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Records Set In First London Session

Published: October 19, 2019 5:38 pm ET

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The opening session of the 2019 London Selected Yearling Sale made Canadian history within the first hour of the sale, and it ended with record numbers.

Marlboro Seelster entered the sales ring at the Western Fair District Metroland Media Agriplex in London, Ont. as Hip 25 on Saturday (Oct. 19), and when the hammer fell the high bid was $270,000, making him the highest-priced Standardbred yearling to sell in Canada.

"We're excited to hold the Canadian record for highest price yearling to sell," Sale Manager Ann Straatman told Trot Insider. "He was by a proven quality sire, Bettors Delight, and from a great maternal line. Buyers are very confident in those types of purchases."

The high bidder on the horse was Dr. Ian Moore, bidding on behalf Jeffrey & Michael Snyder.

"Bettors Delight's been a terrific sire everywhere he's been, and continues to be," Moore told Trot Insider. "He surely had a good year up here with two-year-olds. That #25 is a really good-looking individual; I saw him at the farm around the first week of September, they'd just come in and he was a good looker then and he's even better looking now.

"Hard to fault him in anything, really. He's well-made and he's got a nice producing pedigree there that would suit Ontario. Jeffrey & Michael Snyder are the buyers and they're going to let me have a piece of him as well."

Moore had pegged the son of Bettors Delight out of Macapelo Rose as the likely sale topper going into Saturday, but he wasn't sure just how much interest there would be and how much he'd have to spend to obtain the stunning yearling.

"Jeff told me last night to go to $150,000 and I told him this morning that he was probably going to go more than that, and he said 'well, get me on the phone' and I did. Jeff edged it up a little bit and when it went to $260,000 he said 'that's probably it.' And then he said 'what do you think?' and I said 'he's a damn fine looking animal' and he said '...OK, one more' so that's how it went."

Given the success of Ontario Sired horses on the Grand Circuit, including his own sophomore pacer Century Farroh, Moore felt the investment was solid.

"The Ontario breed has been good, especially at home here and quite a few of them do very well on the Grand Circuit including the one we have obviously. We're hopeful that this guy's going to turn out.

"Seelster Farms do a fantastic job, I was just standing here talking to Billy O'Donnell and all their babies look very good, they're all well-handled, they're raised properly and they don't bid them up, and they don't buy them back, and they don't race any. Anything they have here is going through the ring for sale in a fair and legitimate manner and that makes a big difference."

The previous record for a Standardbred yearling sold at public auction in Canada was set two years ago in London when Marlboro Seelster's brother, Mohawk Seelster, fetched a bid of $220,000.

The highest-priced trotting-bred yearling of the sale came just a few horses later. Full Of Muscles, selling as hip 39, was a $140,000 purchase. Ben Baillaregon signed the sales slip on the Icy Stables-consigned son of Muscle Mass - Windsong Nolwenn.

In front of an enthusiastic Agriplex audience, 119 yearlings were sold on the Saturday session of the London Selected Yearling Sale with total sales at a record $3.376 million. The average price was $28,730, meaning increases on both gross and yearling average. In 2018, 100 yearlings sold for a gross total of $2,870,000.

"We’re thrilled with Day One at the sale. We had a super crowd and enthusiastic bidders," said Straatman. "The London Selected Yearling Sale continues to prove that breeders can sell Ontario-sired yearlings right here at home in Ontario for outstanding prices.

"Tomorrow’s roster is every bit as exciting as today’s offerings, so we look forward to seeing everyone back at the Western Fair Agriplex."

Among stallions with multiple yearlings offered in the first session, Bettors Delight boasted the biggest average. His seven yearlings averaged more than $73,000, while Kadabra was best among trotter with four yearlings averaging $53,500. First-crop stallions Control The Moment ($23,333 average for three yearlings), Il Sogno Dream ($30,000 average for two yearlings) and State Treasurer ($27,500 average for eight yearlings) were also well-received.

For a more detailed look at the numbers from the first session, click on one of the following links:

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