Day At The Track

Liquid Fire tops second session at Harrisburg

12:34 AM 09 Nov 2011 NZDT
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Liquid Fire
Liquid Fire - old for $290,000 today (Tuesday Nov. 8) in Harrisburg.

Liquid Fire was the hottest horse at Tuesday's (November 8) session of the harness racing yearling sale at Harrisburg.

A son of Donato Hanover-Ferrari Of, the trotting colt sold for $290,000 to Continental Farm. The colt will go to Sweden to race for Finnish owner Paivi Laakkonen-Makihonko, under trainer Stig Johansson. Laakkonen-Makihonko owns Liquid Fire's half-brother Formula One, who has earned $292,524 in Europe.

"This is a very nice horse," said trainer Jan Johnson, who assisted with the purchase. "Everything looked good. He is a sharp-looking colt. You could see on the tape that he was really quick. He has a good turn of foot."

Liquid Fire was among four horses to sell for at least $190,000 on Tuesday. Last year, the sales topper on the second day of the sale went for $145,000. There were 14 horses that sold for at least $100,000 this year compared to 11 to reach that level in 2010.

After two days, the average price was $44,218 for 541 horses sold. Last year, the average was $44,426 for 516 horses sold. In 2009, the average was $42,474 for 561 horses.

"I thought it was pretty good," said Murray Brown, the sale's vice president and general manager. "Good horses still continue to sell very, very well. It seems like most people are focusing on the same horses, certainly at the top level. The upper end of the market is very strong and I think it will continue to be."

The top four sellers on Tuesday were trotters, with three sired by Donato Hanover. The other was sired by Kadabra. Through two days, trotting fillies were averaging $48,977, an increase of 21.5 percent over the $40,292 in 2010. Trotting colts were averaging $46,884, up slightly from $46,372 last year.

Pacing colts also were near last year's average -- $46,982 this year compared to $47,650 -- while pacing fillies were at $32,358 compared to $41,429 in 2010.

"The pacing filly market is very weak," Brown said. "It's always been the lowest segment, but never more so than now. The corollary to that is there is great value. A pacing filly can go out and race for good money and do well and they're very reasonably priced."

Trotting filly Auxiliary Hanover (Donato Hanover-Aurora Hanover) sold for $200,000 to David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman. She is a full sister to Breeders Crown runner-up Possess The Will. McDuffee owned America, who was out of Auxiliary Hanover's second dam American Wish.

"She's a beautiful filly," McDuffee said about Auxiliary Hanover. "I had America, also. I really liked America. He just wasn't quite the horse I thought he was going to be, but he was a darn nice horse.

"(Auxiliary Hanover) is put together really good. I really liked her a lot. Obviously for that kind of money you've got to like them. We might keep her for a broodmare. Probably. I've watched Donato this summer and he's a pretty nice sire. He looks like the real thing."

Trotting colt Call To Battle (Donato Hanover-My Own Hanover) sold for $200,000 to Fashion Farms owner Jules Siegel.

"He was very well put together," Fashion Farms trainer Jim Campbell said. "He had a real nice strong hind end to him and in his video he just moved flawlessly. There was nothing I didn't like about him. Being a Donato, the way they were this year, they look like they're for real. I just thought he was an exceptionally well made colt."

Trotting filly Cha Cha Magic (Kadabra-KT Cha Cha) sold for $190,000 to trainer Staffan Lind and owner Karl-Erik Bender. Her dam KT Cha Cha is a full sister to Majestic Son, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 2006.

"She's the best Kadabra I've seen this year," Lind said. "I think if you look at the (Ontario) sire stakes program, that's a very good family for that. She's just a big, correct good-looking filly."

The sale continues at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"I think on a relative basis, things will continue," Brown said. "The horses that are in demand will sell well and the others won't."


by Ken WEINGARTNER, Harness Racing Communications

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom

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