10/29/2015 2:54PM

Marks: Harrisburg Sale Preview

Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Brooklyn Hill topped the opening session at Harrisburg in 2014.

With the Breeders Crown in the books, the scene is set for the Harrisburg yearling and mixed sales, both of which figure to be well attended and received.  At this writing there could be one dark cloud on the horizon emanating from the Governor’s office in Pennsylvania. The threat of a racing shut down is possible, but an educated guess is that cooler heads will prevail and after slight adjustment things will be as normal in the Keystone state.

That said, as in Lexington, there is no shortage of excellent prospects on both gaits, several of which can be considered optimum candidates for the title of “sales topper”.

The recently concluded Breeders Crown series did nothing to dispel the notion that the incumbent leading sires on trotting side—Muscle Hill, Cantab Hall and Donato Hanover—remain intact and each will have his share of leading candidates.

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On the pacing side, Somebeachsomewhere, Rocknroll Hanover, Bettor’s Delight, Art Major, Western Ideal and American Ideal offer strong contingents and one of them will likely account for the sales topper among pacing yearlings.

It should be mentioned that other pacing sires are in the limelight currently, in particular the Indiana contingent of Always A Virgin, Rockin Image and Mr Wiggles, though none have any yearlings in the Harrisburg catalog.

Always A Virgin, by Western Ideal, is the sire of Crown winners Always Be Miki and Color’s A Virgin while Rockin Image, by Rocknroll Hanover, is the sire of 3-year-old winner Freaky Feet Pete. Mr Wiggles, by Badlands Hanover, is the sire of the current Horse of the Year leader Wiggle It JiggleIt.

Perhaps the two most sought after Muscle Hill’s would have been HIP 75 PLAYER HANOVER, the first Muscle Hill from the million dollar plus winner Possess The Magic and HIP 151 PRIMR AMOR HANOVER, his first from the $2 million plus winning Passionate Glide. But incredibly both passed away after the catalog was printed. Other Muscle Hill colts will undoubtedly pick up the slack but it’s hard to find one with quite the genetic credentials that the departed Hanover colts both displayed.

Looking for a pacing filly? HIP 49 SEE TO BELIEVE should fill the bill.  She’s the first Bettor’s Delight from the brilliant Artsplace mare Must See and thus a half-sister to the brilliant racehorse and sire Well Said. The dam Must See is a full sister to the well-remembered filly and mare champion Glowing Report. See To Believe will have her lookers, especially amongst those who race first and breed later.

Another exceptional pacing filly (at least on paper) will be HIP 133 TORI HANOVER, the first Somebeachsomewhere from the productive Trim Hanover and thus a sister to American Jewel, Luck Be With You and Source Of Pride, those three with over $3 million on their collective cards thus far.  Undefeated SBSW daughter Pure Country is a good example of his prowess in creating top fillies and if Tori Hanover looks the part, she’ll bring serious numbers.

Among the trotting colts, HIP 142 SODERBERG HANOVER will have his lookers as will HIP 232 DESIRED EFFECT and HIP 195 ROYAL DREAMS. Soderberg Hanover, named after Takter stable yearling scout extraordinaire Perry Soderberg, is a Cantab Hall from the noted Southwind Wasabi, one of the faster daughters of that ill-fated Triple Crown champion Windsong’s Legacy. The colt won’t resemble his namesake, but if he’s a looker the right buyers will have his catalog page dog-eared.

DESIRED EFFECT (Credit Winner-Elusive Desire) might not be a sales topper, but if he’s one of those dark brown Credit Winner lookers he’ll bring solid money given his dam’s Canadian credentials. Elusive Desire earned over $1.2 million in an impressive career that saw her receive O’Brien awards at ages 2 and 3.   

ROYAL DREAMS, the first Cantab Hall from the noted Bold Dreamer, will be on the showing floor constantly being a brother to the great Pampered Princess. Again, how he looks will determine his ultimate price . . . spirited bidding is a possibility.

While there’s no shortage of quality pacing colts, there are two in particular that I’m going to be looking at and I don’t expect either of them to approach sales topper status, though each may sell rather well if they look the part.

One is HIP 88 ROCKNROLL CLOUDS, an Art Major first foal from Rocknroll Wishes, she a Rocknroll Hanover sister to Bettor’s Delight, Roll With Joe,  No Pan Intended and Classic Rock Nroll.  We had the dam’s sister Classic Star at Perretti, who gave us Blue Moon Stride, although I always hoped she’d drop a colt given the obvious colt performers in the immediate family. Guess what? ROCKNROLL CLOUDS is a colt and could be any kind of colt!

The other is HIP 184 BARRY HANOVER, a Rock N Roll Heaven first foal from Beachbunny Hanover, she a Somebeachsomewhere daughter of the brilliant Bunny Lake.  Yes, the best Rock N Roll Heaven’s have been fillies thus far, but one remembers Most Happy Fella getting Silk Stockings and Tarport Hap in his first crop but no decent colts. In the second crop came Oil Burner, Precious Fella and Smooth Fella and things evened out.  In addition, daughters of great race mares like Bunny Lake are often excellent producers and this colt deserves a look-see.

While HIP 153 DANIELLE HANOVER,  the Cantab Hall sister to Donato Hanover from D Train, is an out owing to sickness, HIP 129 FUTURE SECURED could supplant her in terms of being the must-see trotting filly. She’s a Cantab Hall from Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname, the Windsong’s Legacy sister to Muscle Massive and Muscle Mass.  Future Secured becomes a half-sister in blood to the Cantab Hall colt Live For Greatness, Lexington’s co sales topper at $350,000, so you know how this family is eligible to sell if she looks the part.

Given the results from all the sales thus far, Harrisburg should maintain momentum and make consignors smile!  

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