To view a video recap of the opening night of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, click here.
Lexington, KY — Monday’s (Oct. 5) opening night of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale might have lacked last year’s big bangs, but it still provided plenty of fireworks at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion.
A year ago, the first night saw the sport’s first million-dollar yearlings, Maverick and Damien, pass through the ring, which helped propel the sale to session records of $18.2 million in gross sales and $154,288 in average for 118 horses sold.
Monday’s numbers dipped from those lofty levels but were better than the two years prior to 2019. Monday night’s gross was $15.2 million and the average was $129,127 for 118 horses sold.
The gross was down 16.3 percent from 2019 but up 18.1 percent from $12.9 million for 102 horses in 2018 and 43.2 percent for 93 horses in 2017. The average was down 16.3 percent from 2019 but up 2.1 percent from $126,471 in 2018 and 12.9 percent from $114,344 in 2017.
“I thought it was a very good sale overall and it should set the tone for the rest of the week,” said sale co-manager Randy Manges. “Everyone that brought horses to sell here were pleased and so were the buyers.
“Although a lot of the people that normally are here were not, which certainly can be understood, there was a good crowd, and we had a lot of bidding online. We did not sell many horses online but there were a lot of bids. We should have the numbers for that (Tuesday) and I look forward to seeing them.”
Trotting filly Kadena, from the first crop of stallion Walner out of two-time Dan Patch Award winner Mission Brief, grabbed the headlines as the night’s top seller, going for $725,000 to trainer Marcus Melander as agent for Anders Strom’s Courant Inc.
The price set a record for any yearling filly sold at auction, surpassing the $625,000 for pacer Laugh A Day in 1983 and $600,000 for trotter Ineffable in 2019.
Kadena was bred by Mission Brief Stable and consigned by Hunterton Sales Agency.
“That was exciting,” Melander said. “We knew she was going to be expensive. She’s a nice filly with a great pedigree. She has a great body, great conformation, stands correct, which is very important. She has everything a good horse should have. I’m very happy to train her. For Anders it’s good too. He’s already thinking about breeding her to Greenshoe when she’s done racing. Now I just have to do a good job in between.”
Melander, as agent, also got trotting colt No Ball Games for $340,000. No Ball Games, by Muscle Hill out of Amour Heiress, is a full brother to stakes winner King Alphonso. The family also includes 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton. No Ball Games was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm.
“He’s a nice horse, great family,” Melander said. “He was one of my favorite colts in the sale. I’m happy to get him.”
Bonanza, a half-brother to 2019 Trotter of the Year Greenshoe and last year’s $1.1-million yearling buy Maverick, sold for $600,000 to trainer Nancy Takter as agent. The colt is by Muscle Hill out of Designed To Be. Bonanza was bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms.
“He’s a really nice individual, great pedigree,” Takter said. “I know that he’s been raised right. It’s like a home run working with (the breeders and consignor).
“And then there’s Maverick. He trained down great and Tony (Alagna) and everyone just love him. He probably got sick and it could have slowed him down a little bit but I’m sure Tony will figure it out. He’ll show he’s everything everyone also thought he was.”
Trotting filly Monkey Queen, by Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, sold for $450,000 to Lindy Farms and M&M Racing. She is a full sister to Gimpanzee, who received the 2018 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter and has earned $2.43 million in his career to date, as well as multiple stakes winner Iteration. Monkey Queen was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm.
Andy Miller Stable Inc. purchased two $400,000 sons of Muscle Hill.
Knights Guard, out of O’Brien Award winner Stubborn Belle, is a full brother to 2019 Kentucky Sire Stakes champion filly Ms Savannah Belle. He was bred by Al Libfeld and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms.
Trunk Bay, out of stakes-winner Sunshine Delight, is from the family of two-time Dan Patch Award winner Passionate Glide. He was bred by James Wilhite Jr. and consigned by Kentuckiana Farms.
“Right when I got the catalog these horses jumped off the page at me because of how much I liked their pedigrees,” trainer Julie Miller said. “Then when we went to Kentuckiana, they just both stood out. I’m just fortunate it worked out in my favor and I’m bringing them home.”
Andy Miller Stable Inc. also purchased trotting filly Cash Machine Girl, by Muscle Hill out of stakes winner Brooklyn, for $300,000. She is a full sister to stake winners Brooklyn Hill and Kings County. She was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm.
“I think the top horses went for the prices they would have always brought (even during COVID-19),” Julie Miller said. “I think it was a really good night for buyers and sellers. Fortunately, things have started to straighten out. New Jersey received their appropriation, New York is back up and running and Pennsylvania is strong. The Ontario program is phenomenal. So, we can buy horses because they have places to go.”
The top selling pacer was filly Lightnier, by Captaintreacherous out of Mythical. She sold for $375,000 to trainer Dave Menary as agent and is a half-sister to millionaire Medusa and O’Brien Award winner Alicorn. She was bred by White Birch Farm and consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing.
Captaintreacherous led pacing sires with $1.52 million in gross for 12 horses. American Ideal topped the average with $133,750 for four horses, followed by Captaintreacherous at $126,667, and Huntsville at $125,000 for seven horses.
For complete results, click here.
— Kim French contributed to this report