Senena Esty is proud of her boy, but it is hard to say goodbye.
Esty’s Spring Haven Farm consigned colt trotter Kadillac, who was Tuesday’s sale-topper at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The Ontario-eligible yearling, a son of stallion Kadabra out of the mare Proactive Gal, was purchased for $260,000 by Clark Beelby. Kadillac’s family includes stakes-winner Bramasole, who also is the dam of this year’s Peaceful Way winner Caprice Hill.
“It’s hard to see him go because I’ve spent every day with him,” Esty said. “I try to be professional, but I’ve shed a few tears. I’m very proud of him. He just grew to be an outstanding individual. He’s the nicest trotter I’ve ever sold.”
Kadillac was joined at the top of Tuesday’s sale prices by colt pacer Sovereign Deo, who sold for $190,000 to Tom Hill. Sovereign Deo is a son of Mach Three out of World Of Her Own. His second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Worldly Beauty and his family includes stakes-winners World Of Rocknroll and Rock N Roll World, plus Worldly Treasure, who is the dam of Dan Patch Award-winner Captaintreacherous.
Tony Alagna, who trained Captaintreacherous, will train Sovereign Deo.
“Basically, it’s the same family as Captaintreacherous,” Tom Hill, Jr. said. “Tony liked the horse. I spoke to Tony several weeks to go, he phoned me up, and his exact words were ‘Wow, what a jaw-dropper he is.’ He has a great conformation and the pedigree is second to none.
“In my opinion, he was the best pacing colt in the sale. I think the price proved that. I’m very happy with the purchase. My dad wanted him and he step up. Fortunately, we got him. We’ll just hope for a little bit of luck and take it from there.”
Through two days at the Standardbred Horse Sale, a total of 650 horses were sold for an average of $39,396. The average is a drop of 15.7 percent compared to the average of $46,748 for 535 horses last year.
Standardbred Horse Sales Company President Pete Spears said some of the drop was the result of the Pennsylvania’s budget impasse that led Gov. Tom Wolf to threaten to halt horse racing in the state. Negotiations are continuing to resolve the issue.
A total of 398 Pennsylvania-eligible horses have sold for an average of $38,573.
“After two days it’s clear that the recent problems in Pennsylvania have had an adverse effect on the sale’s results,” Spears said.
The price for Kadillac topped last year’s Tuesday sale-topper, which was $225,000 for colt trotter Gotalottacredit.
“I never try to have expectations because you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment,” Esty said about Kadillac’s price. “We’re just a farm family and we just try to make a living doing what we love. But as the sale got closer and he looked the part, I thought hopefully he would bring $100,000.”
Esty bought Kadillac, who was bred by Dunroven Stud, as a weanling in November 2014.
“He had a very good family and the conformation to go with it,” Esty said. “It just looked like he had the potential to grow into a very nice colt.”
After watching Kadillac bolt through an open gate, Esty thought he had true potential.
“He was in a group of 10 other colts and got past the gate,” Esty said. “He got past me pretty quick. But, boy, you should have seen him trot. That was the day I knew I had something there.
“He was quite the special colt so I had to pick out the perfect name for him.”
David Meirs III understands how Esty feels. Meirs’ Concord Stud Farm raised and consigned Monday’s sale-topper, filly trotter Future Secured, for $500,000. The price equaled the auction-sales record for a yearling filly trotter, which was set by Courtney Hall in 2003. It tied for the fourth-highest auction price for any yearling and was the highest price for a yearling at auction since Detour Hanover sold for a record $825,000 in 2011.
“It’s not fully sunken in,” Meirs said. “It’s something I’m going to cherish. I sensed by whom was looking at the filly there was a chance (for a high price), but I’ve been there. I’ve done this now for more than 40 years. There are so many times you sit there and think you’ve got that one.
“But when she hit $400,000 it was like being in a race. I saw multiple hands going up in the air and I almost had to catch myself; I was turning white. I starting thinking ‘Where are we going here?’ It was that thrill, but that’s only part of it. Now I want her to do well. Nothing is going to make me happier than seeing this horse go forward and do well for the owners, and I can be a part of that.”
Meirs began to think Future Secured could be special when he watched her trot alongside her dam, 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname, in the field.
“I did not start to truly appreciate the filly until I watched her mom going through the field with her,” Meirs said. “She would go stride for stride, exact same motion in the front. Her mother is a kind filly, but a little tough. But I think you need a little bit of that toughness to be a good racehorse. But what I enjoyed about this filly is that she’s gaited exactly like mom.”
Meirs is no stranger to success — Concord Stud Farm also consigned, as agent, last year’s sale-topper Brooklyn Hill for $390,000, for example — but he takes nothing for granted.
“It’s like the racing game,” Meirs said. “You have your highs and you have the lows. When you have the high, cherish it.
“There are a lot of keys to success, but it’s not just one person. It’s family; my family is involved very closely in the business. I’ve got a very good staff of people. We work seven days a week and we take a huge amount of pride in the product we come out with. We put a lot of time and effort into these youngsters to get them here to this point. It gives us a lot of self-satisfaction.”
Day Two Top 10
385-C-T-Kadillac-Kadabra-Proactive Gal-Clark Beelby-Spring Haven Farm-$260,000
499-C-P-Sovereign Deo-Mach Three-World Of Her Own-Tom Hill-Northwood Bloodstock Agency-$190,000
2022-C-T-Wild Whiskey-Cantab Hall-Bourbon Belle-Joe Holloway-Northwood Bloodstock Agency-$130,000
557-F-T-By A Neck Hanover-Chapter Seven-By A Nose Hanover-Andy Miller Stable, agent-Hanover Shoe Farms-$105,000
316-C-P-Must Be Luck-Camluck-Fashion Sureal-Dave Menary-All American Harnessbreds-$100,000
367-C-T-Change Page-Chapter Seven-Order By Credit-Michael Pozefsky-Concord Stud Farm, agent-$100,000
402-F-T-Royal Witch-Kadabra-Royal Tennis-Benoit Baillargeon, agent-Preferred Equine Mkt. Inc., agent-$100,000
442-C-P-Twin B Rockstar-Rocknroll Hanover-Sugar Sugar-Brian Brown-Twinbrook Farms-$100,000
390-F-P-Crooked Halo-Big Bad John-Real Lady Katie-Jeff Webster-Northwood Bloodstock Agency-$95,000
410-C-P-Beach House-Somebeachsomewhere-Sara Sue-Harry Locke-All American Harnessbreds-$92,000