10/02/2017 11:28PM

Lexington Selected Sale: Captaintreacherous yearlings ready to set sail

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Nigel Soult
More than 50 Captaintreacherous yearlings will sell during the Lexington Selected Sale.

In every sale there seems to be the anticipation of seeing the first crop of a hot new stallion go through the ring. The 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will be no exception as Captaintreacherous, who was the first horse to be voted Pacer of the Year at 2 and 3 years old since Niatross, will have a robust offering available.

By Somebeachsomewhere and out of the Artsplace mare Worldly Treasure, a full sister to two-time Dan Patch Award winner and double millionaire Worldly Beauty, Captaintreacherous enjoyed brilliant campaigns in his first two years of racing.  As a freshman, his victories included the Metro and Woodrow Wilson, and he won both of those finals in sub-1:50 miles.  At three he won 13 of 16 starts and among his triumphs were the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and the Breeders Crown.  He also took his lifetime mark of 1:47 1/5 that year in a Bluegrass division at The Red Mile.

With the Gural Rule in place at the time, Captaintreacherous returned as a 4-year-old and won the $100,000 Hambletonian Maturity and was third to Sweet Lou in the William R. Haughton Memorial.  He won a preferred at Mohawk in preparation for the Canadian Pacing Derby that August, but he would begin to battle a respiratory issue shortly after that victory and was retired to Hanover Shoe Farms with over $3.1 million in career earnings.  Hanover’s Murray Brown explained that Captaintreacherous’s on-track exploits and his own pedigree made him a natural fit for them.

"He was a great horse.  We paid more for him than we have any other stallion,” Brown said.  “He's just as perfect an individual as you're going to find.  He has all the qualities you look for in a stallion.  He's a big and magnificent individual, and he comes from one of the great families.”

The first foal of Captaintreacherous to sell at public auction actually occurred at the Goshen Yearling Sale in New York earlier this month when Captain Miraculous, out of the $756,000 earning Camluck mare Please Me Please, was offered and hammered down for $35,000. But the big ticket babies will step out for the first time in Lexington. 

Among the ‘Captains’ that will go through the ring are HIP 34 Captain’s Darlin’, who is out of Darlin’s Delight (Bettor’s Delight, $2,901,926), making her a three-quarter sister to Darlinonthebeach, HIP 41 U S Captain, the second foal out of O’Brien and Dan Patch Award winner American Jewel (American Ideal, $1,840,565), and HIP 95 Gumption, the first foal out of Uffizi Hanover (Well Said, $746,552).  He has 52 yearlings in total that will sell - the most of any pacing sire in Lexington.

While Hanover won’t have any babies for sale until next month’s Standardbred Horse Sale, Brown believes that Captaintreacherous has the potential to have the same impact as a sire that he did as a race horse.

"If they race the way the look, he might be one of the top stallions ever,” remarked Brown.  “They're beautiful horses in general.  Obviously some are nicer than others and some are more pleasing to some people than they might be to others.  I haven't seen many that we don't have, but we have almost 30 of them, and there's not a one I would be reluctant to pay a training bill on.

"They're pretty much a uniform bunch with very little white on them.  For the most part they have very nice heads and intelligent eyes.  They are what people would look for in a yearling.  He checks all the boxes, but there have been other horses that have checked all the boxes who might have been found lacking.  Until they do it they haven't done it.”

Speaking to Captaintreacherous’s potential, he served 113 mares in his first crop despite the powerful presence that his sire Somebeachsomewhere possesses on the pacing side of harness racing.  Standing for $15,000, Captaintreacherous's book is full and closed this year, and Brown offered that he has had the strong backing from his connections, which is a boon to any sire when starting out.

"He's owned by a pretty strong syndicate, and that's so, so important with a new stallion,” Brown said.  “The members of the syndicate filled most of his book and there was a great demand for the few remaining bookings available.  The fee was not cheap and when you're paying a pretty strong stud fee, you're more inclined to breed better mares to a horse."

Ultimately the racing careers of his babies will be the final judge, but at it stands right now, Captaintreacherous will have every chance to leave his mark on the game.