Day At The Track

Elite mares command top prices at Harrisburg

03:20 PM 11 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Satin Pillows
Satin Pillows sells for $250,000 in foal to Cantab Hall to Hunterton Farm.
USTA Photo

Harrisburg, PA --- Thursday (Nov. 10) was Ladies Day at the Standardbred Horse Sale, with some distinguished harness racing matrons commanding the largest bids.

“On a day like today, we saw the people who brought yearlings to sell, especially if they had a good sale, reinvesting,” said Russell Williams, chairman of the event. “They went from consigner to customer; they were buying. A couple hundred thousand is a good price for a broodmare. I would never sell a broodmare anywhere else but Harrisburg.”

Satin Pillows, Hip No. 1059, brought a bid of $250,000 for Peninsula Farms. Steve Stewart of Hunterton Farm signed the check.

The 11-year-old daughter of Conway Hall is a half-sister to Pampered Princess, two-time divisional champion, and the dam of Breeders Crown and divisional champion To Dream On (1:52.1, $975,395). She is in foal to Cantab Hall.

“Where we have made our most money, Pizza Dolce, Southwind Serena, Graceful Touch, Emilie Cas El – (broodmares) have been the best,” Stewart said. “That’s what we are trying to do, playing at the top level with one of the best. We were very surprised that we bought her for that price, we were ready to go quite a few more (bids). If you can play at that level, that is where you need to try to play. It’s worked out for us and she will be a great addition to the other girls at the farm.”

Satin Pillows had a 2016 colt by Muscle Hill who died, but Stewart is inclined to try again in 2017 with that leading stallion.

“Probably Muscle Hill (who she will be bred back to); I was told by Carter (Duer, of Peninsula Farms) that the foal was spectacular," he said. "She’s had some bad luck, but hopefully now that will work out better for us. She will be very happy.”

Another trotting mare, Cedar Dove, found a new home not far from the sale at Hanover Shoe Farm, changing hands for $160,000. Her race history, divisional champ in 2011 and nearly $1.2 million in earnings along with a 1.52.3 record, was part of the attraction.

“She was a great mare, a lot of name recognition and a great-looking mare,” said Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, the farm manager at Hanover Shoe. “I like the fact that she’s in foal to Explosive Matter because he never had a mare bred like that to him, so I’m excited to sell the best-bred Explosive Matter (progeny) ever. We will wait (to see the 2017 foal before deciding who to breed her back to), but he would be logical. I don’t know, we sit down in January and figure that out. She has a Muscle Hill weanling and it probably would be nice to breed her back to Muscle Hill, but we’ll see in then.”

Sugar Wheeler will go right back where she started from, selling for $150,000 from the Concord Stud Farm consignment as agent for the estate of Bill Weaver and partners Wellwood, Hainsworth and Kelley. She was bought back for the farm, with the sales ticket signed by Julie Meirs.

Her 2016 yearling colt by Muscle Hill sold on Monday for $400,000 and the current weanling colt by Kadabra sold for $60,000 to Thomas Dillon just minutes before the mare sold.

“We did not have the intention (to try to buy her) at all," Meirs said. "We sold her $400,000 Muscle Hill colt earlier in the week, so you have to do a double-take on looking at her that way. We had a good sale and needed to make sure we put something back in to the broodmare band every year that will continue to produce those yearlings that everyone’s looking for, so we thought that she would be one to get. She had a nice-looking Kadabra weanling here so we will see what happens.

“It will be nice to have one of the mares that we’ve had on the farm for Mr. Weaver and his partners," added her father, David. “They were family for us and we have one of the better ones now.”

At the other end of the price spectrum, the 21-year-old Neverhaveneverwill, Hip No. 1249, sold for $2,000 as the third from last sale of the day, to Mitchel Skolnick of Bluestone Farm.

The grey mare is the dam of Always A Virgin (1:48.4, $1,135,559) and thus granddam of the fastest Standardbred in history, Always B Miki (1:46, $2,519,368). Skolnick is a partner on both Always A Virgin and Always B Miki.

“She will go out in the field and she’ll live out the rest of her life," he said. "She won't be bred. I was told she did a great job for us; she gave us Always A Virgin. I didn’t come here thinking I was going to buy her. I was told I was going to buy her by a lot of bleeding heart employees (Emily Homan and Kelly Deitweiller).

by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

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