Lexington sale sets 16 records, including gross of more than $65 million and average of $73,690

The yearling sale concluded Friday night surpassing the previous record for gross by more than $8.5 million.

quotes by James Platz / story by Dave Briggs

The 2021 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale concluded Friday night (Oct. 7) setting 16 records, including new standards for gross ($65,289,000), average ($73,690), median ($46,500) and number of yearlings sold for $100,000 or more (196). The gross exceeded the previous record ($56,692,500 in 2021) by more than $8.5 million or 15 per cent. The sale also set the following records:

First session gross: $23,067,000 (up 24 per cent from $18,540,000 in 2021)

First session average: $189,074 (up 17 per cent from $161,217 in 2021)

First session 100,000+: 89 (up 29 per cent from 69 in 2021)

First session median: $160,000 (up 33 per cent from $120,000 in 2018)

Second session gross: $20,433,000 (up 14 per cent from $17,927,000 in 2021)

Second session average: $90,013 (up 7 per cent from $84,164 in 2021)

Second session 100,000+: 75 (up 23 per cent from 61 in 2021)

Third session gross: $11,989,000 (up 18 per cent from $10,169,000 in 2021)

Third session 100,000+: 25 (up 25 per cent from 20 in 2021)

Fourth session gross: $4,946,000 (up 3.7 per cent from $4,771,000 in 2021)

Fourth session average: $30,159 (up 4.3 per cent from $28,915 in 2021)

Fourth session median: $26,000 (up 4 per cent from $25,000 in 2017 and 2021)

“For the week, it was record gross, record average, record median, record number of $100,000 horses, so the wealth was really spread,” said sale co-manager David Reid. “Preferred Equine had a record sale. Steve Stewart at Hunterton had a record sale. I think Kentuckiana had a record sale. Hanover had an outstanding sale here. I think that’s equally impressive that there’s been a lot of breeders who have been rewarded for their efforts and their investments and their planning and their risk taking and we just hope it translates to a lot of champions on the racetrack and satisfies the purchaser’s dreams of winning classic races or major races.”

Reid’s co-manager, Randy Manges said, “I have a great crew, great consignors and the event seems to be working. Every year we seem to improve and we have a good group of people come to the sale and buy… a wonderful group of consignors, who do a perfect job with their horses.

“I knew it would be a good sale on the front end because the catalogue was so strong and I had seen a lot of the horses and I knew how good they looked… but to hold up and be how strong it was throughout the sale, I’m really gratified by that.”


The fifth session saw 138 yearlings gross $4,854,000 for an average of $35,174. The median was $25,000. Seven yearlings sold for $100,000 or more, the same as last year’s final session. The session was down 8 per cent from the 2021 gross of $5,285,000 and down 1.5 per cent from the session average of $35,713 also set last year.

“The session, year-over-year, was flat,” Reid said. “It was an even average, maybe down or up a little bit. The Downbytheseasides were very well-received. The Uncle Peters sold well. The Swan For Alls sold well. Racing Hills sold well, so it’s actually very satisfying or gratifying to see the strength and the continuity and consistency of those marketplaces.

“But it was a great night to finish off with the regional programs and you have the national trainers participating in the regional programs — Ron Burke is here, Brian Brown is here — and it’s just a testament to the programs that have gotten stronger over the years and it’s leveled the playing field somewhat because 15-20 years ago it was all about the Meadowlands. And now it’s not all about the Meadowlands because there are a lot of jurisdictions that are healthy and it’s good to see. It’s better for the industry overall and there’s a lot of parity and it showed here tonight.”

Manges said, “When I originally started (the regional final session), I didn’t know it was going to turn into what it’s turned into, but the main reason we did that was that the guys from the original program were busy racing and they couldn’t come here for a week. So, the thought was to spread out the regional horses so people could concentration on what they do in the horse business. Then, it turned into a good thing.”

Topping the session was Hip 809 Behest, a Downbytheseaside filly out of Endowment purchased for $200,000 by Brian Brown out of the Hunterton consignment.

“I had her mother,” Brown said. “She didn’t have good conformation. They bought her really cheap, but bought her for a broodmare and she did race a little bit and got a record, but she couldn’t stay sound, which wasn’t a big deal since they were buying her for a broodmare anyway.

“This filly had good conformation, actually great conformation. My partners on her were very excited to take a chance and they actually spent way more than we expected to… way more than we expected. The breeders, Robinson Brothers, I think they are staying in for a fourth, too. They are behind the mare and the foal and they believe in her, too, so they are going to stay in.”

Hip 802 Sea Jammer, a Downbytheseaside colt out of Dancin With Jammy sold to David Cohen, agent, for Micki Rae Stables of Subury, MA for $160,000.

Hip 869 Twenty Five, a Downbytheseaside colt out of Hula Shuffle sold to the Burke Racing Stable for $150,000.

Downbytheseaside led all sires in the final session with sales of $1,723,000 for 27 yearlings sold, an average of $79,370.

Brown, who trained Downbytheseaside, said, “That’s my horse. He’s been good to me as a racehorse and as a sire. Right now, in Ohio it seems like that’s what you’ve got to have for the Sires Stakes.”

Brown also both a Lather Up filly, Hip 825 Hot Shave, for $51,000.

“I probably spent a little more on her than we would’ve liked, too. It’s a good family, but a great individual,” Brown said.

David Yoder of Hickson Creek Farm sold two yearlings on Friday through Beth Yontz’s Anvil And Lace consignment — Hip 873 Flyin Bullets for $150,000 and Hip 878 Can’t Beat Me for $65,000.

“I was surprised that they brought that much,” Yoder said. “I’ve never had anything good enough to come to Lexington before.

“My expectations for the first one was from $50,000 to $70,000. The last one would be $50,000, at the highest. They did well.”

Yontz said, “The Seasides always sell great if you have a good one. It seems like they are either really high or really low. He did such a great job, the work was easy for me because I get to promote a good product. But, definitely with Seaside, you’ve got hope.”

Adam Bowden, owner of Diamond Creek that stands Downbytheseaside in Ohio at Sugar Valley Farm said, “I think that’s the kind of horse that he can produce. Obviously, not everybody is going to bring sky-high numbers, but you saw opening night when Brent MacGrath sold the sister to Beach Glass for $400,000-plus… I mean, (Downbytheseaside) has that ability now. He produces Grand Circuit horses. The breeders are getting rewarded. At this time, he stood for $6,000 stud fee so everybody is making money.

“It’s kind of turned into that Day 5 is Downbytheseaside night. We throw a big beach party to start it off, sort of liquor everybody up with free alcohol and food – just music and fun and kind of turn this into a little event. It’s worked out good for us, the breeders, the buyers. It’s great.”

Yontz said she was happy with the sale.

“I thought overall we did very well,” she said. “We talked early on and I thought the sale would be up and I think that proved out. Not having anything on the first night, I still held true to that. I think that nothing I had deserved to be on the first night. I think we did better holding them to the second night, bigger fish-smaller pond.”


Hanover Shoe Farms led all consignors by a wide margin when it came to average. Hanover averaged $194,174 for 23 yearlings sold in the first two days of the sale. It was the highest consignor average in the history of the sale.

Hanover sold three of the top 20 horses sold — Hip 80 Youbet Hanover for $550,000, Hip 47 Holy Grail Hanover for $435,000, Hip 200 Eunoia Hanover for $375,000

All American Harnessbreds were second this year with an average of $127,909 for 11 yearlings. Hunterton was third ($110,364, 88 yearlings) and Concord Stud ($108,714 for 14)


Preferred Equine led all consignors in gross sales with $11,261,000 for 145 yearlings.

Hunterton was second with sales of $9,969,000 for 96.

Hunterton sold the top two horses — sale topper Hip 57 Epoch for $725,000 and Hip 70 Vic Zelenskyy for $550,000 — the fourth highest priced yearling (Hip 63 Awaiting for $525,000) and eight of the top 20 yearlings by price.

Diamond Creek sold over $2.4 million worth of horses — good for 11th in the ranking — and bought the sale topper Epoch.

Bowden said, “the market is super strong and everybody is riding high. There’s no better time to be in the horse business and selling horses. The money is there to race, so people can justify paying these kind of prices, so that’s always good for breeders because they are just going to reinvest the money in mares and race fillies.”


Trainer Tony Alagna led all buyers in purchases. He spent $3,014,000 to take home 21 yearlings.

Douglas Overhiser was the second leading buyer with $2,223,000 in purchases for 18 yearlings. The Andy Miller Stable was right behind him with 15 horses purchased for a total of $2,142,000.

Gino Toscani bought the most horses. He signed for 33 yearlings and spent $1,448,000 to do so.


As for online bidding, the Proxibid platform sold 37 horses for a total of $1,167,000.

Zero horses were purchased online on opening night. On Tuesday, four were sold online for a total of $282,000. Online bidders were the underbidders on eight yearlings on night two. On Wednesday, seven horses were sold online for $255,000 total. On Thursday, 14 horses sold online for a total of $400,000. Three underbidders came via online bids. Finally, on Friday, 12 horses were purchased online for a total of $230,000.

“Obviously, it wasn’t as active as it was in prior years when people could not get here, but it was a tool that was helpful to plenty of buyers,” Reid said. “We’ve had a lot of interest in people getting approved. We know people are using it as a tool. Proxibid is a first-class company to deal with and we’re happy to have them to partner. It’s the best of both worlds because you can have a live sale and have Internet. We all know that online sales have taken off, especially in light of the pandemic, but we didn’t want to stop that because years ago people used to be able to phone bid and I think nowadays people feel comfortable just getting in front of the computer and bidding and it’s worked out well.”


The Lexington Selected Mixed Sale is tonight at Fasig-Tipton.

“I think it’s going to be good,” Reid said. “Quality always sells. It’s just a matter of how people perceive it. The racehorse market is good and we have some nice racehorses in there. We have some 2-year-olds that have shown some ability early that got off the trail a little bit, but I think they are going to sell well. Then, there are mares that are in foal to good sires, I think there is going to be good demand for that. We’ve got a nice group of weanlings over there. They had interest today and I would expect there will be interest tomorrow. I think the interest is going to be good.

“Whether you are here or need someone to look at the horses or whatever, they have the capabilities for bidding. I expect to have a solid sale tomorrow.”

The catalogue can be viewed here. The sale gets started at 7 p.m.