The New York Breeders' Sales Co.'s inaugural premier yearling sale ventures into new territory as it begins its two-day run Thursday night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Hoping to catch yearling buyers that are in town, the NYBSC sale is sandwiched between Fasig-Tipton's select yearling sale that ends Wednesday evening and their New York-bred preferred sale that goes for two evenings beginning Sunday.
The sale, which will be held on the Yaddo Show Grounds--across the street from the Yaddo gardens adjacent to the Oklahoma training track -- has drawn a catalogue of 210 yearlings. Not to be confused with the sale company's name, the sale is not restricted to New York-breds, but is clearly geared for New York-based owners and trainers.
"As with any event that is the first attempt, we're treading on new ground, but we think we have placed ourselves in a position to be successful," said Harry "Chip" Landry, director of sales for the NYBSC. He is also a consignor to the auction. "The horses will be under tents as well as the auction itself. We hope to have a country fair atmosphere."
Activity on the grounds was busy Wednesday as there were a good number of prospective buyers looking at the horses that are housed under large blue and white striped tents. Prior to the sale, Landry noted "the catalogue requests blew us away. We had 5,000 printed and quickly had to go back to press.
"We're getting some good feedback on some of the horses," Landry said. "We've got some really nice horses coming in from Canada, including a Forestry
and an Orientate
. We've got some outstanding New Jersey-breds coming in; a Five Star Day
and a Meadowlake
colt that are supposed to be quite nice."
"It's uncharted territory, so it remains to be seen," said New York-based trainer Gary Contessa of the sale. "I think it's going to be a buyers' sale. To get into that Fasig-Tipton sale (New York-breds), you have to have a preferred pedigree or preferred conformation -- you get the best of the best. What I'm seeing here is a little less pedigree, a little less conformation, but nice individuals.
"This is the kind of sale that you come in and can buy a horse and not wonder how deep you're going to have to go," he said. "It's a good way for the local breeders to get their horses out there to different trainers and it's a good sale for trainers coming in not having to go broke buying a horse.
"It's the kind of sale where trainers are going to get a good buy, because trainers know what little conformational flaws we can live with. I think I can buy some really solid racehorses out of here."
One non-New York-based consignor for the sale is Kentucky-based Peter Kerwin, has 19 yearlings catalogued.
"Like any new venture, everybody has got to work through the kinks to get it going, but it's a good opportunity for the New York breeders that don't make the other sales," Kerwin said. "The horses here will definitely suit the regional market, hopefully a few outsiders. This morning's been pretty steady. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be busy after the other sale is over."
There is no sales repository on the grounds, but Landry said there would be viewing stations available for people to look at X-rays that are supplied by the consignors. There will be a bone warranty in place.
As for its spot on the calendar, Landry said: "We went down to Florida back in January and had a meeting with some of the leading pinhookers and we asked them what we had to do to make them come buy yearlings. They said 'it's expensive to come to Saratoga or come to New York period, so if you want us to buy at your sale, you better have your sale while we're in town.' So that resulted in the placement of where it is. They also requested that we have a bone warranty so they didn't have to do so much out-of-pocket work on the horses prior to being able to bid on them."
Ryan Mahan and Associates will be the sale's auctioneers and announcers.
Adding to the fair atmosphere, Landry said they'd like to start a tradition of having a celebrity lead in the first horse for the sale. Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. will have the honors Thursday night.