Day At The Track

Brooklyn Hill at $390,000 tops Day 1 at Harrisburg

01:40 PM 04 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Brooklyn Hill, harness racing Stepenwolf Hanover, harness racing
Brooklyn Hill was the sale topper at $390,000
USTA/Mark Hall photo
Stepenwolf Hanover brought $300,000
Mark Hall/USTA Photo

Harrisburg, PA --- Buying a yearling is just one step in the process of getting a racehorse, or perhaps more accurately getting a horse to the races, as trainer Jonas Czernyson is well aware.

Czernyson, acting on behalf of Swedish interests, bought colt trotter Brooklyn Hill for a sales-topping $390,000 at the opening day of the Standardbred Horse Sale on Monday. Brooklyn Hill, by 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill, is the first foal out of the stakes-winning mare Brooklyn, and his family includes past standouts Pizza Dolce and Creamy Mimi.

"Now I just have to make sure he can perform," Czernyson said with a laugh. "Now I've got my hands full. We've just got to hope for the best now. But he's a very nice looking colt. I think we should be OK."

Brooklyn Hill was one of two yearlings to sell for at least $300,000 and among five horses to sell for at least $200,000. Colt pacer Stepenwolf Hanover, a son of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere out of the stakes-winning mare So Perfect, sold for $300,000 to a group led by Myron Bell.

Last year's first day sales-topper sold for $355,000.

A total of 221 yearlings were sold Monday, with 41 horses - 18.5 percent - reaching at least $100,000, a slight increase compared to last year when 39 of 218 horses - 17.8 percent - hit that level.

Overall numbers, though, dropped slightly. This year's first day averaged $60,955, a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to the $65,239 average in 2013. This year's numbers, however, were 13.5 percent better than the $53,684 opening-day average in 2012.

In September, the first night of the Lexington Selected Sale saw 97 yearlings sell for an average of a single-session record $104,959, a 21.6 percent increase over 2013.

"We were down a little bit over last year," Standardbred Horse Sales Company President Pete Spears said. "Unlike Lexington, we don't necessarily stack our Monday as heavily. Whether this represents a real shortfall, or whether this means people are going to pay more (Tuesday), I can't really tell.

"We do have consignors who would rather sell on Tuesday, or even on Wednesday and Thursday, and we usually go along with their wishes. Overall, I think the figures look a little light, but I think we'll have a better idea where we are later in the week."

Spears said the first day's outcome didn't mirror traffic for the sale.

"When I talked to the consignors they said the traffic at their farms was as heavy as it's been in many years," Spears said. "Traffic at the sale has been huge. Yesterday morning at 8 a.m. people were inspecting horses. They were here at 6 o'clock last night and even later inspecting horses. This morning I was here at 8 a.m. and the place had more people inspecting horses than I've seen in years at that time.

"I think people looked, they just didn't necessarily spend. We'll see whether they have money in their pockets tomorrow."

Trotting colts led the way Monday in Harrisburg, with 58 selling for an average of $70,440, good for an increase of 9.8 percent. Last year, that group sold for an average of $64,119. Filly trotters - who led the way on Monday in 2013 - saw a dip of 28.3 percent, from $74,129 to $53,128.

Pacing fillies saw a slight increase, 2.4 percent, up to $51,542. Last year the same group enjoyed a 42 percent increase in average sales price. Colt pacers averaged $64,919 this year, a decrease of 11.5 percent from the mark of $73,375 in 2013.

Czernyson didn't expect Brooklyn Hill to sell for as much as $390,000.

"I guess somebody wanted him as much as we wanted him," Czernyson said. "You always like to buy what you want, if you have the opportunity to do that. That's nice.

"I really like the horse, and (the owner) really liked him. That's why we went for him, and we got him. To us, he had everything we wanted."

Bell, who will share ownership of Stepenwolf Hanover with Brittany Farms, John Cancelliere, and Marvin Katz, expected to bid in the range of $300,000 for the colt. He opened the bidding at $200,000 for Stepenwolf Hanover, whose family includes stakes-winners Perfectionist, Lifetime Member and Copywriter as well as millionaires Tell All and Image Of Dawn. Tony Alagna will train the colt.

"You've got to show people you mean business," Bell said. "I was there to buy the horse, not be an underbidder.

"He was one of the best looking horses in the sale. Great pedigree, great maternal family."

Jeff Snyder bought colt pacer Twice On The Pipes for $240,000. The colt is by Somebeachsomewhere, out of the stakes-winning mare Knock Three Times. His family includes Doo Wop Hanover.

"He's a perfect, great-looking colt," Snyder said, adding he was uncertain who would train the horse. "I saw him turned out in the field, and he was great there, a great-moving colt. There was nothing not to like about him. He had a brother (Maxi Bon) that had some speed, won in (1):49 and a piece, and he's out of a champion mare.

"Look, it's a crapshoot. We thought he was the best Somebeach in the sale. The mare is 2-for-2; she's a young mare. He's a beautiful colt. I expected him to go for more than $240,000; I thought he'd go for ($300,000) something."

Celebrity Farms' Sam Stathis bought colt trotter D Man Hanover, a full brother to 2007 Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Donato Hanover, for $200,000. The colt is by Andover Hall, out of D Train.

Stathis hopes for his own trip to the Hambletonian winner's circle with Donato Hanover's brother.

"A couple years ago I said I guarantee Maserati to win the Hambletonian, now we have to work on the next one," Stathis said, referring to Celebrity Maserati, who finished sixth in his Hambletonian elimination in 2013 and failed to advance to the final.

"If lightning doesn't strike, we want to go all the way. That's why we spend that kind of money. We've got big dreams. I figured if we're going to take a chance, let's go all the way."

DAY 1 - TOP 15


139-C-T-Brooklyn Hill-Muscle Hill-Brooklyn-Jonas Czernyson, agent-$390,000

135-C-P-Stepenwolf Hanover-Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect-Myron Bell, agent-$300,000

51-C-P-Twice On The Pipes-Somebeachsomewhere-Knock Three Times-Jeff Snyder-$240,000

89-C-T-Mr Montgomery-Donato Hanover-Munis Blue Chip-Determination-$200,000

109-C-T-D Man Hanover-Andover Hall-D Train-Celebrity Farms-$200,000

4-F-T-Open Access-Credit Winner-Armbro Déjà Vu-Alan Ritchie-$190,000

226-C-T-Revenger-Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour-Jimmy Takter-$190,000

141-F-T-Selfie Hanover-Kadabra-Star Hanover-Jimmy Takter-$180,000

124-C-T-Warlocks Den-Muscle Hiill-Sabrina Hall-Courant AB-$170,000

90-C-T-Mosconi Hanover-Donato Hanover-Muscaloosa-Jimmy Takter-$165,000

144-F-T-Emoticon Hanover-Kadabra-Emmylou Who-Determination-$165,000

87-F-P-Malwhere-Somebeachsomewhere-Ms Malicious-Three Brothers Stable-$160,000

130-F-P-Nachomama Bluechip-Rock N Roll Heaven-Shot Togo Bluechip-Tony O'Sullivan, agent-$160,000

200-C-P-Must Be Heaven-Rock N Roll Heaven-Must See-Ken Jacobs-$155,000

96-F-P-A List Hanover-Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia-Andy Miller Stable, agent-$145,000

by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications


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