The final results of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington were sobering, with setbacks of 53.4% in gross revenue, 48% in average price, and 44.1% in median price from a year ago. But they weren't anything new to the people who market Thoroughbreds.
The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale continued its scary downward spiral during the second session of its six-day run in Lexington. The gross revenue Jan. 13 dropped 66.2% from a year ago while the average price fell 61.6%. The median price plunged 55.8% while the number of horses sold was down least of all, 12.1%.
The results were grim, but not surprising, as Keeneland opened its January horses of all ages sale in Lexington during a time of worldwide economic downturns. The gross revenue Jan. 12 plummeted 44% from the auction's first session in 2008 while the average price dropped 45.9%. The median price suffered the most damage, falling 50.9%.
The Thoroughbred marketplace ended 2008 with dramatic declines, and all signs point to more tough times ahead as Keeneland gets ready to open its 2009 selling season with its January horses of all ages auction in Lexington.
Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time champion older mare, in foal to 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, highlights Keeneland's January Horses of All Ages Sale, to be held Jan. 12-17.
In a departure from the first four sessions of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, in which broodmares or broodmare prospects were the session sale toppers, the highest-priced offering sold Nov. 7 was a weanling, a son of Giant's Causeway out of the winning Dixieland Band mare Queen's Music, who brought $310,000.
It was more of the same for the fourth session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 6 at the Central Kentucky auction house as the number of horses sold, gross, average, and median all fell from last year's marks.
The marketplace continued to take a pounding from negative economic forces outside the Thoroughbred industry during the third day of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in Lexington. Compared to 2007, the Nov. 5 session was down 42.1% in gross revenue, 33.3% in average price, and 36.5% in median price. The buy-back rate soared from 20.9% last year to 28.2% this year.
Day two of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 4 closed with downturns in gross, average, and median.
The opening session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale generated some fireworks, but the results were a lot less spectacular than in 2007 when the gross revenue ($109,064,000) and the number of horses sold for $1 million or more apiece (28) established world Thoroughbred auction records for a single sale session. Also last year, Playful Act set a $10.5-million world mark for a broodmare or broodmare prospect, which since has been eclipsed by Better Than Honour's $14-million price.
Consignors are steeling themselves and their clients for a significant downturn in the market at Keeneland's breeding stock sale, which starts Nov. 3 in Lexington and runs for 15 days. But they also are hoping that the drop in prices will bring out the bargain hunters, who could help reduce the severity of the setbacks, which seem inevitable during the current global financial crisis and Thoroughbred auction slump.
With the economy struggling and the buy-back/no bid rates at Thoroughbred auctions rising, the issue of unwanted horses is a growing concern. Antony Beck, president of Gainesway Farm in Lexington, decided to try to do something about by sponsoring an adoption service on the Web site of The Blood-Horse's sister publication, The Horse (www.TheHorse.com).
The Keeneland November breeding stock sale traditionally has been a market primarily for broodmares and weanlings, but a growing segment of the auction in recent years has been horses in training.
Although Keeneland has announced it has been retained to market the 20% minority interest in reigning Horse of the Year Curlin, a pending motion in a Kentucky court is asking for the current sale process to be halted.
Keeneland has cataloged 5,709 horses for its November breeding stock sale, setting a world record for a Thoroughbred auction. The total exceeds the previous mark of 5,555 for this year's Keeneland September yearling sale and is up by 294 lots from the former November sale mark of 5,415.
The Keeneland September yearling sale closed out its 15-session run in Lexington with downturns in every key business figure and gross revenue that fell short of last year's total by a whopping $57,019,500. But even though the setbacks were significant, many participants in the auction were pleased by its performance at a time when the nation is reeling from a financial meltdown and there are growing economic woes abroad.
Despite a filly by Medaglia d'Oro selling for $1.1 million and the session realizing a 3.9% increase in the number of horses sold compared to last year, day four of the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 11 saw declines in gross, average, and median.
No horses inspired buyers to pay dazzling seven-figure amounts during the third day of the Keeeneland September yearling sale in Lexington. But some of the results for the auction's first open session were encouraging after significant downturns during the two select sessions that kicked off the sale.
During the first two sessions of the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale the Central Kentucky auction company reported 20 requests for testing for exogenous anabolic steroids.
Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell is taking two straight days of declines in the 2008 September yearling sale in stride by saying it is just a factor of the economic world we are living in today. "This establishes what the market is," Russell said at the close of the Sept. 9 session. "Everybody is here and they have now set the table. This is what the world is today, and they have established the value of these horses."
Keeneland officials plan to expand their testing program for exogenous anabolic steroids in sale horses to include the April select juvenile auction. That decision came after Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed emergency regulations Sept. 5 that ban the use of the common steroids boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses competing in Kentucky.
Some people call the Keeneland September yearling sale a marathon because of its length: 15 sessions this year. Others think it's more like Walmart because of the large number of horses cataloged, which has risen to a record of 5,555. To Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, it's more like a Broadway show.
It's crunch time for North America's Thoroughbred yearling market, which faces its biggest test when the Keeneland September sale gets under way. There are more horses cataloged than ever before, 5,555, and they will be offered over 15 sessions beginning Sept. 8 in Lexington.
Officials of Barretts, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) announced in early September that they were banding together to make major changes in the under tack shows for their sales of 2-year-olds in training. Beginning in 2009, they said they would strictly regulate the use of whips by riders during workouts and would prohibit the use of front toe grabs on horses.
Keeneland will play host to the international Thoroughbred community for the next two weeks as it conducts its 65th annual September yearling sale. The catalog is the largest in the auction's history, with 5,555 horses listed.
Keeneland has cataloged a record 5,555 yearlings for its 2008 September yearling sale, which is scheduled for Sept. 8-23.
Average rises as fewer horses are sold at Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell called Tuesday's opening session of the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training "a success." But the auction will have to seriously improve upon its first night gross of $7,127,000 in Wednesday's second session to equal or surpass last year's total of $16,637,000.
Cool Coal Man's half-brother is the star of the April sale's under tack show.
A Jump Start colt was euthanized Monday after fracturing a tibia during the under tack show for the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Kentucky.
It's a year of big changes for the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training, which will be conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in Central Kentucky.
Keeneland has cataloged 191 horses for its upcoming April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, which this year will span two evening sessions, April 8-9. Sessions begin at 7 p.m. ET each day.
The Keeneland January horses of all ages auction generated a sale-record median price during its seven-day run in Lexington, and its average price increased from 2007, while the gross revenue suffered a slight setback even though the number of horse sold plunged.
Wotan sold for $380,000 during Friday's session of the Keeneland January sale.
Yes She Is sells for $240,000 on Keeneland January sale's fourth day.
Three horses sell for seven-figure prices during January sale's second session.
Irish Cherry's $2.7-million price leads the way as gross and average rise at Keeneland.
Consignors are optimistic the day before the start of Keeneland's January sale.
Foreign buyers expected to boost market at Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.
Keeneland's record-setting November breeding stock came to a close Nov. 19, setting a new standard for gross receipts of $340,877,200.
Gross, average, and median all increase in Keeneland November sale's 12th session.
A steady group of buyers continued to provide strength to the market Nov. 15 during the 11th session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, resulting in across-the-board increases and a clearance rate of more than 80%. A dark bay daughter of Our Emblem brought $130,000 to top the session and close the sixth catalog of the 15-day auction.
The Keeneland November breeding stock sale's gross reached an all-time high Tuesday. The total soared to $321,774,400 Tuesday in Lexington during the ninth of the sale's 15 sessions, surpassing the former mark of $317,666,000 that had been set in 1999.
Buyers at the eighth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale kept things rolling Nov. 12, pushing the gross, average, and median towards positive gains in a session-to-session comparison over 2006.
A strong mix of international and domestic buyers was active Nov. 11 at the seventh session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Keeneland's Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell termed the Nov. 9 session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale "a very good day at the office" as a slight drop in gross was untainted by a rising average and a strong middle market.
The fourth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale produced mixed results, but the cumulative gross revenue and average price continued to remain well ahead of last year's pace in Lexington.
On a day when the U.S. stock market plunged 360 points, the Keeneland November breeding stock sale generated strong enough figures during its third session to keep the auction's cumulative gross up 13.8% and the average price up 9.9% from a year ago.
- By Ron Mitchell
With cumulative increases of 19.3% and 7.3% in gross sales and average price, respectively, during the first two days of the marathon Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, the mood within the Lexington sales pavilion was almost euphoric Tuesday, Nov. 6.
While the financial fireworks might not be as spectacular as they were a year ago at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, consignors and sale company officials still are expecting prices to be solid.
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