This year’s 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, Mage, sold last May at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic 2-year-old in training horse sale held in Timonium, Maryland. Horse auctions and livestock sales have been around for centuries because people depended on horses for transportation and farm work. Also, informal horse racing was popular, and horse-trading flourished. For people to replace their stock, weekly and monthly horse and livestock auctions were held in communities across the country, but in the early 1900s, society shifted from horse and buggy to cars and engines. Today, top-quality thoroughbred racing prospects sell through several auction companies in the United States, including Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and OBS. Breeding stock sales, yearling sales, and 2-year-old in-training sales offer buyers the chance to buy thoroughbreds of all ages.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

Two-year-olds in training sales offer buyers the chance to observe 2 year-olds gallop or breeze short distances before they sell. The sales are held at facilities with a training track or race track, and several days before the auction, each horse gallops or breezes for the public. These sales are usually held each spring starting in Florida in March and April, and moving to Maryland in May. Many horses offered for sale are sold by consignors based in Ocala, Florida who break the horses in fall and continue training them throughout the winter months when the weather is mild.

 Two consignors and trainers from Pennsylvania prepare and sell 2 year-olds for the sales. They have facilities to break and train horses year-round. Crane Thoroughbreds entered sixteen 2-year-olds in the upcoming sale, and trainer Tod Beattie entered four for the sale held in Timonium on May 22-23, 2023.

Crane Thoroughbreds, owned by Clovis and Joanna Crane, and located in Lebanon, PA, about 15 minutes from Penn National Race Track, also sold several horses at the April OBS sale in Ocala, FL. They specialize in year-round breaking and sales prep on their 65-acre farm equipped with a groomed ¼ mile-breaking and training track, a new ½ mile gallops and breezing track, and a ½ mile turf with an uphill breeze strip. They also have a 4-horse starting gate, several round pens, 2 covered horse exercise machines, and a 200x 300 foot indoor riding arena. There are two barns with a total of 55 stalls, large paddocks and fields for turn-out, and numerous riding trails in the woods and along the property. The farm is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities, and the owners pride themselves on giving their horses “top-notch “care.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

An accomplished and talented all-around horseman, Clovis dropped out of high school in the late 1990s to pursue a career as a jockey. A successful apprentice at tracks in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware, Clovis experienced a growth spurt that ended his career. He returned to high school, and after graduation, attended Purdue University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In the early 2000s, Clovis concentrated on the rodeo circuit and rode bulls, and saddle broncs, and competed in the bareback riding events. These days, he sticks with riding saddle broncs in his spare time.

 “I want to be known as a pin-hooker, and I love breaking young horses. My bread and butter are breaking horses, and my meat and potatoes are buying and selling horses. I guess I sell about 50 to 60 a year. I train horses for the track, but that’s not my main passion,” explained Clovis. Pinhookers buy horses to resell at a later date, hopefully for a profit. Clovis has the knowledge, the experienced staff, and the facilities to thoroughly prepare 2-year-olds for the yearly sales. Yearlings are broken at his farm, ridden alone and in the company, taught to gallop and breeze, and ridden cross country on the trails surrounding the farm. Clovis uses the horse exercise machine to help build muscle, and he practices walking, standing, and showing the horses. He also holds pre-sale shows at his farm to showcase his consignment. At this year’s April OBS sale, Crane Thoroughbreds sold a Lookin At Lucky colt for $500,000 to West Point Thoroughbreds. One of his horses in the upcoming Fasig-Tipton sale just won the first 2-year-old race of the year at Parx Race Track. Factor U and Me In by The Factor won a maiden special weight race at a distance of 2 furlongs. The horse was bred and owned by leading PA breeder Blackstone Farm.

Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

Beattie Training and Sales based at Penn National Race Track also prepares horses for sale from his private training barn at Penn National. A well-known trainer of graded stakes winners, Taris and PA-bred Fabulous Strike, Beattie built a private barn at Penn National where he can train and break young horses year round. Because of the economic opportunities provided by the Racehorse Development Fund, Beattie stayed in PA to train and race. He equipped his barn with 2 Equicisers which he uses to develop his young horses, and he expanded his client base due to better purses and better racing in the state. Beattie sold stakes winner Malibu Moonshine from his 2022 consignment at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old sale and sold several other winners last year.

Two Pennsylvania farms, Crane Thoroughbreds and Beattie Training and Sales present top quality and well-prepared consignments at the major sales that produce winning results.

Cover Photo Credit to Kim Pratt

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