The news wasn't all bad during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale Oct. 26 in Lexington. The median price increased 20% from 2008 while the buy-back rate was down significantly. The results also included downturns of 11% in gross revenue and 6.4% in average price, but they weren't nearly as severe as those suffered by many other yearling auctions earlier in 2009.
Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky fall yearling sale isn't as fancy as the company's Saratoga and Kentucky July select auctions, but as a producer of Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brand (gr. I) winners, it stands out. Big Brown, who captured the Run for the Roses in 2008, and Mine That Bird, who scored in the first leg of the Triple Crown this year, both are graduates of the October sale.
Nearly every domestic yearling sale in 2009 has suffered sharp declines, but in England, Ireland, and France, auctions of young horses generally have turned in stronger performances.
Canadian champion and two-time grade I winner Kodiak Kowboy will be entered in the Nov. 7 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park even though his experience on synthetic tracks is limited and he has enjoyed his greatest success on dirt.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 10,015.86 Oct. 14, marking the first time the figure had touched 10,000 since October of last year, when the stock market was on its way down. The statistic has enjoyed an amazing rebound of 53% since March when it dropped to its lowest point in more than a decade.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 153 horses for its November select mixed sale, which will be held in Lexington Nov. 10, beginning at 5 p.m. The number is down 18.6% from last year's total of 188.
The market was livelier during the second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 6 in Maryland.
A Harlan's Holiday colt became the top-priced horse sold at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale so far when he commanded $300,000 during the auction's second session Oct. 6 in Maryland. Francis Vanlangendonck of the Summerfield sales agency signed the sale ticket on behalf of Florida pinhooker Nick de Meric. Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable and Alan Quartucci of North Shore Bloodstock also were in the hunt for the striking bay yearling, which went through the sale ring early in the afternoon.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling auction got a new top price just before 1 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 6 when a Not For Love colt sold for $120,000 to Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable during the sale's second session in Maryland. The previous high -- $117,000 for a Malibu Moon -- Two Chimneys colt -- came during the opening session Oct. 5.
The Thoroughbred market's dismal downward trend this year continued during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 5 in Maryland. The gross revenue suffered a moderate 9.5% loss from 2008, but the median price plummeted 35% while the average price fell 19.4%.
Prices dropped during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale Oct. 5 in Maryland, following a trend that has been seen at nearly every Thoroughbred auction this year. But there were still a lot of smiling faces as buyers and consignors praised the newly renovated sale pavilion at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 972 horses for its Kentucky fall yearling sale, which will be held Oct. 26-28 in Lexington. The total is down 10.8% from last year's total of 1,090.
Fighting Brave, who brought the sale-topping price of $2 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, made his career debut a winning one at Dundalk in Ireland Oct. 4.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling might struggle like nearly every other Thoroughbred auction this year, but at least the buyers and consignors will have a newly renovated sale pavilion to enjoy Oct. 5 and 6 in Timonium, Md. According to Fasig-Tipton officials, there will be dramatic changes in the appearance of the once drab facility.
New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace was a new buyer at the Goffs Orby yearling sale in Ireland on the opening day of the auction Sept. 29. Acting on behalf of longtime client West Point Thoroughbreds, he purchased a Holy Roman Emperor colt for 140,000 euros ($204,879 in U.S. funds)from Camas Park Stud and an Ad Valorem colt for 50,000 euros ($73,171)from Ashtown House Stud.
The Overbrook Farm dispersal, which began at the Keeneland September yearling sale, will not mark the end of the Young family's involvement in the Thoroughbred business. Chris Young, the 34-year-old grandson of Overbrook founder W.T. Young, is making plans for his own venture that probably will emphasize racing.
David Hayden has a message for his fellow commercial breeders: "Change or die." The ability to be flexible during hard times, he said last week at the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, is the key to survival. And Hayden, who plans to keep raising horses for many years to come, has looked at everything from production costs to where he will market his yearlings in an effort to remain profitable and avoid drowning in a sea of red ink.
From the very beginning of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, it was apparent that there would be a major correction in the market for young horses as key business figures suffered significant setbacks. Here are comments from auction participants during the first week of the sale.
When Goulash's Unbridled's Song colt brought $925,000 to top the opening session of the Keeneland September yearling auction Sept. 14, the prognosis for the Mari's Book mare looked grim. She is battling laminitis, and there were concerns that she would need to be euthanized just days after her son had been sold.
Stallion managers slashed stud fees last year after this country's recession deteriorated into a financial crisis and spread around the world. With prices for Thoroughbreds continuing to decline after falling significantly in 2008, commercial breeders are calling for even more stud fee reductions for 2010.
The first session of Keeneland's marathon September yearling sale concluded Sept. 14 with major declines in gross, average, and median prices.
Gus Koch, the manager of the Hancock family's historic Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., will retire at the end of the Keeneland September yearling sale. He was named the Farm Manager of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club in 2004, and he is a past president of the organization.
One day prior to the Sept. 14 start of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, there was a lot of uncertainty about how the market would perform at a time when the economy was continuing to struggle. There also were some questions about what was going on around the sale grounds. Here they are, and here are their answers.
Here is a list of horses that consignors and buyers think could be standouts Sept. 14 during the first session of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington.
The weekend before the Sept. 14 start of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington, the auction's participants were worrying about the market and trying to guess how much it would be down from 2008. But some consignors were pleasantly surprised by how many people were looking at their horses. Here is what some of them had to say.
Azeri, who was bought back for $4.4 million at this year's Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, has been entered in the upcoming Keeneland November breeding stock sale, according to John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency and Hill 'n' Dale Farms. Owned by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, the 2002 Horse of the Year is in foal to Distorted Humor after producing a Ghostzapper filly this year.
Consignors at the Keeneland September yearling sale were bracing themselves for one of the most daunting auction challenges of 2009: Finding new homes for thousands of young horses at a time when the weak economy is causing buyer demand for Thoroughbreds to shrink. Buyers, meanwhile, were excited about the prospect of bargains.
As a partner in historic Darby Dan Farm, Wayne Sweezey was a familiar face at the Keeneland September yearling sale. But a non-compete agreement kept him from being an active participant in last year's auction after he left Darby Dan. Now Sweezey is back with his own consignment, T. Wayne Sweezey and partners, which has 22 horses in the September catalog.
For Gerry Dilger of Dromoland Farm in Central Kentucky, the timing could not have been better. A little more than a week prior to the start of the Keeneland September yearling auction, two juvenile graduates of his breeding and selling program -Hot Dixie Chick and Dublin- scored victories in grade I races at Saratoga.
A son of Cahill Road brought the highest price of $60,000 during the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association (WTBA) summer yearling sale Sept. 8 at the Morris J. Alhadeff Sale Pavilion at Emerald Downs. Jill and Dave Heerensperger purchased the bay colt, which is a full brother to The Great Face, winner of the 2007 Longacres Mile (gr. III) and Mt. Rainier Handicaps at Emerald Downs.
No Inflation notched the first added-money victory of his career when he scored by 6 1/4 lengths in the $250,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 5 at Delaware Park. Ridden by Rosemary Homesister Jr., the Repriced gelding grabbed the lead soon after the start and, while being stalked by Dr Large, set fractions of :24.29 for the first quarter mile and :48.35 for the half. No Inflation started pulling away in the turn for home and never was challenged as he approached the wire.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 670 horses for its Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale, which will be held in Timonium, Md., Oct. 5 and 6. The number is down 28% from 2008, when 930 horses were in the book and the auction was three days in length.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. yearling sale, like many other auctions before it in 2009, couldn't overcome the weak economy and ended up posting results that were down signficantly from 2008.
According to an old saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas," but Fasig-Tipton's yearling sale in the Lone Star State has gotten smaller. And that could be a positive development.
The price for an individual horse peaked at $45,000 on the third day of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. yearling sale, with three lots each bringing that amount Aug. 26 in Central Florida. They were a Stormy Atlantic--La Defense colt, a Put It Back--Lovely Lyric colt, and a Pomeroy--Misty Springs filly.
A filly by the hot first-crop sire Wildcat Heir was the most expensive horse sold on the second day of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s slumping yearling auction, bringing $100,000 Aug. 25 in Central Florida. Repole Stable purchased the New York-bred chestnut from Bryan and Holley Rice's Woodside Ranch, agent.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale broke slowly from the starting gate Aug. 24 in Central Florida, suffering downturns of more than 30% from 2008 in its gross revenue, average price, and median price. But a powerful-looking Medaglia d'Oro filly topped the select session by attracting a $275,000 final bid from Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation that surpassed last year's peak price for an individual horse of $200,000.
With the weak economy continuing to have a negative impact on all sorts of businesses, Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. executive Tom Ventura has modest expectations for the auction firm's August yearling sale in Central Florida.
International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH), through agent Nick Sallusto, was the biggest-spending domestic buyer at the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction in New York, paying $2,150,000 for six yearlings. All the horses could be offered next year at sales of 2-year-olds in training, according to IEAH president and director Michael Iavarone.
A Medaglia d'Oro colt brought the sale-topping price of $275,000 as the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling auction ended its two-night run Aug. 16 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, well behind last year's record-setting pace. Trainer Seth Benzel, agent for Whitehall Stable, purchased the bay yearling. James Pippo is the president of Whitehall, which puts together racing partnerships.
The Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale got off to a rocky start Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The gross revenue dropped 41.7% from a year ago while the average and median prices both plunged 47.1%. The buy-back rate was 54.3% compared to 52.5% in 2008.
Fasig-Tipton reversed the negative business trends seen at Thoroughbred auctions this year at its recent Saratoga select yearling sale, where the gross revenue, average price, and median price all enjoyed significant upswings from 2008. The second and final auction on the company's upstate New York calendar is the New York-bred preferred yearling auction, which will be held Aug. 15 and 16. Each session will start at 7 p.m. (EDT).
Eddie Maple, who retired as a jockey 11 years ago, doesn't have a lot of time to sit and reminisce. He and his wife, Kate, are always on the go, managing two bustling equestrian centers on plantations in Bluffton, S.C., which is located near the popular Hilton Head Island beach resort.
The Oklahoma City yearling sale, scheduled for Aug. 24 in Oklahoma, has 113 horses in its catalog, including a close relative to the $2.8-million Storm Cat – Onaga colt that topped the recent Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction. The yearling, by Storm Cat's grandson Lion Heart, is out of a full sister to Onaga, according to the auction's sales manager, Terri Carter.
Fasig-Tipton officials worked hard, and Sheikh Mohammed shopped hard. The end result was a soaring Saratoga select yearling sale that provided its participants with a brief, two-evening respite from all the bad news generated by a struggling Thoroughbred industry that is reeling from a global financial crisis and its own internal problems. In a performance most unusual in these difficult economic times, the auction enjoyed upswings from 2008 of 45.6% in gross revenue, 11.1% in average price, and 9.9% in median price.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Holly Bandoroff of Denali Stud of a bizarre incident that involved a well-bred dark bay or brown filly, a bald man in a plaid shirt, at least three Fasig-Tipton officials, and several policemen during the second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in New York Aug. 11.
Boosted by the Sheikh Mohammed stimulus package, the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale got off to a sizzling start Aug. 10 in New York at a time when the struggling economy is causing prices to fall at other Thoroughbred auctions. The gross revenue for the 76 horses that sold was $25,470,000, which was a whopping 40.3% increase from the opening session a year ago. The average price grew 10.7% to $335,132, and the median price increased 6.4% to $250,000.
A muscular bay son of first-crop sire and champion Bernardini became the first horse to command seven figures Aug. 10 during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, bringing $1.2 million from Sheikh Mohammed.
Sheikh Mohammed, the world's biggest Thoroughbred auction spender, inspected yearlings consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale the morning of Aug. 10, just hours before the 6 p.m. (EDT) start of the New York auction. As a light rain fell, the ruler of Dubai looked at some horses while standing under the cover of the new walking ring. He previously had visited the Fasig-Tipton sale grounds early in the evening on Aug. 9.
Buyers and consignors were upbeat as they prepared for the Aug. 10 start of the two-night Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in New York.
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