A yearling that brought $200,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale has the distinction of being the most expensive gelding sold as a yearling at public auction, according to BloodHorse MarketWatch data.
Consigned as Hip 1374 by Select Sales as agent for its Minnesota breeder, Almar Farm Partners, the dark-hued son of Maclean's Music was purchased by Novogratz Racing Stables. The gelding is the first foal out of the winning Sky Mesa mare Mesa Mirage, a daughter of the Broad Brush mare Beauty Brush. Beauty Brush was a hard-knocking campaigner in the Midwest who won or placed in 16 of 25 starts, with one stakes win and four stakes placings to her credit while earning $189,863.
The price is the highest paid of the 101 gelded yearlings sold at public auction since 1980, the earliest for which such data is available, according to MarketWatch. While it is rare for a yearling to be gelded at the time of auction, there have been seven such individuals sold in 2017.
Select Sales partner Andrew Cary said Almar Farm Partners breeds to race primarily in Minnesota and routinely gelds young males. A decision was made subsequently to the colt being gelded to try to get him in the Fasig-Tipton sale after Maclean's Music's stock soared following the Preakness Stakes (G1) victory of Cloud Computing, who is from the Hill 'n' Dale stallion's first crop, which are 3-year-olds of this year.
Through October, Maclean's Music has been represented this year by 36 yearlings sold for an average price of $100,561, a healthy return on the stallion's $6,500 fee in 2015 when the current yearling crop was conceived. Hill 'n' Dale near Lexington has announced the stallion will stand for $25,000 in 2018.
"I think it is extremely rare," Cary said of a yearling to already have been gelded and offered at auction. "It was a unique deal where the breeders always have a few Minnesota-breds and usually geld all their colts well before sale season because they are going to race them. After Cloud Computing won the Preakness, the breeder called (Select Sales partner) Carrie (Brogden) and she went out and looked at him. He was a beautiful horse and everything lined up."
Cary said the gelding has the potential to compete anywhere, but that by being a Minnesota-bred he is eligible for the state's lucrative incentive program.
Joseph Novogratz's stable has been leading owner at Canterbury Park each of the last two years and the stable's conditioner Mac Robertson has led the trainer's category.
"Purses are great at Canterbury Park and the Minnesota-bred program is a good fall-back plan," Cary said.