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Harrisburg Day One Complete

Published: November 7, 2016 6:21 pm ET

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The first day of the Standardbred Horse Sales Company's Select Yearling Sale is in the books with Muscle Hill yearlings leading the way in a strong first session.

Gross sales for the first of three yearling sessions topped $13 million with 170 selling for a combined $13.375 million.

The sale featured 18 yearlings by Muscle Hill. His progeny averaged in excess of $168,000 in the sales ring and the sire boasted the four highest priced yearlings from the Monday session.

Less than an hour into the first session, the eventual sale topper surpassed the $400,000 price tag. Story Time Hanover sold as Hip 21 and fetched a final bid of $410,000. Jimmy Takter, acting as agent, collared the son of Muscle Hill - Shared Past. The colt is the first foal of Hanover Shoe Farms' broodmare Shared Past, a multiple stakes-winning daughter of Chocolatier and a three-quarter sister to millionaire Dejarmbro. The family also includes stakes-winners Armbro Vanquish and Manofmanymissions. Takter trained Armbro Vanquish.

“Jimmy loved Armbro Vanquish,” said Perry Soderberg, who handled the bidding on Story Time Hanover. “(Story Time Hanover) was the right size. He was the right type of Muscle Hill and has a great pedigree. He was probably the most complete horse in the sale among the trotting colts; conformation, the way he moved in the paddock, and the pedigree. He had a little bit of everything for sure.

“There are just a few of these type horses in the sale and this is the one we thought was the best.”

Hip 32, Hey Jock (Muscle Hill - Sugar Wheeler) sold for $400,000. The Concord Stud-consigned colt was purchased by Serge Godin's Determination stable of Quebec. Hey Jock is the second foal of Sugar Wheeler, a former star in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with solid pedigree. Her half-brother is Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner Wheeling N Dealin, who was owned throughout his racing career by Godin.

Hip 32 Hey Jock sells to Quebec's Determination for $400,000 (SHSC)

“He is a very nice horse, that’s why we would buy him,” said Luc Blais, who will train the colt for Godin. “For sure he liked that pedigree. Yeah, it’s pressure (to buy a horse for that price) but I like challenges. That’s a good challenge.”

You Know You Do sold as Hip 57 and the hammer fell at $350,000 for the son of Muscle Hill - You Want Me. Consigned by Peninsula Farm, You Know You Do was purchased by Perry Soderberg, acting as agent. You Know You Do is the first foal of You Want Me, who was the champion two-year-old in the NYSS program in 2012.

“He’s got the size and the power,” Soderberg said about You Know You Do, who will be trained by Takter for a to-be-determined ownership group. “I saw him at (consignor) Peninsula Farm and he really had that punch that I’m looking for in the paddock.

“The two top trotting colts in my opinion were (Story Time Hanover) and this one. We’re very happy.”

Rounding out the top four on the yearling leaderboard was Drum Hanover. The son of Muscle Hill - Dornello was collared by Ake Svanstedt for $270,000. This is the first mating to Muscle Hill for Dornello, herself a multiple OSS winner and the dam of talented trotter Lauderdale.

On the pacing side, the highest priced yearling featured very familiar bloodlines as Dramatic Point sold for $260,000 to Toronto's Scott Horner. The son of Somebeachsomewhere - Heathers Western, consigned by Fair Winds Farm, is a half-brother to recently retired world champion and 2016 Little Brown Jug winner Betting Line.

“He looks like a really nice horse,” Horner said. “And the pedigree, it’s not only Betting Line. To be frank, the chance of getting another Betting Line are slim and none. That’s not why we bought him. We bought him to buy a nice horse. And we liked the back pedigree on (Somebeachsomewhere).”

Owner Jeffrey Snyder came away with two of the Top 10 sellers on Monday, Muscle Hill-sired colt Abs Hanover for $245,000 and Somebeachsomewhere-sired colt Thomas B Hanover for $230,000.

Abs Hanover is out of the mare Are You Ready and the family includes stakes-winner Blenheim, Hambletonian Oaks winner Personal Style and Dan Patch Award winner Almost An Angel.

Thomas B Hanover is out of the mare Trim Hanover and is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award winner American Jewel and stakes-winners Luck Be Withyou and Source Of Pride. Snyder co-owns full-sister Tori Hanover, who last month won a Breeders Crown elimination.

“I loved the pedigree,” Snyder said about Thomas B Hanover. “I thought he was the best Somebeachsomewhere in the sale. (Trim Hanover) has already produced two million-dollar winners. What’s not to like? He’s by the hottest sire in harness racing.”

A total of 10 Ontario-eligible horses sold on the first day. Those ten horses sold for $588,000 resulting in a $58,800 yearling average.

Canadian owners were active on the first day, with 29 yearlings being signed for by owners based in Nova Scotia, Ontario or Quebec.

In comparison to 2015, the numbers show a dip in gross sales but that can be explained by the number of total yearlings sold. The 2015 sale grossed $14.39 million on the first day with 258 yearlings sold. The 2016 sale reached $13.37 million with 88 less horses. The average jumped from $55,781 in the first session last year to $78,676 for the first session in 2016 -- a 41 per cent increase.

“We wanted to create momentum the first day,” said Standardbred Horse Sales Company Chairman Russell Williams. “You always arrange your yearlings to best advantage, but by having a little bit less today we hoped to have more sizzle and momentum going forward.”

A total of 40 yearlings sold for at least $100,000, an increase of 48 per cent compared to last year despite less horses in the opening session. Williams said he could not remember the sale ever having a better day in terms of average sale.

“It was a great day,” Williams said. “Hip No. 1 (Cantab Hall-sired filly Pulse Hanover) started at $150,000 and it just went on from there.

“The auctioneers shouldn’t get paid for today because they hardly had to work,” he joked.

Williams said the sales company was optimistic for a strong sale following the success of sales elsewhere, including a record-setting Lexington Selected Yearling Sale in October.

“We were fairly confident,” Williams said. “It turned out better than we hoped. The confidence came from the quality of the catalogue and from the strong sales that everyone else has been having. They always go together.”

Last year’s opening day in Harrisburg was hampered by a Pennsylvania budget impasse that threatened to halt racing in the state. The sale’s first day saw an 8.49 per cent drop in average sale compared to 2014.

“Not having the governor threatening to end racing in Pennsylvania gave us a big advantage this year,” Williams said. “We appreciated that. We’re grateful to be overlooked this time.”

The Select Yearling Sale in Harrisburg will continues Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Mixed Sale on Thursday and Friday. Monday's session kicks off at 12:00 p.m. with the remaining sessions all starting at 10:00 a.m.

The yearling portion features a total of 899 yearlings –- 478 by Pennsylvania sires, 269 by New York sires, 126 by Ontario sires, 19 by Ohio sires, 4 by New Jersey sires, and 3 by Indiana sires. Yearlings by first year sires including A Rocknroll Dance (25), So Surreal (11), Betterthancheddar (10), Possess The Will (3), Wishing Stone (3), and Pet Rock (2) will be presented.

The Mixed Sale has a total of 768 entries, including 197 broodmares and broodmare prospects, 24 weanlings, 32 yearlings, 58 stallion shares, and 457 racehorses. The Mixed Sale features top quality dispersals from Peninsula Farm selling broodmares from William Weaver Estate, Concord Stud Farm selling Katz/Libfeld broodmare reduction, and Concord Stud Farm selling stallion shares from William Weaver Estate; Little Miss Dragon p,3, 1:50.2 ($767,634), dam of Delightful Dragon p,5, 1:50 ($475,411) and in foal to Roll With Joe; Symphony In Motion p,6, 1:49 ($1,065,949), dam of Normandy Beach p,2, 1:52.1f-16 ($160,000) and in foal to Sweet Lou; Venus Delight p,5, 1:49.4 ($1.1 million); Charmed Life 4, 1:52.2 ($1.1 million); Bettor Be Steppin p,3, 1:50f ($793,210).

Pedigrees and yearling videos are available online on The roster may be searched by trotters and pacers, colts and fillies, as well as by consignors, sires, and state of eligibility.

Important Links:

(with files from HRC)

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