Day At The Track

Harrisburg Yearling Sales end with sharp gains

02:21 AM 09 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Harrisburg Sale, harness racing
Harrisburg Sale for yearlings ended with strong gains over prior year.
The bidding stopped at $10,000 for a while, then I went to $15,000, someone upped it to $18,000 and I said $20,000. I got her for that. In the years since, I've met a half dozen people who told me they were the under bidder on her. I don't know how it'

Harrisburg, PA --- Monarch Blue Chip (hip #1003) topped Thursday’s edition of the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg, selling for $90,000 to trainer Sam Schillaci for owner Ken Bencic.

The colt, a son of Crazed out of the Revenue S mare Reven Crown, bears a bold white blaze.

“He is a well-made colt, the three-quarter brother (Rolls Blue Chip) who we raced against this year and he was a good horse,” said Bencic. “Credit Winners cost too much money, although I have two down in Kentucky. We train outside Cleveland at Sahbra Farms, so he’s headed there.”

Schillaci says this colt has been in his sights all along.

“We targeted him from the beginning,” said Schillaci. “We were hoping he didn’t sell that high. He was right about to the limit of where we were going to go. We’re very pleased to have him and we hope he turns out to be the horse we think he is. Nowadays, people are paying a few extra dollars for a horse that just looks the part and he definitely looks the part.”

Ed Lohmeyer and his wife, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, bred one of the higher priced horses on Thursday, hip #921, the RC Royalty colt Lunch With Jack. He sold for $55,000 to New York-based trainer Gates Brunet.

“I’m looking for New York breds and I’m looking for trotters and I’m very short on trotters,” said Brunet.  “I’m focused on trotting colts and he’s a very nice looking individual and I like the fact that there’s a very recent update on the horse. The brother, Crosbys Clam Bake, just won the Grassroots Final in 1:53 in Toronto.

“The RC Royaltys, they do good, but there weren’t that many selling that I could see. There weren’t any in Lexington; there were a few at Morrisville. One of his horses won the Hambo (Royalty For Life) and he throws nice looking individuals. In New York, Credit Winners, I can’t touch them. But for that kind of money, $50,000, you get a nice looking individual. I love Conway Halls, but they’re hard to touch, too.

“I’d like to win the Hambo, but I buy horses bred for the sire stakes. I bought this one for Ted Gewertz and Clare Chappell; there may be other partners coming in.

The colt’s name comes from Dr. Hogan’s family.

“Jack is Patty’s father’s nickname; he came over every Wednesday and had lunch with Patty,” said co-breeder Lohmeyer “He passed away about two months ago. John J. Hogan and they called him Jack. 

“Per Henriksen raced a half-brother to him for me in Canada this year, Crosbys Clam Bake, named after the first Pebble Beach (golf tournament). He raced real well. He made $90,000 and I sold him for $125,000.”

Paul Kelley signed for hip #988, a $60,000 pacing filly by Art Major, named Mowet Blue Chip out of the Matt’s Scooter mare Armbro Savannah.

“I saw him at the farm, but if you turn the clock back about 15 years, I actually had her mother, Armbro Savannah,” said Kelley. “I bought her as a yearling and I really liked her a lot. I ultimately ended up selling her to Perretti Farms as a broodmare. She went on to produce what she did (six stakes-winners; five $100,000 winners including millionaire Georgia Pacific) and she’s been a good producing dam. This particular filly I thought was one of her better looking foals. She stood very correct, a lot of the prior foals were a little bit toed-in and they were still able to overcome that kind of conformation fault and be good horses.

“This is the first one I’ve had out of the mare. She’s a little but older now, but she (the yearling) is very correct, so I’m happy with her. There will be partners on her, New York people, players to be named later. There are some people very interested in getting in on her, so it shouldn’t be hard to split her up.”

Through the first four days of the sale, 1,047 horses sold for a total of $35.9 million and an average of $34,345 against 2012 figures of 1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889.  This is an improvement of 13.7% over 2012. 

“It’s the same trend that’s been going on all week,” said Dr. Paul Spears, president of the Standardbred Sales Company.  “Unofficial numbers show that we’re just short of $36 million gross, 1,047 horses sold for $39,950,500 with average prices $34,345.  We’re up considerably over last year.  New York had the highest average of $39,667 and New Jersey actually did quite well at $38,830.  Pennsylvania is at $35,200 and Ontario’s at $23,354. 

“So overall, quite good and I don’t think there were any big surprises, to me.  A few of the highest priced horses today were placed there on purpose by their consignors.  Sometimes being a big fish in a little pond is a good thing.  I thought it was very solid all the way through and again, we have to remember, there are there are more than 500 fewer commercial yearlings being sold in the Mid-Atlantic area at public sales over the last couple years.  When supply goes down that far, the demand is there and so the prices have to go up.”   

1,162 horses sold at an average of $28,889.

by Ellen Harvey for HRC

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