Horsemen say "a good horse can come from anywhere" and a lot of good Western New York harness horses seem to come from the annual September yearling auction at Morrisville State College.
Last Sunday's sale (Sept. 27) saw a total of 229 yearlings hammered down for an average of $8,477, down about 21 percent from last year.
I counted about 30 horses sold to familiar names on the Buffalo Raceway-Batavia Downs circuit, with five selling for $10,000 or more.
The biggest price paid by a Western New Yorker was the $17,500 that trainer Allan McCarty of Hamburg shelled out for Marion Malibu, a brown trotting colt by Malabar Man (lifetime best winning mile, 1:53 1/5), winner of the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, trotting’s biggest race, and Horse of the Year in 1997.
Marion Malibu is the first foal of Cousin Scarlett, a daughter of Donerail (1:55 4/5), the champion 2-year-old colt trotter of 1992. Donerail is a son of Valley Victory (1:55 3/5), the champion 2-year-old colt trotter of 1988.
Next biggest local purchase was the $12,500 Dave McNeight Jr. of Blasdell paid for Mystic Candy, a daughter of Malabar Man. The brown trotting filly is out of Mystic Victory, a daughter of Victory Dream (1:53 2/5), the Hambletonian winner and champion 3-year-old colt trotter of 1994.
Judy Blaun of Elba paid $11,000 for Pistachio, a bay trotting colt from the first crop of Cash Hall, (1:51 1/5), who finished third in the 2004 Hambletonian.
James Schire of Niagara Falls paid $10,000 for Ms Perfect Circle, a bay pacing filly from the first crop of American Ideal (1:47 4/5), winner of the 2005 Confederation Cup, the marquee race of Flamboro Downs in Dundas, Ont.
Ms Perfect Circle’s dam is Cirque (1:53), which makes her a half-sister to Queen Aliceanna (1:57 3/5), currently racing at Batavia Downs.
Dale Wareham of Fredonia bought three horses, topped by $10,000 for Clydabell, a bay trotting filly by Broadway Hall (1:56 4/5), the undefeated (9 for 9) champion 2-year-old colt trotter of 2002. Clydabell is the first foal of Art Of Deception, another daughter of Malabar Man.
Complete auction results are available at www.morrisvillesale.com
--- Bob Summers