Following are the thoughts of participants in the Keeneland November breeding stock sale the weekend prior to the auction's Monday start in Lexington:
Doug Cauthen, WinStar Farm: "I think it's going to be a solid sale, I really do. There are a lot of solid horses, a lot of exciting sires, and a lot of good maiden mares. The foreign exchange rates are awful strong and that will fill any void that we might have."
Jack Brothers, Hidden Brook and Adena Springs: "I'm very optimistic with sale coming on the heels of the Breeders' Cup and based on the strength of the September yearling sale. There's more resiliency than the market has been given credit for, and while there's been some level of adjustment, when the quality shows up, the buyers show up. We've been very busy (showing horses in the Adena Springs reduction). The right players are showing up here."
David Greathouse, Four Star Sales: "I don’t see a lot of things changing right now. The stock market has had a long, good run, and the oil prices are good for those involved in that business. I anticipate that it's going to be a good sale. But the market does keep tightening up, pushing out horses a lot of people don’t think belong anymore. Some of the stud fees have come down a little bit, which obviously will be a help to breeders."
Meg Levy, Bluewater Sales: "The good stuff is going to sell well. It always does. The market gets more and more specific as far as what buyers want. They only want the best, the young and beautiful. I think it's going to be very tough to sell a middle of the road weanling. You have to have something everybody wants, something they can resell or make money with down the road -- whether it's a mare that could run and looks like it could be a producer ,or a mare that has already produced and is young enough to keep going, or a weanling who is going to resell for big dollars."
"We could potentially see a small correction, but I think there are enough Americans and enough of a broad-based Euroepan market where the top of the broodmare market may be a little different than the top of the yearling market. At the top of the yearling market, you’re looking for just those two people (Coolmore Stud's John Magnier and Sheikh Mohammed). The broodmare market is broader; there are more Europeans and more Americans who will spend money at the top of the market for the right mare."
Bayne Welker, Mill Ridge Sales: "I'm a bit more optimistic coming off the strength of the middle of the September yearling market. The good weanlings are going to sell well, and I think young mares, either the nice-looking broodmare prospects or the young mares carrying their first or second foal, are going to be strong. Older mares are still going to be a soft spot in the market."