Lexington, KY — Maverick is yet to reach the racetrack, but he’s already heard the roar of the crowd.
The Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion erupted in cheers Tuesday (Oct. 1) when the hammer fell and trotting colt Maverick became the highest-priced yearling in harness racing history, selling for $1.1 million on the opening night of the Lexington Selected Sale. The price eclipsed the previous record of $825,000 for trotting colt Detour Hanover at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale.
Before the night was over, trotting colt Damien joined Maverick in the historic seven-figure club, selling for $1 million. His sale, too, was greeted with rousing applause during a record-breaking session that also saw the highest prices ever for a yearling pacer — $800,000 for colt Some Terror — and for a filly trotter — $600,000 for Ineffable.
Maverick, who is by Father Patrick out of Designed To Be, was purchased by The Maverick Group and will be trained by Tony Alagna. He is a full brother to millionaire Greenshoe, whose wins this year at age 3 include the Zweig Memorial and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. He finished second in the Hambletonian.
Maverick was consigned by Kentuckiana Farms and bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.
“You look at the breeding, and you look at what Greenshoe has done; this colt was perfect,” said Brad Grant, who will be part of the horse’s ownership group. “He was as nice looking an athlete as you would want to see, and I think he’s worth every cent.
“We’ve talked to some people and we’re going to finalize (the ownership group) over the next day or so.”
Last week, Woodbine Entertainment announced plans for a new million-dollar race for 2-year-old trotters beginning in 2020 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“It’s something you look at, but I think we were there whether that race was announced or not,” Grant said about the commitment to purchase Maverick. “But definitely it does help.”
Damien, by Muscle Hill out of Danae, is a full brother to international $3 million-earner Propulsion as well as stakes-winner Dream Together. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner D’Orsay. He was purchased by Bengt Agerup’s Brixton Medical AB and will be trained by Daniel Reden, who also trains Propulsion for Brixton subsidiary Stall Zet. The colt was consigned by Cane Run Farm and bred by Fredericka Caldwell and Bluestone Farms.
“We had a plan, and it was to bring him to Sweden if we got him,” Reden said. “We did, but the price was very high, so now we need to think a little bit. But I hope he will come to my farm because I have (Propulsion). The brother has earned much money, so I think it was worth it. This (horse) is the reason that I’m here.”
Brixton Medical also was behind the purchase of Some Terror, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Economy Terror. The colt was signed for by Nancy Johansson, who will train the horse. He was consigned by Vieux Carre Farms and bred by Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor, and Ed Gold.
“It was the best pacer today,” Agerup said. “We need a good pacer. This is taken from the looks and the pedigree. He was clearly the best one.
“This is the best auction, quality wise. If you want the good horse, you have to pay.”
Ineffable, hip No. 7, got the party started with a record price of $600,000 for a yearling filly trotter. The previous record of $500,000 was shared by Courtney Hall (2003), Future Secured (2015), and Fifty Cent Piece (2018).
Purchased by Lina Alm as agent for Lennart Agren’s S R F Stable, Ineffable is a daughter of Cantab Hall out of stakes-winner Jolene Jolene. She is a three-quarter sister to stakes-winner 2-year-old filly Crucial. She was consigned by Hunterton Sales Agency for breeders Maumee River Stables, Black Creek Farm, Martin Schmucker, and Steve Stewart.
“Looking at her together with Mr. Agren, he’s kind of like me, if he likes a horse and gets a feeling for it, he goes all the way,” Alm said. “We didn’t expect her to be so expensive, that’s just the way things turned out. It’s the market. She went very far. That was not the number I had in mind.
“The family is fantastic if you look back through and Jolene Jolene has already showed she is a good broodmare.”
One other horse topped the $600,000 mark. Really Fast, a trotting colt by Muscle Hill out of O’Brien Award-winner Stubborn Belle, sold for $700,000 to trainer Nancy Johansson as agent. He is a full brother to filly Ms Savannah Belle, who this season at age 2 has won the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. He was consigned by Kentuckiana Farms and bred by Libfeld.
Tuesday’s big numbers propelled the sale to session records of $18.2 million in gross sales and $154,288 in average for 118 horses sold. The gross was up 41 percent compared to last year’s $12.9 million for 102 horses sold and the average was up 22 percent compared to last year’s $126,471.
A total of 68 horses Tuesday night sold for at least $100,000.
Muscle Hill and Father Patrick led the trotting sires in gross, with 19 Muscle Hill yearlings totaling $4.15 million ($218,421 average) and 15 Father Patrick yearlings totaling $3.17 million ($211,800).
Somebeachsomewhere and Captaintreacherous topped the pacing sires in gross, with 18 Somebeachsomewhere yearlings totaling $3.11 million ($173,278 average) and 21 Captaintreacherous yearlings totaling $2.09 million ($99,762). First-crop sire Always B Miki grossed $2.01 million ($111,667).
The five-day yearling sale continues through Saturday, with each session beginning at 7 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. For complete results, click here.
Below are the summary stats from the first session:
|Gait & Sex||Number sold||Gross Price||Average Price||$100,000 horses|
— Chris Tully also contributed to this story