Should Downbytheseaside still be a fifth-session stallion?

The pros and cons of progeny of the red hot Ohio stallion being included in the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale’s regional session.

by Dave Briggs

Lexington Selected Yearling Sale co-manager Randy Manges said there’s several good reasons offspring of red-hot Ohio sire Downbytheseaside are all selling in the sale’s fifth and final session on Saturday (Oct. 9) rather than the better bred ones appearing earlier in the sale.

Manges said reserving the final session mostly for Midwest horses has proven to be a financial winner for the sale and its consignors and it helps Midwestern horsepeople by confining the region’s horses to a single session.

“To me, it helps the sale as well as it helps those people that have bred those horses. I think it’s a better deal for them,” Manges said. “A lot of the trainers that are in the regional programs… they run a 10 or 15-horse stable. They don’t have second trainers and it’s hard for them to be gone four or five days. If they know that all of the horses they are interested in are selling on Saturday, then they come in Friday afternoon to look at yearlings and they are on their way Saturday night.”

The final night of the 2020 Lexington auction was the most successful final session in the sale’s history based on every category. The session, which was made up of mostly Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky-breds, saw 168 yearlings sell for a total gross of $4,943,000 for an average of $29,423 and a median of $20,000. Six yearlings reached $100,000 or more.

“I think it’s worked so well that I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to be on that day,” Manges said. “We have done so well with that regional session at the end of the sale.”

Though, the sale does make rare exceptions to sell top Midwestern horses earlier. This year, Hanna Too Hanover, the Indiana-sired full-sister to 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover is selling in the first session as hip 73. Also, a Creatine full-brother to Jujubee is selling in the third session as hip 479 (Canterasprings).

“We sold a Manofmanymissions, three or four years ago, out of the dam of Pinkman. Steve Jones sold a sister to Chapter Seven a year or two ago. We make excuses, but usually not on the side of the sire but on the side of the dam,” Manges said.

But Northwood Bloodstock’s Bob Boni questioned whether Downbytheseaside had not done enough already from his first crop to warrant inclusion in earlier sessions.

“I know it’s because Ohio is a regional program, but let me ask you a question, isn’t New York a regional program?’ Boni asked. “The success that this horse is having… he does not fit the profile of a regional sire. I understood when they were selling McArdles or Always A Virgins later… but what’s the difference between New York and Ohio right now?”

Boni said he’s selling a “beautiful” Downbytheseaside filly that is a half-sister to 2-year-old pacing colt of the year Boston Red Rocks.

“She’s the first Downbytheseaside from the mare and she’s a sister to a Breeders Crown winner. That’s pretty good. Let’s put it this way, if she was an American Ideal, she’s a day two or day three, at worst,” he said. “(Downbytheseaside) has an undefeated colt and an undefeated filly. I was surprised this year that they didn’t handle the Downbytheseasides a little differently.”

Boni said, to be fair, while Downbytheseaside has dominated in Ohio, he has yet to produce a Grand Circuit champion, “but there’s no reason to believe that he won’t.”

Blue Chip Farm’s Tom Grossman said he heard some Ohio horsepeople took Downbytheseaside being in the last session, “as an affront early on, but then they sold so well that they sort of forgot about their complaints.

“I like it this way. I think a lot of the Midwest, Ohio crowd comes out later in the sale and maybe isn’t there for the first day or two and having them all lumped together there, I don’t think is a negative at all,” Grossman said. “I think the idea is to keep all of the Ohio-breds where people don’t have to be there six days to bid on all the Ohio-breds, if they are just looking for an Ohio-bred, which I think makes sense.”

All American is selling seven yearlings the first two nights of the sale and then has to wait until the fifth session to sell its Ohio-breds, four of which are Downbytheseasides. Yet, All American’s Rob Tribbett said that’s still probably the best way to do it.

“I don’t think (Downbytheseaside) has been relegated. I think that it does allow you to have all of them in one day,” Tribbett said. “There’s a reason why all the furniture stores are on one street. I think it allows buyers to go through the mix. There’s going to be Seasides that sell for $200,000 and some that sell for $20,000. I like the idea of having them all together.

“I understand the argument that he could certainly sell on any day, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea, especially when we were making the decision (about sale order) and we didn’t have all the data yet. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

“The rising tide lifts all boats, too, so I think that will help the day as a whole.”