by Dave Briggs
Blue Chip owner Tom Grossman said his farm has never sold a super high-priced yearling before — “I don’t think we’ve ever been in the Top 5, but I could be wrong,” he said — but that could change at this year’s Standardbred Horse Sales Company (SHSC) auction which begins Monday (Nov. 8) in Harrisburg, PA.
He’s talking about Hip 300 Unicorn Blue Chip, a Chapter Seven filly out of Dunk The Donato, the dam of Plunge Blue Chip, Splash Blue Chip and Threepointbluechip.
“In the last week, the 3-year-old (Splash) was third in the Breeders Crown and the 2-year-old (Threepointbluechip) won the Matron. The individual looks just like what a Chapter Seven should look like,” Grossman said.
“We’ve had a glass ceiling on us for a lot of reasons, I think… I don’t want to jinx myself but I think we can break our glass ceiling anyway.
“Everyone has those mares that sort of define the farm and (Dunk The Donato) is that. We loved the Walner colt last year and he fell through the cracks pretty good (selling for $115,000). I don’t want to jinx myself, but the last week has just been fuel to the fire in terms of the family heating up.”
Blue Chip will sell around 40 yearlings in Harrisburg, about 25 of its own and the others for clients.
“I have two Bettors Delight colts selling early, both are really superb. Hip 62 (Urika Blue Chip), Gallie On Thebeach’s filly and Bathsheba’s is Hip 198 (Uriel Blue Chip). They are both out of really nice Somebeachsomewhere mares, which is purposeful. I went and bought a bunch of Somebeach mares particularly to breed to Bettors Delight because I love the cross. These two have really come out looking the part.
“Bettors Delight is rarely going to sell that astronomic-priced horse… I mean, all they do is win, but they don’t look ‘Wow.’ Obviously, I’ve seen 1,000 Bettors Delight yearlings and these two are as good and as modern as you could look. Both happen to be exceptional in the paddock when we turn them out. I’m very excited about those.
“One other on my highlight list is an International Moni later in the sale, Hip 699 (Uno Mas Blue Chip). I really believe in International Moni for all the obvious reasons. I think if there’s a knock, sometimes they can look a little European or old-fashioned, in general. This one doesn’t. This one is a very modern, lighter model than the International Monis that I’ve seen. It’s one of those mares that hasn’t had a lot of production and I happen to know that there were very good excuses on a couple of the yearlings that didn’t make it. To be frank, that’s exactly the kind of filly that I try to buy – there’s a very deep back pedigree that hasn’t had a lot of production recently, but I think in my mind that I know why or I can give her a valid excuse for several of them. If that one hits, then you have a great pedigree. If it doesn’t, you have a decent pedigree. You have a lot of leverage in racing a filly like that. I’ll be trying to buy three or four with that exact same story out of other people’s consignment. So, I would highlight her as well.
Grossman pointed to Hip 695 Urchin Blue Chip as his value pick.
“She’s an Always B Miki, the only one that we’re selling. Obviously, he’s hot as hell. Again, that’s a mare with tremendous pedigree. This mare herself has not produced yet, but I know a very good reason for a least two of them not making it when they were meant to be good horses. Everyone likes their own cooking, but that’s the kind of mare that I would be looking to buy as well.”