Concord Stud hoping to repeat last year’s lofty Harrisburg numbers

by James Platz

Last year at Harrisburg, Concord Stud Farm sold the sale topper for $750,000 and finished with an average that exceeded $100,000. These are lofty numbers to attempt to match this week, but Julie Meirs is confident that the Cream Ridge, NJ nursery’s consignment has quality, and a little variety for everyone. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a trio of trotters that are siblings to some of this season’s best performers.

“No pressure,” Meirs said, laughing. “We’ve got a great consignment top to bottom. We’ve got a little bit of everything. Something for everybody at all price points.”

Leading the consignment is Hip 101, Monticello, a Chapter Seven brother to the great trotting mare and triple millionaire Atlanta. Last fall, In Italian, a full-sister to Monticello, topped the sale. The filly has won twice this season, including a New York Sire Stakes leg,

“He’s much more correct than Atlanta was when she was a yearling. A little bit bigger than she was as well. He’s a Chapter Seven, so he’s not huge, but he is bigger than she was, and he’s more correct than she was,” said Meirs. “I’m excited to see what he is able to do. Last year it was exciting to sell that one. I don’t know where we’re going to be with this one.”

Bred by Stefan Balazsi’s Order By Stable, Monticello is one of 13 yearlings the Swedish breeder will sell at Harrisburg.

“We had a discussion about it, and for him, he split his consignment straight down the middle; 50 per cent went to Lexington and 50 per cent went to Harrisburg, so we had 13 at each sale,” Meirs said.

Another that should attract high interest is Jinx Blackout, Hip 18 in the catalog. The Walner filly is a sibling to Hambletonian champion Cool Papa Bell, now a millionaire. The yearling is out of Muscle Hill mare Blk Thai Optional.

Four hips after Monticello sells, Concord will offer Superior Stats, a full-brother to Mohawk Million winner Oh Well. The freshman is a four-time winner in 2022, with $740,118 on his card and a mark of 1:53.1. Last year he brought $530,000 at Harrisburg, consigned under the name Lord Bridgerton. Superior Stats is the second foal from Cantab Hall mare Fine Tuned Lady.

In Or Out, Hip 43, may not have a notable sibling to count in her pedigree, but the Captaintreacherous filly has the look and comes from a productive family. She is the third foal from a sister to millionaire Bedroomconfessions, dam of Boudoir Hanover. In Or Out is Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund eligible.

“She is a standout individual. She’s A Captaintreacherous filly and you get the wow when she’s on the floor. She grabs your attention,” Meirs said.

Last year, Concord led all consignors in average with 59 horses selling for an average of $109,932. The farm was the only consignor to top six figures. This year the roster totals 68 yearlings, with 31 selling on Monday.

“We are heavy Monday this year. We’ve got a significant number selling Monday, but we’ve got great horses on Wednesday as well. We just don’t have the high end where you’re just coming and looking on Monday and you’re going to leave,” explained Meirs.

A high percentage of the yearlings sold under the Concord banner are products of the farm. Meirs said that intimate knowledge of each horse plays to their advantage.

“Most of our consignment has been raised on the farm. We have a handful that aren’t raised there, but come and get their finishing touches put on at the farm. A couple meet us at the sale,” she stated. “But for most of the consignment, we’ve been part of their life from day one. They took their first breath at Concord Farm and we really know them in and out and can help the buyer find what they’re looking for.”

Just as the extensive knowledge of the consignment is key, so also are long-established relationships with buyers.

“This isn’t a huge business. Clients come back year after year, and we’ve got a lot of people that come and say, ‘Show me what you think I want to see.’ Since they’ve been coming year after year, we can get a good handle on what it is they are looking for and what they want to look at. I think that’s important,” Meirs noted.

The Concord consignment consists of yearlings representing 30 different sires from six different jurisdictions. When Meirs says they have something for everyone, she means it.

“That’s something that we consider when we determine who we breed our mares to. We really try to make sure that within the Concord-owned horses, we are not too heavy with one jurisdiction,” she said. “We like to spread it around and make sure we are really hitting everything if we can. When it comes time for the sales, we have something for everywhere.”