09/30/2014 10:43PM

Harness: Lexington Selected Yearling Sale up 21.6%

Derick Giwner
Trotting colt Prince De Vie (HIP 5) brought $400,000 as the co-sale topper.

The 2014 Lexington Selected Sale got off to a fast start and never petered out as 97 yearlings were hammered down during day one of the five-day sale. Demolishing the 2013 average per horse of $86,324, the opening night consignment was up over 21 percent at $104,959.

“It is the highest we have had in years,” said co-Sales Mmanager Randy Manges, who estimated it has 25 years since they eclipsed the $100,000 average mark.

Leading the charge as co-sale toppers were a pair of trotters.

Prince De Vie was the fifth horse to step into the ring and the bidding started in the hundreds-of-thousands. Eventually Myron Bell signed for the Cantab Hall colt out of the Malabar Man mare Dream Angel for $400,000.

“He had great pedigree, is by a great sire, and a great maternal family,” said Bell of the colt. “He has two world champions in his immediate family and the best trotter I ever saw, Victory Dream.”

Prince De Vie will be trained by Tony Alagna.

It was a trotting filly that shared the spotlight. Bene Bene (HIP 75), a daughter of Kadabra by the world champion mare Pizza Dolce, was auctioned for $400,000 to Melvin Hartman, Marvin Katz, and David Mc Duffee.

Derick Giwner    Mel Hartman signed for Bene Bene.

“She is the best looking horse at the sale; no question about it. She is by far the best looking filly I’ve seen in a long time,” said Hartman, who will put his new possession in the hands of trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman.

“When I make up my mind I want a horse, I buy it,” added Hartman. “If it would have went to a half-million, I would have bought her.”

Coming in a close third on the list of high-priced yearlings was Dante (HIP 48), a New York-bred son of top trotting sire Credit Winner out of Michelle’s Angel. The $355,000 ticket was signed by assistant trainer Bernie Noren on behalf of Ake Svanstedt and owner Courant AB.

“He had everything; confirmation and breeding. He’s the perfect horse,” said Noren, who admitted he was pushing the limit with his winning bid. “I had to give it one last shot.”

Five horses in total went for north of $300,000, with HIP 97 Somona Valley ($325,000) and HIP 69 The Perfect Lindy ($320,000) rounding out the quintet. Somona Valley, a pacing filly by Rocknroll Hanover, was purchased by George Segal, and The Perfect Lindy, a Credit Winner trotting colt, went to agent Robert Lindstrom.  

Giwner     Dante (HIP 48)

Twelve horses on the evening went for at least $200,000 and 40 reached the $100,000 plateau. Trotting colts led the way with an average sales price of $121,194, and trotters in general dominated as the top five (on average) sires were all trotters. Cantab Hall led the way with his three progeny selling for an average of $251,667.

The leading pacer was Rocknroll Hanover with an average of $127,000 for six yearlings. Somebeachsomewhere had 16 youngsters in the sale and finished second among pacing stallions at $115,750.

The 97 yearlings sold for $10,181,000 versus $9,064,000 for 105 head in the 2013 sale.

Day two of the Lexington Selected Sale gets underway at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 1) and Magnes is hoping for another good showing.

“It won’t be as strong, but it should be a really good session,” concluded Manges.

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