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Last yearling sale of year features Lanesville horses

During the fall, yearling race horse prospects are sold at public auctions, often drawing crowds of buyers and spectators. This year, most sales of standardbred yearlings destined for careers in harness racing have broken all previous records, and prices have been more than 20% higher than any seen before. Optimism for harness racing runs high, especially in Indiana.

Indiana yearlings, born and raised in the Hoosier state and thereby eligible to race for purse money at Indiana county fairs and at Hoosier Park in Anderson, sell at several prominent locations in the fall. The last sale of the year took place last week at the Michiana Events Center in Shipshewana and included two horses from the Alvin Walther farm at Lanesville.

A Walther pacing colt by Indiana sire Luck be With You and a pacing filly by the famous Rockin Image both brought $6,000 and both went to Indiana buyers with hopes for their racing careers ahead.

In keeping with other yearling sales this year in Indiana and across the country, records were set in total gross dollars and in sale average prices. A total of 98 yearlings were sold, grossing $891,200 for an average price of $9,094, which was an increase of 23% over the average for last year.

Race horses with local connections continue to record good finishes at Oak Grove Racing and Gaming in Kentucky as the season winds down. Last week, the aged pacer Bludhaven, from the Charlie Conrad stable, recorded his first win of the year while his stablemate, the 3-year-old pacer Seaside Hill, picked up a second-place check in a different race.

Conrad also drove horses for other trainers, including two horses from the Mike Hollenbeck stable of Converse. Preach, an aged gelding, paced to third-place finish, and Seal O’Neil finished sixth in his race with Conrad holding the lines.

The Brock stable, which trains often at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon, raced three horses and picked up three paychecks for the week.

The older mare Hey Hey Mahana, winding down her career as a professional athlete before beginning a new life as a mother next year, paced to fourth place. Older pacer Hayswood Ron also picked up fourth-place money. He is owned by Hayswood Farm of Corydon and was driven in his race by Conrad, as the “Corydon boys” teamed up again. Ending the week for local interests, the Brock pacer Winyard Hanover controlled his race in dominating fashion and paced home with a win, which he celebrated with several sessions of rolling in the mud once he got home the next day.