by James Platz
When the inaugural Northern Indiana Yearling Speed Sale kicked off last fall, sale consultant Richard Fry noted that he would like to see a catalog that offered around 125 yearlings. A total of 63 horses sold in that first auction, laying the groundwork for a 2022 catalog featuring 118 Indiana-sired babies. The second edition took place Saturday (Sept. 10) at the Topeka Livestock Auction in Topeka, IN, with Helpisontheway filly SJ’s Royal’s Help topping the session with a bid of $87,500.
“With the pedigree she had, she would never have to even look through a bridle to be a broodmare. I think that contributed to her price because there were a lot of breeders here looking for a broodmare, and she would have fit the bill,” said Fry, who consigned the filly as agent through his Double R Farm.
Cataloged as Hip 9, SJ’s Royal’s Help is from the second crop of red-hot Indiana trotting sire Helpisontheway. That, combined with the fact she is a half-sister to O’Brien Award winner Random Destiny, dam of the great racehorse and young sire Walner, and the filly was in high demand, with several looking to acquire the trotter. In the end, Ohioan Greg Luther made the final bid, driving from the Buckeye State with the intent on bringing her home.
“Obviously, I like the fact that it is the first filly the mare has had since the filly that had Walner. This is a sister to Walner’s mom. We’re definitely doing well on the trotting side, and being that she is a Helpisontheway, I’ve got a really good one this year in Yo Beth D, so I’ve been impressed with those,” said Luther shortly after the winning bid. “I’m very excited to see how she does here. She looks the part. I talked to the consignor. He said he just couldn’t get her into the (Hoosier) Classic sale in time, which is why she came up here. I made the extra-long trip to look at one horse. I’m glad she was early.”
All told on the day, 114 yearlings passed through the sale ring Saturday with gross sales of $814,200 and an average of $7,142. Fry was pleased with the results, and would like to see the sale continue to grow.
“I thought it was great. The attendance was good, the buyers were here. We received some good feedback from people. Overall, I thought it was a very good sale,” he said. “We’ll just play it by ear, but I think it’s just going to get bigger and better. The facility can hold up to 375 horses. We’re at 120, so we still have room to expand.”
Following SJ’s Royal’s Help, the next highest priced yearling on the sale sheet was another from the Double R Farm consignment. High Frequency, a Dover Dan colt cataloged as Hip 88, brought $20,000. The colt is a half-brother to Swan For All freshman Duracell, last year’s sale topper which is currently racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Denise Dennis signed the ticket.
The sale topper helped propel Helpisontheway to leading trotting sire of the session. Five of the eight yearlings sired by the son of Chapter Seven brought five figures, averaging $18,406. Muscle Massive slotted next on the list, with four babies averaging $13,563. Musclefantastic, Hip 20 in the sale, led the group with a $17,000 final bid. Consigned by Perry Bontrager, the colt is a full-brother to Indiana Sires Stakes leg winner Luv Lorelei, and was purchased by John Herschberger.
On the pacing side, Townline It Is brought the highest price, hammered down for $17,000. The Tellitlikeitis colt, consigned as agent by Walnut Ridge Equine, is out of the Cam’s Card Shark mare Frequent Flyer. The yearling is a half-brother to El’s Rocker, a four year old that has hit the board in six of 10 seasonal starts with a 1:51 win at Miami Valley for owner/trainer/driver Mike Peterson. The Anderson-based horseman signed the slip on the colt. Progeny of Tellitlikeitis sold well at the Topeka sale. The group of four yearlings averaged $11,250.
This year’s catalog included consignments from both established Indiana breeders and newcomers. Fry was pleased to see veterans including Schwartz Boarding Farm, Hoosier Standardbred Farm and Black Creek Farm enter horses. He also received positive feedback from those new to the sale experience.
“Some of them were first timers that didn’t know where to start, so they figured they would try Topeka,” Fry said. “Fifty per cent of them came back and said they were very happy, and the others were happy.”