USTA Home > News Home > Opening session at Harrisburg: four pacing colts break $300,000 plateau

Opening session at Harrisburg: four pacing colts break $300,000 plateau
Monday, November 5, 2012 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association

       Decrease Text Size    Increase Text Size   Print  Email

Harrisburg, PA --- When trainer Mark Harder was asked how much he thought colt pacer Churchill Hanover would bring at auction during Monday’s opening day of the Standardbred Horse Sale, he replied with a laugh.

“Lots,” Harder said. “And he did.”

Churchill Hanover brought a sale-best $380,000; Mark Harder signed for Aussie owners Emilio and Maria Rosati.
Churchill Hanover, a son of Well Said out of the mare Cathedra, was Monday’s sales topper, going for $380,000 and capping a stretch in which three colt pacers sold for at least $325,000 in a nine-horse span. Joining Churchill Hanover on that list were Blister Hanover for $350,000 and Sweet Talkin Clyde for $325,000.

Later in the sale, colt pacer Joost Hanover sold for $300,000. Six horses sold for at least $260,000 on the day, and a total of 34 went for at least $100,000.

This year’s opening day saw 239 horses sell for an average of $53,684, a drop of 1.9 percent compared to last year. In 2011, the average was $54,719 for 242 horses, led by colt trotter Detour Hanover, who sold for a record $825,000. This year’s average is a 2.9 percent increase over 2010, when the average was $52,157 for 248 horses.

“It’s pretty much like the trend the last few years, only magnified even more,” said Murray Brown, the sale’s vice president and general manager. “The top horses are selling extremely well; the middle of the market is hurting very bad. If you have what people want, you’re in great shape. If you don’t, you’re in trouble.”

Harder purchased Churchill Hanover for Emilio and Maria Rosati, who are from Australia. The colt is a half-brother to stakes-winners Cathedra Dot Com, Cabrini Hanover, Western Shooter and The Preacher Pan.

“I liked everything; the sire, family, looks -- I thought he was the complete package,” Harder said. “He catches your eye, that’s all you can say.”

The purchase price was the most Harder ever committed to a yearling.

“I’m still a little shocked,” he said, laughing. “It’s surreal, really. You want the hammer to come down. They’re searching for that last bid and you’re like, ‘Sell the thing.’ It’s a funny experience.”

USTA/Mark Hall photos
Blister Hanover was a $350,000 sale; he is a son of Somebeachsomewhere.
Blister Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere and the mare Boldnbrash Hanover, was sold to agent Myron Bell, who is the racing manager for Brittany Farms. The colt is Boldnbrash Hanover’s first foal; his second dam, Bold Pink, is the mother of stakeswinner Big Jim. He will be shared in ownership by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, White Birch Farm and Jeff Gural.

“We felt he was the nicest conformed and most beautiful pacing colt in the sale,” Bell said. “And he’s by probably the hottest pacing stallion in the last generation, the last two generations.

“Everybody wants to buy a horse for as little as they can, naturally, but you can’t be foolish. If you’re looking to buy the best, you have to spend a significant amount of money. It was significant and I’m very blessed that I have such great partners that share the same feeling that I do.”

Sweet Talkin Clyde is a son of Well Said out of the mare Sweet Future. He is a half-brother to stakes-winners Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou and was purchased by Kevin McDermott as agent for brothers John and Tom Cancelliere, who also own and train Bettor Sweet.

“My brother had to have him,” Tom Cancelliere said. “The family is near and dear to the heart. He’s a beautiful horse, but he was set on him a few months ago. He’s a beautiful colt. He actually doesn’t have some of the attributes like Bettor Sweet has -- he’s a little straighter, he doesn’t stand back on his knees.

“There are a lot of little things about him that I actually like better,” he continued, adding with a smile, “I don’t know if it’s going to be better.”

Joost Hanover is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Jasmine Hanover and was purchased by Odds On Racing. The colt is a half-brother to stakeswinners Little Miss Dragon and Artstanding.

“His pedigree page was outstanding and he’s very well made,” said Robin Schadt, who trains for Odds On Racing. “He’s athletic, strong, and has a great attitude. We have to have the pedigree to back up the conformation. It’s imperative.

“Going into today, I would say (I thought the price of $300,000 was high). But once the higher-end colts started going through the ring and I saw what they were bringing, I was beginning to think we were going to go home without one.”

Of the 34 horses that sold for at least $100,000, a total of 21 were pacers. Of that group, 18 were colts and 11 were sired by Somebeachsomewhere. Buoyed by those figures, colt pacers saw a 29 percent jump in average price compared to 2011. This year, the average was $76,994; it was $59,526 a year ago.

Filly pacers averaged $35,373, which was nearly on par with last year’s $36,020. Overall, pacers averaged $60,665, up 20.2 percent from $50,457 in 2011.

“The pacing colts were very strong,” Brown said. “We had an extraordinary bunch of pacing colts selling today, from all consignors. Wearing my Hanover hat, I would say Hanover has the greatest group of pacing colts I’ve ever seen in 47 years of doing this.”

Trotters averaged $45,358, which was a decrease of 14.8 percent from $53,248 last year. Colt trotters averaged $40,683 this year compared to $57,408 in 2011.

“The trotting market was quite weak and I really don’t understand why,” Brown said.

Click here for complete sale results.

Related Articles :

Meadowlands will introduce classified racing in December

Search Articles: