Sept. Sale: Pendulum Swings Back to New Sires

Sept. Sale: Pendulum Swings Back to New Sires
Photo: Keeneland Photo

In the early 2000s, yearlings by freshman sires were all the rage. Without having proved yet to be a bust, buyers gravitated to the offspring of young up-and-comers, boosting their sale averages often far above those of the bread-and-butter, proven sires.

Along came the market crash in 2008 and the Great Recession, and soon yearling buyers sought safety, relying more on buying young stock by the proven sires. Now that the overall economy has moved on and Thoroughbred market has climbed out of its morass, there is an increased vigor in some of the new kids on the block.

"Buyers have gotten back on to them," said Marty Buckner of Clarkland Farm. "I think they got off of them for a few years, but it's been five years now since 2008 and the crash and it's swinging back to the new sires."

Clarkland Farm has three yearlings in Book One of the Keeneland September yearling sale including a colt out of Kamal by first-year sire Eskendereya  . Winner of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) in 2010, Eskendereya stands at Taylor Made Stallions near Nicholasville, Ky., and happens to have the second most yearlings cataloged to the September sale by a first-year sire with 60.

Super Saver  , winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in 2010, has  61 yearlings cataloged to the sale. Four-time grade I winner Quality Road   has 59. Two-time champion Lookin At Lucky   (52) and Warrior's Reward   (50) round out the top five.

FIRST-CROP SIRES
with yearlings at 2013 Keeneland September Sale
Stallion
2011
Stud Fee
2012 Foals
(NH)
Number
Cataloged
Makfi
$38,997
105
1
Blame
$35,000
77
41
Lookin At Lucky
$35,000
105
52
Quality Road
$35,000
113
59
Eskendereya
$30,000
106
60
Super Saver
$20,000
117
61
Discreetly Mine
$15,000
100
37
Midshipman
$15,000
69
23
*Summer Bird
$15,000
94
26
Tale of Ekati
$15,000
77
21
Warrior's Reward
$15,000
108
50
Munnings
$12,500
109
37
Afleet Express
$10,000
40
9
Desert Party
$10,000
87
21
Majesticperfection
$10,000
81
39
Concord Point
$7,500
47
14
Line of David
$7,500
53
13
Neko Bay
$7,500
29
4
Hold Me Back
$6,000
82
17
Not Bourbon
$5,012
33
3
Justenuffhumor
$5,000
31
3
Kantharos
$5,000
52
1
Plan
$5,000
12
3
Temple City
$5,000
98
18
Tizdejavu
$5,000
52
12
Marchfield
$4,000
55
2
Elusive Warning
$4,000
17
1
Grasshopper
$3,500
27
1
Harlem Rocker
$3,500
9
1
Mast Track
$2,506
19
2
Musket Man
$2,500
16
1
Sing Baby Sing
$2,500
33
1
Lantana Mob
$1,500
23
4
* = Estimated fee

"Breeders really went back to those proven horses a couple of years ago," said Kitty Taylor of Warrendale Sales. "Buyers are starting to look at those (younger) horses again because they see opportunity to buy some value and hopefully that will continue."

Of the first-crop sires, Taylor is bullish on several.

"The Eskendereya's look really good; I like them quite a bit. They look like strong, durable horses—a lot of bone," she said. "Majesticperfection   reminds me of (last year's third leading freshman sire) Into Mischief  . A lot of people are giving that horse a real good look now with expectation of fast, early 2-year-olds because of the Into Mischief phenomenon.

"I don't get out during the November sale and get to look at a lot of the first group of weanlings, but I think the Super Savers and the Warrior's Rewards that really didn't sell like gangbusters as weanlings are selling really well now as yearlings."

John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, however, remains temperate on unproven sires.

"No question, new sires have had a lower bid threshold than they have had in the past," he said. "It's come back from where we were a few years ago, but there should be some caution in freshman sires.

"The fact of what makes a horse appealing is constant, so the only thing that varies are the market condition and how far someone will bid."

Bidding begins at the Keeneland September yearling sale Monday, Sept. 9 at noon. The sale, with 3,908 yearlings cataloged, runs through Sept. 21.

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