10/05/2016 11:59PM

Harness: Muscle Hill yearlings key 26.5% increase on night two of Lexington Selected Yearling Sale

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Derick Giwner
Go To Hill was number one on new owner Lennart Agren's list

After the first session of the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale saw an 18% increase in the average year-over-year, Wednesday's second night did even better, with the $70,897 average topping the 2015 edition of the sale by 26.5%.  A trio of yearlings by Muscle Hill led the proceedings.

The session's highest-priced yearling was HIP 153 Go To Hill, who was purchased by agent Robert Lindstrom for SRF Stable (Lennart Agren) for $350,000, which also ties for the fourth-highest priced yearling during the first two days.  Go To Hill, part of the Preferred Equine, Inc. consignment, is a colt out of the Andover Hall mare Habit Of Creature, a half-sister to the likes of millionaire Civil Action.  Habit Of Creature's 2-year-old You Can't Habit (Cantab Hall) won in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition this year and took a mark of 1:57.

“He was number one on mine and all my advisors' lists, including my wife. We really like the horse,” said Agren.  “Attitude, looks, you saw him in the ring and the power that he has. There were some other nice horses yesterday, but for me he was number one at the auction."

No decision has been made on who will train the colt.

$240,000 was needed to take home the second-highest priced yearling of the night, and that was HIP 166 Tae Kwon Deo, who also crept into the top ten overall.  Preferred Equine also consigned Tae Kwon Deo, a colt who went to noted Swedish horseman Lutfi Kolgjini.  Tae Kwon Deo is out of Brigham Dream, the winner of the Breeders Crown Open Mare Trot and O'Brien Award as Canada's top older trotting mare in 2008.

Rounding out the Muscle Hill trifecta was Stylish Volo.  A filly, she was purchased from the Kentuckiana Farms consignment by Emilio and Maria Rosati for $220,000.  Stylish Volo is out of the Donato Hanover mare Sterling Volo, whose 2-year-old son Simply Volo (Crazed) was victorious in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition at Pocono this year.  Stylish Volo is out of Silver Springs, the 2004 Hambletonian Oaks champion.

“Muscle Hill is on fire at the moment, and she is a very perfect filly,” said Rosati on why he made the purchase.

Interestingly, Rosati’s main focus was on HIP 54 Check Her Out when the sale began.

“I came here for 54 and I got 54,” said the owner, who paid $260,000 for that first foal from Check Me Out. “When I got here and I saw her (Stylish Volo), I wanted her more than 54, and I got both, so it worked out okay.”

“She is a perfect individual with perfect conformation,” added Rosati's trainer Mark Harder. “We noticed that a lot of people were looking at her and her temperament was perfect. She was just so laid back; that is what really made her stand out.”

With the first two sessions in the books, officials with the sale continue to express happiness with what's happened so far and optimism for the remainder of the sale.

"The momentum has carried on and I thought it was very good tonight," said co sales manager David Reid.  "The one thing I have heard consistently is that the individuals have matched up to the horses, which sometimes doesn't work out. So far it has worked out well."

"I'm always a bit conservative because you can't just keep going up, up, up, but the catalog is tighter, and I think the overall depth of the catalog is stronger," said Reid about the sale going forward. "I'd say it will hold up well tomorrow night."

Tomorrow night's session will see HIPS 243-389 offered, beginning at 7 p.m.  Here are the top ten sellers from Wednesday night.