. King Alphonso has posted a record of 6-6-3 in 21 starts in 2021 and earned $63,635 racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

“We’ve been very pleased with (King Alphonso). Eurobond has won the last four and the last seven out of eight. He’s in a stakes race for $250,000 next weekend,” Morrison said of the Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park where Eurobond has raced exclusively this year.

“We’re looking for some solid open horses. He fit the bill.”

Morrison was the sale’s second leading buyer in gross sales with $283,500 spent, in all, on four horses. He also purchased hip #11 Paul’s Bandit for $5,500, hip #22 High Baller for $40,000 and hip #107 Me Too Baby for $33,000.

“I’m sure you don’t often write about the person that bought the most expensive horse and probably the cheapest horse in the same sale,” Morrison said, laughing, referring to Paul’s Bandit an unraced 2-year-old son of Heston Blue Chip out of Steuben Ruthless. Morrison bought the colt for his 13-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who was with him at The Meadowlands.

“Paul’s Bandit was very feisty coming over from the barn and was pretty much dragging the kid all over the place. (Elizabeth) looked at me and said, ‘I really like that horse.’ That’s how we ended up with that one. It’s going to be her first horse and she’ll probably change his name.

“Overall, it wasn’t a bad day after deciding just three days ago that we were going (to the sale).”

The auction’s leading buyer, Gino Toscani of Mount Hope, ON, spent $290,000, total, to purchase four horses via the sale’s ProxiBid online portal, including the only other horse to fetch a six-figure sale price. Toscano spent $165,000 to land hip #39 The Greek Freak, a 4-year-old gelded son of Captaintreacherous out of Thirty X from the Preferred consignment. Toscani also bought hip #11 Rhodium for $23,000, hip #23 Jane Diamond for $52,000 and hip #25 Lou Ed Zeppelin for $50,000.

“Those horses will be racing in Canada and hopefully they can race well in Ontario,” Toscani said.

As for The Greek Freak, Toscani said the pacer’s lines looked good and, “Hopefully, he can race in the open at Mohawk.”

The Greek Freak has earned $265,394 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and his partners, but is winless in 10 starts this year.

The third highest-priced horse sold was Tango Dancer N, a 6-year-old A Rocknroll Dance—Tango Lady mare bought for $95,000 by Adriano Sorella of Guelph, ON from Preferred. Tango Dancer N has earned nearly $150,000 lifetime and was trained most recently by Kelvin Harrison.

Overall, 78 racehorses collectively sold for $2,704,500 to produce an average of $34,673 and a median of $28,500.

This is the first time since 2019 that Tattersalls has held a Summer Mixed Sale. Comparing this year to two years ago, the average was up 36 per cent and the median was up 50 per cent. In 2019, 82 horses were sold for a total gross of $2,084,000, an average of $25,415 and a median of $19,000. Celebrity Eventsy topped that sale with a bid of $95,000.

Sale manager David Reid said he thought this year’s sale “was huge” for a variety of reasons.

“We kept the entries open later than we normally would, just because we always want to increase our numbers. So, we kept them open a little later at the request of some of our consignors. Then we were able to add 14 to the supplement,” Reid said.

“You always want to have more horses to offer, but the marketplace is what it is. This time of year, when you have so many jurisdictions racing it really is the prime time to sell horses for a lot of different reasons.”

Reid said the biggest factor driving strong numbers was there were quality racehorses in the catalogue.

“The majority of horses were racing, several of them are winning, they’re racing on all-sized tracks, we had several aged pacers, several aged mares, trotting horses, trotting mares, trotting 2-year-olds that sold okay early on today, 3-year-olds that sold well. I think it was just a good-quality catalogue,” he said.

“The crowd was great. We created a little seating shortage in the paddock because with the January sale we did have some (COVID-19) restrictions, so we just kept the social distancing, but we ran out of chairs and I felt bad about that because it was hot and humid in there.

“The sale had a great pace to it and once again, we had the online portal to take the online bids and that provided plenty of activity as well as the great crowd that we had that was very energetic. We ended up selling 13 horses online for $642,000, which is nearly a $49,000 average. Obviously, the online experience does allow people from wherever to bid. We had European presence today, a strong Canadian presence today with Gino Toscani and Brad Grant, who bought a couple, and a few other Canadians. We had in-person attendance from people from Delaware, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York. It was really just a rewarding day for everyone. I can’t thank them enough for their participation, both the buyers and the sellers.

“I just now hope the horses go on and do good things for the new owners.”

Reid’s Preferred Equine sold 64 horses, grossing $2,254,000 for an average of $35,219.

Bob Boni’s Northwood Bloodstock sold 10 horses, grossing $314,500 for an average of $31,450. Diamond Creek Farm, agent, sold one horse for $77,000 and Ricky Bucci sold three horses for a total gross of $59,000 and an average of $19,667.

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