De Kooning Tops Harrisburg Yearling Sale Opener

De Kooning as a yearling
Published: November 6, 2023 05:25 pm EST

The trotting-bred colt De Kooning topped the opening yearling session of the 2023 Standardbred Horse Sale on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

De Kooning, Hip 123, was purchased for $600,000 by the Burke, Brixton and Hatfield partnership of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania. Bred by Sweden's Order By Stable and consigned by agent Concord Stud Farm, the Muscle Hill colt is out of the Conway Hall mare, Brooklyn. He is a full brother to Kings County ($518,203 - 1:51.4f), a multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner as a two-year-old, as well as three other winners of more than $200,000.

“Bud [Hatfield] and those guys thought it was the best trotting colt in the sale,” said Ron Burke, who will train the colt. “They said buy it, pretty much no matter what. They’ve had really good success buying off Stefan and Concord, so they like to go back to where they’ve done well.

“I know Bud really wants to win a [Hambletonian]. He said that’s the best colt, he wants it. I give those guys credit for stepping up. It’ll be cool. It’ll be something different. I’m used to pressure anyhow, so it doesn’t bother me. Actually, I thought he would bring more, so I was all right with it. They were prepared to go more.”

Bidding also topped the half-million mark for the first-crop Gimpanzee filly, Voguish, who was purchased for $535,000 by Andrew Harris of Allentown, New Jersey. Selling as Hip 103 from the Hunterton Sales Agency consignment, Voguish is out of the Muscle Hill mare, Jolene Jolene, and the filly is a half-sister to O'Brien Award winner Venerable ($1,348,176 - 1:52) and Pennsylvania champion Crucial ($528,598 - 1:52.4f).

“She’s royally bred,” said Harris. “You’ve got the [return on investment] as a broodmare as well, so you’ve got that, and hopefully she works out to be a nice racehorse too. I thought she would be the sales topper for trotters.”

Harris doled out another $500,000 for Twin B Euchre, Hip 155. Bred and consigned by Twinbrook Farms of Embro, Ont., the Bettors Delight colt is out of the Captaintreacherous mare, Fresh Breeze. Twin B Euchre is a half-brother to multiple Grand Circuit stakes-winning filly Twin B Joe Fresh ($1,309,189 - 1:48.2).

“Physically, he was a specimen,” said Harris. “Even if you didn’t look at his family, he was just gorgeous, and I liked his attitude at Twinbrook Farms. Just that good attitude that the Bettors Delight colts have; the good ones seem like they’re a little rough-housing and playful like that. I really liked that part of it. So, with how good he looked individually, and the family seems to be clicking, this just made sense.

“But, that said, I had no idea when that horse walked in the ring that he was going to sell for that much. I knew he was going to be a good number, but I was thinking maybe half that. I wasn’t thinking 500.”

Harris purchased another top seller from the session, acquiring Penny Benjamin, Hip 142, for $400,000. Consigned by agent Preferred Equine Marketing, the Sweet Lou-Dismissal filly is a half-sister to 2023 Breeders Crown champion Bythemissal ($2,084,884 - 1:47.1).

“We cut down a lot on the racehorses to concentrate on the stakes horses,” said Harris. “The spring will be very busy. There will be a lot of late days training all these guys. But that’s the fun part. There are a lot of dreams there. With what we’ve bought, we should hit on something.”

Hatfield, the full brother to millionaire two-year-old trotter T C I, also sold for a $400,000 price tag to round out the top five highest-priced yearlings of the session. Selling as Hip 41, Hatfield was purchased by William Pollock of Freehold, New Jersey, acting as agent. Consigned by agent Concord Stud Farm, the Cantab Hall-Nicoles Promise colt is a sibling to the Grand Circuit stakes star T C I ($1,453,370 - 1:51.4) along with six other $100,000+ earners.

Royal Mission, Hip 87, sold just $10,000 shy of the $400,000 mark, going to Jeffrey Snyder of New York City. Also from the Concord Stud Farm consignment, the Chapter Seven filly is the fourth foal out of the the stakes-winning mare, Swinging Royalty, and she is a full sister to Canadian Trotting Classic champions Slay ($856,860 - 1:51) and Ahundreddollarbill ($943,390 - 1:50.2) as well as Royal Filly ($246,209 - 1:52s).

In total, 153 yearlings went through the sales ring on opening day of the 2023 yearling sale, grossing $15,223,000. The average price was $99,497, down approximately 16.7 per cent from last year's first session that featured 165 yearlings that sold for a record-setting total of $19,716,000.  

The remaining two yearling sessions follow on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m., then two mixed sessions will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. and Friday at 11 a.m.

(With quotes from USTA)


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