Never had a Standardbred yearling been sold at auction for a million dollars, until October 1, 2019, at the Lexington (Kentucky) Selected Yearling Sale, held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion.  On the opening night of the five-day auction, two trotting colts broke the barrier.

Maverick, by Father Patrick (career earnings, $2,558,133) and out of Designed To Be (career earnings, $656,166) brought $1.1 million.  The dam has produced two foals, Maverick and his full brother Greenshoe, who earned over $960,000.

Damien, by Muscle Hill (career earnings, $3,266,835) and out of Danae (career earnings, $529,099) went under the hammer for $1 million.  Damien is Danae’s seventh foal.  He is a full brother to the World Champion Propulsion (career earnings, $3 million) and a full sister to Dream Together (career earnings, $703,567).  His half sister D’Orsay earned $445,732. 

Overall, the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale shattered records, grossing over $46 million for 762 yearlings sold.  The average auction price was $60,997.  This was a 7.7% increase over 2018, when 702 yearlings sold for an average of $56,562.

In the wake of the New York Times story about 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify testing positive following the Santa Anita Derby, I wrote on September 12, 2019 about the eye-popping numbers coming from the Keeneland Yearling Sales of Thoroughbreds: “If the people buying horses at Keeneland are worried about the future of horse racing, their bidding behavior sure doesn’t show it.”  The same goes for the folks at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale of Standardbreds.

The optimistic bidders could be wrong, but watching what people do with their money is usually more reliable than listening to perspectives from the media and critics.  The people betting large sums of money on totally unproven Thoroughbred and Standardbred yearlings seemingly are confident that horse racing has a good future.

Copyright © 2019 Horse Racing Business


  1. Ulf Lindstrom says

    Indeed, top-ten sellers at auctions, any breed, not much useful data for a fair picture of the equine industry. Rather, median price says something about the confidence of the market. Right now, for Stbreds, it’s ‘good’ in Europe too. Of concern, though, is the industry’s loss of political cover, especially the constant harassment of misinformed bureaucrats in the EU headquarters against the sport and wagering regime. As always, the French and Italian federations comply with the new rules at gunpoint only, while the Nordic federations say ‘Amen,’ yes sir, right away, sir.
    Ulf Lindstrom
    Desktop breeder, Stbreds