Monarch Farm matriarch Margaret Donohue has seen a lot of smart youngsters after a lifetime involvement with harness racing and she is “very happy” with her draft of yearlings in the APG Gold Coast Yearling Sale on January 28.

Monarch Farm has produced several good two-year-old winners in recent seasons. Including Paleface Adios Classic Winner Hold Onto Ya Bling (1.52.7, $85k) and last season’s Gold Final winner Balboa Rock (1.56.1, $118k).

The Peace Maker (1.57.4, $108K) was another brilliant youngster from the Donohue program. The Speed King colt won 10 of his first 14 starts in the mid-1990s, including the $50,000 Nursery Pace at Albion Park.

Donohue grew up with horses – her grandfather trained pacers – and said it was a natural progression to make a career out of the sport she loves. “We started with a spelling property and that grew into a stud,” Donohue said. “We stood 10 or 11 stallions over the years. Speed King (left 276 winners of more than $7mil in stake earnings) was probably the best of them but we also had Miles McCool and Cam’s Trickster.

“It was a different time then. Now we try to put our mares to a spread of commercial stallions and prepare the youngsters, so they are ready for good race careers.”

Donohue will present 12 youngsters at the sale and she said they were a good, even draft.

“I am really pleased with this lot of yearlings. They are well grown, apart from the Fear The Dragon youngsters who are a bit on the small side,” she said.

“There are quite a few standouts, and we are looking forward to the sale. The Versace Woman filly is an eyecatcher. She is a half-sister to Just Joshin ($138k), Betting Baron ($126k) and 2YO Qbred Fillies Triad winner Jiggle And Jive.”

Her sire Tintin In America is known for producing brilliant fillies. Including Shartin (1.46.8, $2.6mil), Nimah Franco (1.52, $180k) and Tin Tin Jo (1.51.5, $178k).

“The half-brother to Hold Onto Ya Bling could be an early winner. He is from a high-speed family – the half-sister, Donttellmeagain, won her two-year-old maiden in 1.56.5 last season and won the consolation of the Triad.”

Monarch Farm’s colt (Lot 76) by Downbytheseaside from Shez Smashing (Well Said) could be one for the breeding buffs.

He is bred on the golden cross of Downbytheseaside over Western Hanover line mares.

In the US, Downbytheseaside’s top two earners – Bythemissal ($2.1mil, Western Terror) and Pebble

Beach ($1.7mil, Western Ideal) – are out of mares by sons of Western Hanover. And he has nine winners from 11 foals out of Well Said mares.

Check out the Online Yearling Sales Catalogues or pick one up at most local harness racing venues.