by James Platz
Carter Duer has shown himself to be a stalwart in the industry, dedicating his life to breeding and raising top-notch racehorses. At the age of 83, he doesn’t mince words, and his assessment of Peninsula Farm’s 2022 Lexington offering is, frankly, pretty matter of fact. With 48 yearlings cataloged, the numbers are not what Peninsula once sold in its heyday. And while the consignment’s quality may not be what he would like, Duer feels his roster includes some strong individuals.
“Overall, a lot of my horses are maybe a touch below what I would have liked to have on some days. But that’s what I’ve got, so I’ve got to do the best with what I’ve got,” he said. “I do think that there are some good horses in there. I don’t think I have any bell ringers, but I think there are some horses in there that, some way or another, you’ll hear about next year.”
While Duer would prefer not to sell on opening night, a trio of trotters in the Monday session represent Peninsula Farm. Hip 8 Nightime Dreamer is a Muscle Hill first foal from O’Brien Award winning mare Illusioneesta 2,Q2:02.2; 3,1:55.4; BT1:54.3s ($269,885). Hip 52 Magic Bee is a Father Patrick filly that is sister to the great Bee A Magician. Hip 112 Mr Frodo is a Muscle Hill first foal out of Cantab Hall mare The Erm 2,1:56; 3,1:54.4f; 4,1:50.3 ($209,178).
“It’s a very strong first night. The Muscle Hill filly is very, very nice. And the colt is nice,” Duer said. “The Father Patrick is a very nice filly and would have a lot of residual value I would think.”
One of the largest segments of the Peninsula roster is a group of seven from the first crop of Greenshoe. Four individuals sell on Tuesday, with the last three slated for Wednesday.
“I’ve been very impressed with the Greenshoes. I wasn’t a fan of his going in. I’ve got seven of them that we’ve had here and we’ve raised most of them. They’re pretty nice horses,” Duer said. “He’s got a little baggage that goes along with him, but I think people ought to give him a chance. I’ve been kind of impressed with the ones I have here. They’ve been good since they were born, really.”
Filly Boom Chicka Boom (Hip 201) is the first foal from a full-sister to Plunge Blue Chip and sells on Tuesday. Filly Green Mercedes (Hip 187) is the second foal from stakes winner Danielle Hall, who has produced Mr Zuanetti. Colt Not A Bad Drink (Hip 179) is the first foal from Breeders Crown elimination winner Champagne Jane. Colt This Oneisonme (Hip 472) is the second foal from Im All Pink, a full-sister to Hambletonian champ Pinkman.
Duer is also partial to Hip 245 Beyondgone, an International Moni filly that is a half-sister to Trotter of the Year Jujubee. Raised at Wickey Stables, the filly sells on Tuesday.
“She’s an International Moni and she’s out of the dam of Jujubee, and she is top notch, I can tell you that. There will be a lot of them bringing more money than she will, but she is really a nice filly,” he said. “I think that horse (International Moni) has had a very good start. He’s done very well for the caliber of mares that he had.”
Last year, Walner led all sires in gross and average, and Peninsula Farm will offer four, all selling on Tuesday. The lot includes three colts and a filly, Tomah, Hip 262, is a colt out of Malvictorian 2,Q2:03.3; 3,2:00f; BT1:56.4 ($111,123), dam of six winners from eight foals, with two in 1:55.
The resurgence of the Kentucky program has led to better racing opportunities, but it is also raising the level of competition on the track and in the marketplace. Horses that are dual-eligible have more value at auction and have helped to boost the sale.
Duer feels that the strength of Kentucky, paired with Ohio and Indiana, is elevating the profile of breeding and racing in the Midwest.
“Things are very bright in Kentucky, I think. If you consider that you can sell here in Kentucky and then the programs in Ohio in Indiana, I think it’s going to bring a lot of people out of the East to this part of the country. I really do. We’re going for more money than they’re going for. We needed that. I wish it was a situation where we could have sires again. The way this is, you don’t need it. It’s very good for breeders.”