2024 Yearling Sales, Standardbred

Eager Anticipation

Eager Anticipation

A highlight of any yearling sale is seeing the first crop of a first season sire go under the auctioneer’s hammer and 2024 will be no exception when the first yearlings by Tall Dark Stranger are offered in Australia and New Zealand.

The USTA 2yo and 3yo Pacing Colt of the Year in 2019 and 2020, Tall Dark Stranger retired to stud at Hanover Shoe Farms with a career record of 19 wins and two second placings in a 22 start career which saw him amass earnings of $2,020,195.

Of his first American crop of 108 foals, 85 were sold as yearlings earlier this year and they averaged $80,682 with 27 yearlings selling for $100,000 or more.

Kyabram based Llowalong Farms, under the guidance of Dr Kath McIntosh, is preparing 22 yearlings for the 2024 Nutrien Melbourne Yearling Sale scheduled for April 12th through 14th.

Included in that group are three yearlings by Tall Dark Stranger and all three are impressive types with impressive pedigrees.

Lot 342 is a filly being offered by Grenada Park and she is the second foal from the slick race-mare Tell Me Tales p,1:49.3 $380,870.

Tell Me Tales won the Group One Vicbred Super Series finals as both a 3yo and 4yo and then added the Group Two Robin Dundee Stakes at Menangle as an older mare.

All up Tell Me Tales won eight races at Group level across her 21 wins.

The second yearling by Tall Dark Stranger being prepared by Llowalong Farms is Lot 349 which is a colt out of the Sweet Lou mare Treasure Me.

This colt is bred on the same cross as Phantomofthenight which was the Lexington Select Sale colt by Tall Dark Stranger that brought the stallion’s top price of $350,000.

Treasure Me had just the solitary start as a 3yo in New Zealand before being retired to stud and Lot 349 is her second foal.

This colt is from the blue-ribbon New Zealand family used by the late Charles Roberts to such good effect.

There are no less than four millionaires in Have Faith In Me, Adore Me, Christen Me and Dream About Me featuring under the three dams listed on the page which also includes last week’s New Zealand Derby winner Merlin.

The third of the trio of Tall Dark Stranger yearlings prospective buyers will find in the Llowalong stables on sale-day is being offered by Anne Anderson and is a filly from the Christian Cullen mare Sugarland and this filly ranks as a three-quarter sister to Hurricane Harley.

Hurricane Harley won the Group One Australasian Breeders Crown as a 2yo and has amassed 26 wins and stakes of $713,940.

Like Tall Dark Stranger, Hurricane Harley is by Bettors Delight and with Sugarland being by Christian Cullen the golden cross of Southern Hemisphere standardbreds comes into play.

The cross of Bettors Delight over a Christian Cullen mare has produced nearly 400 winners with 133 $100,000 earners and nine millionaires.

Sugarland is a half-sister to former Australian 3yo Pacer of the Year Maffioso p,3,1:57.4 $606,907 and her imported American dam Lindsey Leigh is a full-sister to B Js Sunshine which is the dam of the Bettors Delight gelding Fashion Delight p,1:49.8 $1,074,303.

Treasure Me / Tall Dark Stranger pictured as a foal.